The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan 2008-2015: From Inception through Implementation


Title: The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan 2008-2015: From Inception through Implementation
Publication Date:
January 01, 2016
Pages: 80
Publisher: URI Coastal Resources Center/ Rhode Island Sea Grant

Document Access

Website: External Link


Smythe, T.; Andrescavage, N.; Fox, C. (2016). The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan 2008-2015: From Inception through Implementation. Report by University of Rhode Island. pp 80.

This report is one of three marine spatial planning (MSP) case study reports produced by the Coastal Resources Center/Rhode Island Sea Grant College Program (CRC) at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography. It is part of CRC’s broader ongoing research and capacity‐building initiative to strengthen the network of marine spatial planning and coastal management practitioners. The purpose of the case studies is to document and share lessons learned from examples of marine spatial planning in the U.S. in order to build the capacity of MSP and coastal management practitioners. Research was conducted in three locations: Rhode Island, Washington State and San Francisco. The Rhode Island case focused on implementation of the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan; the Washington case focused on the ongoing development of the Washington Coast Marine Spatial Plan; and the San Francisco study became a two‐case analysis of two different Coast Guard‐led waterways management initiatives. CRC has produced three technical reports summarizing case study research as well as a series of shorter publications highlighting key findings.


All documents were developed with support from the URI Coastal Resources Center’s Marine Spatial Planning Advisory Committee members (Geoff Coughlan, Memorial University; Tracey Dalton, University of Rhode Island Department of Marine Affairs; Grover Fugate, Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council; Jennifer Hennessey, Washington Department of Ecology; Edward G. LeBlanc, U.S. Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England; Betsy Nicholson, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and Stephen Olsen, Professor in Residence at the URI Graduate School of Oceanography and Director Emeritus of the URI Coastal Resources Center). In particular, CRC’s project team (Jennifer McCann, Tiffany Smythe, Nicole Andrescavage, Christian Fox, Tom Pavitt and Danielle Turek) would like to recognize the expertise and thoughtful advice provided by Stephen Olsen on all of these products. For further information, please see


The authors wish to thank the RI Coastal Resources Management Council for their assistance in shaping this case study. The authors also wish to thank contributing author Sarah Schumann, and case study reviewers Grover Fugate, Betsy Nicholson and Stephen Olsen, as well as Alan Desbonnet, Rhode Island Sea Grant, and longtime Rhode Island statesman Kenneth Payne, for their time and thoughtful insights. Finally, the authors wish to thank the many Ocean SAMP practitioners and stakeholders who contributed to this case study as interview participants or through their participation and dedication to the Ocean SAMP development and implementation process.

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