It’s been a long time coming, but the Marine Spatial Plan for Washington’s outer coast is expected to be fully completed in the next few months. The Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Committee (WCMAC) will be holding their next meeting on Wednesday, February 15th in Aberdeen to review the draft plan. 

Not quite out of the woods, but there is light at the end of the tunnel…

Marine spatial planning (MSP) is a process for gathering information on coastal and ocean activities and environments, providing recommendations for siting new ocean uses, creating a process for coordinating across all levels of government, and ensuring stakeholder input on new ocean uses in a comprehensive plan.

For more detailed information on the planning process in Washington, specific data, or projects, or to use the interactive MSP spatial data viewer, please visit the Marine Spatial Planning website at

If you follow this blog, you know that we’ve been working on the Marine Spatial Plan as part of the state process for several years now…from securing the funding, to initiating a study on coastal recreation, meeting after meeting, and now finally a draft plan for Washington’s outer coast from Cape Disappointment on the South end to Cape Flattery on the North end. It’s kind of a big deal really, with the countless hours of agency and stakeholder meetings, wordsmithing policy language, reviewing maps and data layers, and standards and review criteria for how future decisions will be made. It makes you kind of scratch your head and wonder how things were done in the old days…taking a comprehensive view of our ocean resources, all of the different uses, important habitats, and basing it around the best available science, while bringing all of the relevant agencies and stakeholders along isn’t easy, but it’s the right way to do it, and that’s why we feel proud of the good work that has been done, and look forward to a solid final plan.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017 9:30 am – 3:30 pm

Location: Port of Grays Harbor Commissioners Chambers, 111 S. Wooding St. Aberdeen, WA

Agenda2 15 17 WCMAC Agenda-2

Draft Outline of the Plan: Draft MSP Outline February 2017

For the Ocean Policy Wonks: DRAFT_Management_Framework_2.2.17_WCMAC_TC

Surfrider Washington Coastal Program Manager, Casey Dennehy serves as the ocean recreation representative on WCMAC, feel free to contact him with any questions or concerns.

All Washington Surfrider Chapters will be hosting upcoming meetings focused on MSP, recreation, and ways to provide public comments on the plan in the coming months. For more info, contact WA Policy Manager Gus Gates. Now is a great time to plug in with your local chapter and find out how you can get involved in this important effort to shape the future management of our coast!