Marine Planning
Practical Approaches to Ocean and Coastal Decision-Making

The Marine Planning website helps marine and coastal decision-makers navigate real-world challenges and reach effective solutions.

Solutions for Multi-Objective Marine Planning

Management, planning, and conservation in marine and coastal environments are changing rapidly to address increasingly complex challenges. New approaches are emerging based on practical experience and scientific findings.

Balancing multiple objectives across sectors such as energy, fisheries, hazard mitigation, transportation, tourism, and conservation is among the most important challenges presently facing marine planners and managers. To address this challenge, many practitioners are grappling with implementation of ecosystem-based management (EBM) and marine spatial planning (MSP).

See our new digital marine planning stories from the field!


These background pages describe the need for multi-objective planning for oceans and coasts, and introduce frameworks for planning across management sectors.


The Policy section of this website currently focuses on advances in and implementation of marine policy in the United States on the national, regional, and state levels. The latest addition: Washington Marine Planner

Decision Support

The processes of ecosystem-based management and marine spatial planning can address multiple objectives. These processes can be aided by interactive decision support systems. Several are featured, including the

Case Studies

Here are six real-world examples of multi-objective planning that address energy development, fisheries, coastal hazards, biodiversity conservation, and marine zoning. The latest case study is from Raja Ampat, Indonesia. NEW digital marine planning stories from the field. Click here


This section compiles selected publications and websites on multi-objective marine planning to supplement those referenced elsewhere on this website.

See Also...

MCA ToolkitReef Resilience

See Also...

MCA ToolkitReef Resilience
Header photos: Nancy Sefton (kelp; shore birds at sunset); John Keith (Baltimore inner harbor); Jay Udelhoven/TNC (waters off Gili Island, Indonesia; Komodo aerial view, Indonesia); Eleanor Carter (waters off Raja Ampat, Indonesia); TNC (ferry, Puget Sound); Mark Vermeij/CARMABI (fish and coral, Caribbean); Yudi Herdiana (snapper); andjohan (Copenhagen wind farm); Rich Jacobson (crabs, Puget Sound); NOAA (saltmarsh restoration, Texas; Hurricane Ivan from space); Virginia DEQ (oysters, Chesapeake Bay); Steven R. Schill (St Kitts and Nevis)
Marine Planning     Copyright © 2007-2011 The Nature Conservancy