Ocean Management

View into the bay from Long Pasture © Mark Sullivan
© Mark Sullivan

Mass Audubon works at the state and national level to advocate for the responsible management of our oceans. Massachusetts ocean waters are biologically diverse, support the Bay State’s traditional fishing industry, and act as natural carbon sinks. In the face of increased development and climate change, oceans need protection now more than ever.

In Massachusetts

We have achieved many accomplishments in regards to ocean conservation, including:

  • Playing a key role in drafting the Massachusetts Ocean Management Act.
  • Serving as the gubernatorial appointee to the Massachusetts Ocean Advisory Commission, Mass Audubon acts as both the environmental representative and Commission chair.
  • Helping to write the nation’s first state Ocean Management Plan, as required by the Ocean Management Act to put ideas into action.
  • Mass Audubon is a founding member of the New England Ocean Action Network, a diverse coalition of organizations, individuals and industries working together to promote new approaches to regional ocean management. Fact sheets on several topics relating to ocean management are available on their website.

At the National Level

In addition to our work in Massachusetts, Mass Audubon has been an influential player in national ocean conservation policy. 

National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes

Soon after Massachusetts adopted the Ocean Management Plan, Mass Audubon encouraged the Obama Administration to do the same at the national level. After forming a task force, President Obama issued an Executive Order creating a National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Coasts, and Great Lakes.

As part of this policy, an Implementation Plan was formed to address some of the most pressing challenges facing our ocean resources, guidelines for which are currently being drafted. The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), a state and federal partnership, is also working to develop an ocean management plan for New England.