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Case Study:

Cost Savings for Connecticut’s Ocean Planning Process

Northeast Ocean Data Portal User:

Connecticut Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection

In Consultation with:

  • Long Island Sound Blue Plan Advisory Committee
  • University of Connecticut

Objective:

To incorporate existing datasets from the Northeast Ocean Data Portal into Connecticut’s Long Island Sound Blue Plan, leveraging regional data layers and related stakeholder engagement.

Related Ocean Uses:

“The Northeast Ocean Data Portal represents a huge savings of time and effort from the standpoint of having data and information already publicly accessible, documented, and displayed. Without it, we would have likely had to dedicate considerable resources to try and develop similar capabilities in order to effectively engage stakeholders and experts for review and comment.”

~ Kevin O’Brien

CT Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection

In Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy in 2015 approved a process for the state to develop the Long Island Sound Blue Plan for its jurisdictional waters. Connecticut’s ocean economy generated more than $2.4 billion in 2014. The Long Island Sound Blue Plan is intended to prioritize the protection of existing marine resources and traditional uses like fishing, shipping, and aquaculture from future conflicting or potentially incompatible activities.

To initiate the framework for the Blue Plan, the University of Connecticut is working with scientists and people who work, live, and recreate on Long Island Sound to create an inventory of the Sound’s resources and uses. Data showing where natural resources, marine habitats, industry activity, recreation, and fishing occur within Long Island Sound will lead to a better understanding of the area and, ultimately, a spatial plan to guide future use of Connecticut’s waters in the Sound.

The Northeast Ocean Data Portal is helping to advance the Blue Plan process by providing managers, scientists, and stakeholders with data and information that will be used to characterize the ecosystem and current activities in the Sound. The data layers from the Portal cover a wide range of major ecological resources and ocean uses such as fish, marine mammals, ocean currents and temperature, submerged aquatic vegetation, water quality, cables and pipelines, shipping, recreational activities, and commercial fishing.

These data layers are already publicly available, documented, and formatted for use. By incorporating these data layers into its ocean planning process, the State of Connecticut is leveraging several years of data acquisition, map development, and stakeholder input, resulting in significant savings in time, resources, and effort.

Connecticut is developing the Long Island Sound Blue Plan to protect the Sound’s natural resources and traditional uses such as commercial fishing.

Stakeholders in the Blue Plan process have access to dozens of datasets from the Northeast Ocean Data Portal including ocean uses, marine life, and the environment.

Northeast Ocean Data provides data and maps for the Northeast Ocean Plan.