2012-11-29 / News

Films released focus on problems, solutions of ocean planning

In Rhode Island and around the country, coastal communities are working to generate new industries, support job creation, and provide food and services to an ever-increasing population. The nation’s fisheries and offshore renewable energy resources represent part of the answer.

Two new short films – one focusing on renewable energy, the other on fisheries – are the latest in a four-part series that explores ocean planning with practitioners from around the world.

“Advancing the Ocean Economy: Renewable Energy” introduces offshore renewable energy issues as they relate to ocean planning. It shows how coastal communities worldwide are turning to resources such as wind power to support jobs.

The other film – “Ocean Planning: Enhancing and Protecting out Fisheries” – offers thinking from practitioners about how ocean planning could help solve complicated economic, social and environmental issues challenging the industry. In the film there is an emphasis on integrating approaches across multiple resources and user groups.

The recently released first film – “America’s Ocean Economy: Challenges and Opportunities” – provides an overview of ocean planning as a tool for ocean managers and a wide range of partners to collaborate on ways to share and protect resources, such as fishing stocks, shipping lanes and recreational areas.

“Globally, people share the same challenges associated with growing coastal populations and the pressures they are putting on ocean resources,” said Jennifer McCann of the University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center. “Our hope is these films will crystalize for people how these challenges can also be economic opportunities for improving how we manage our oceans for this and future generations.”

“We want these pieces to show people how important it is that we work together to figure out how we want to manage ocean resources for the long term,” said Grover Fugate, executive director of the state Coastal Resources Management Council. “We are all dependent on the world’s oceans for food, income, transportation and recreation, and we need to continue to turn to the water for these assets.”

The film series is part of Rhode Island’s effort to establish a model state program and to help inform residents about ocean planning in the Northeast region. CRMC, with URI and public input, developed the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan. In May, the Rhode Island team hosted an international marine symposium that brought dozens of planners and practitioners from around the world to examine the field’s successes and difficulties.

“Our ocean is getting more crowded by the day with the expanding use of its natural resources,” said Sandra Whitehouse, senior advisor for Ocean Conservancy. “Smart ocean planning makes smart business sense. These films provide insight on the need, benefits and economic advantages for all the ways we use the ocean.”

The films can be seen at Zy goteDigitalFilms. wistia.com/ medias/6cx4kpnvic and Zy goteDigitalFilms. wistia.com/ medias/5gjc6wny4p.

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