MMO Publishes Marine Plans for East of England
The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has published the finalised plans for the East Inshore and Offshore marine areas in England, following approval from the Secretary of State for the Environment.
The marine plans – which provide much-needed guidance for sustainable development in English waters – cover the coast and seas from Flamborough Head to Felixstowe. An interactive tool, the Marine Information System, explaining how marine plans affect an area also went live yesterday (2 April).
Marine plans will inform and guide decisions on development in marine and coastal areas, while conserving and enhancing the environment and recognising leisure uses too. This should reduce costs and increase certainty for developers, boosting economic and employment benefits for coastal communities and beyond.
The first two plans cover the East inshore and offshore areas, with a total of 11 plans covering all English waters anticipated by 2021. UK’s seas have become increasingly busy, with industries such as oil and gas, wind farms, shipping, aggregates and fishing competing for space with each other and with nature. The marine economy is currently worth more than £49 billion a year and has the potential to grow significantly.
Environment Minister George Eustice said: “UK seas are home to one of the richest marine environments in the world and are currently worth more than £49 billion a year to our economy.
“We are making sure that environmental considerations are embedded in every decision about proposed developments along the coast from Flamborough Head to Felixstowe and in our seas out to the maritime borders with the Netherlands, Belgium and France.
“By 2021, marine plans will cover the entire English marine area, supporting an estimated £50 million of economic benefit each year and helping to promote sustainable development of the marine area.”
MMO Chief Executive James Cross added: “These plans are the culmination of years of work by government, industry, environmental organisations and many others.“
Press release, April 3, 2014; Image: MMO