National Ocean Policy (NOP)

 In 2010, a Presidential Executive Order established a National Ocean Policy (NOP) to guide the protection, maintenance, and restoration of America's oceans and coasts. The NOP requires Federal agencies to work in a more coordinated, goal-oriented framework with States, Tribes, and stakeholders. 

The NOP also calls for the creation of Regional Planning Bodies (RPBs) to coordinate and implement regional ocean planning with State, Federal, Tribal, and Fishery Management Council representatives. USFF represents the Joint Staff to the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and South Atlantic RPBs. Regional ocean planning is an ecosystem-based spatial planning process for analyzing current and anticipated ocean uses, and identifying areas most suitable for various activities. 

Regional ocean plans can reduce conflicts among uses, reduce environmental impacts, facilitate compatible uses, and preserve critical ecosystem services to meet economic, environmental, security, and social objectives. In practical terms, regional ocean planning provides a public policy process for society to better determine how the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes are sustainably used and protected - now and for future generations.​