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‘Zoning’ in the Ocean
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The Connecticut and New York Sea Grant offices are holding a workshop tomorrow at University of Connecticut to discuss the best way to plan for multiple uses of Long Island Sound, such as energy projects, fishing and swimming.

In recent years there have been some fiery debates over what activities should be allowed in the Sound. Perhaps the most controversial proposals were a liquefied natural gas facility known as Broadwater and a natural gas pipeline called Islander East, that would have tunneled under the seabed. Environmentalists, boaters and some fishermen fought against these projects. Neither were built. In other states, such as Rhode Island and Massachusetts, there have been similar conflicts over wind farms.

Now a group of government agencies are convening a meeting to discuss a new concept known as “marine spatial planning”.The long-term goal is to take an inventory of the locations of all the activities that take place in the Sound and when they occur. And to follow that up by coordinating the decisions made by different agencies that govern these activities. Sylvain DeGuise of Connecticut Sea Grant says Long Island Sound is complicated because both New York and Connecticut are involved.

“Each state has their own rules and regulations and laws, but there’s not necessarily a coordination between rules, regulations and laws that would allow a unified approach to allocating activities in space and in time.”

Besides Seagrant, environmental agencies, lobster fishermen and environmental groups are expected to attend the workshop.

For WNPR, I'm Nancy Cohen.