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Publication #SGEF-178

Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning1

Robert A. Swett2

This two-page, full-color fact sheet describes how coastal and marine spatial planning can assist Florida’s residents and visitors with balancing the many uses and activities associated with our coastal and ocean resources. One example at work in Florida is the Regional Waterway Management System in southwest Florida, an objective approach to waterway planning and permitting based on mapped channel depths. Marine spatial planning has also successfully allowed shipping lanes near Boston Harbor to be reconfigured to reduce collisions with endangered North Atlantic right whales, which migrate northward to feed from their calving grounds off the Florida and Georgia coasts.

Figure 1. 

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Figure 2. 

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This document is SGEF-178, one of a series of the Sea Grant Program, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date December 2011. Reviewed September 2016. Visit the EDIS website at


Robert A. Swett, Boating and Waterways Management Specialist, Florida Sea Grant.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.