United States of America (Washington)

United States of America (Washington)

State of Washington Marine Waters Management Plan

In March 2010, the Washington State Legislature enacted a new law on MSP. Under the new law, the state must: Recommend an approach to marine spatial planning through an interagency team. A final report was submitted to the legislature on January 14, 2011.

The new marine spatial planning law sets out general principles, guidelines and key elements for a plan in Washington. However, the law provides flexibility and adaptability in how to do the planning. The law specifically requires the state to establish a framework for renewable energy as part of the plan. If the state receives federal or non-state funds, the law also directs state agencies to:

  • Compile and incorporate spatial data into current plans;
  • Develop guidance on the operation and siting of renewable energy facilities in marine waters; and
  • Conduct comprehensive marine spatial planning for all of Washington’s waters.



Authority:Washington Marine Spatial Planning Legislation of 2010 and Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972
Lead Planning Agency:Washington Department of Ecology
Financing:US$ 2.1 million in state funds
Size of Planning Area:About 5,200 km2
Time required to complete the plans:Three years, depending of level of funding
Drivers of MSP:Offshore renewable energy, particularly wave energy
Stakeholder participation:Extensive
Sectors included in planning:All
Relation to coastal management:The marine plan will be prepared by the same office responsible for coastal managment in Washington
Relation to marine protected area management:Not specified
Plan approval:Anticipated in 2015
Legal Status of Plan:Will be regulatory and enforceable
Plan revision:TBD
Performance monitoring and evaluation:TBD


MSP activities of the State of Washington