ICOM Publications


2012-2017 Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment Action Plan

The 2012-2017 Action Plan describes the goals, outcomes, activities, and crosscutting initiatives being pursued to achieve the long-term vision of a healthy and resilient Gulf of Maine.

40 years of the CZMA: Impacts and Innovations

The US Coastal Zone Management Act themed Special Issue of the Coastal Management Journal “40 years of the CZMA: Impacts and Innovations” is now available. The issue commemorates the fortieth anniversary of the CZMA with six papers that provide a better understanding of how coastal management evolved under the CZMA and how it continues to grow.

Achieving Ecologically Coherent MPA Networks in Europe: Science Needs and Priorities

This European Marine Board Position Paper 18 presents science needs and priorities to inform, engage and empower stakeholders in planning networks of MPAs across Europe and beyond.

A Guide to Land Use Planning in Coastal Areas of the Maritime Provinces (2003)

The Guide is divided into a series of overviews and fact sheets that cover key land-use planning and related topics, including coastal environments and maritime ecosystems, legislative frameworks for planning, and engineering aspects of coastal structures. It also presents desirable approaches and best management practices.

Analysis of Public Perceptions of Canadian Coastal and Ocean Management Policy and Practice

Conducted on behalf of the Independent World Commission on the Oceans in 1997, this study surveys the public opinion about oceans and ocean management.

A long and winding road: International discussions on the governance of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction

Released by the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relationsthe study’s objective is to provide a comprehensive overview of the discussions carried out under the auspices of the United Nations General Assembly’s Working Group on the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction.

Balancing The Future Of Europe's Coasts

The European Environmental Agency report “Balancing the future of Europe's coasts - knowledge base for integrated management” aims to frame an analytical approach for coastal areas in Europe, and to place this in the context of the new socio?economic drivers of sustainable growth, and the formation of a new integrated policy framework. This framework builds on an ecosystem?based management approach and integrated spatial planning and management.

Baseline 2000: The Status of Integrated Coastal Management as an International Practice

Produced for the Coastal Zone Canada Association in 2000 and updated regularly, Baseline 2000 includes a listing of the ICM efforts around the world.

Best Practices for Marine Spatial Planning: Advice from a workshop organized by the Nature Conservancy's Global Marine Team

White paper report from the 2009 workshop held in Santa Cruz, California. The workshop report includes advice on key issues: geographic planning boundaries; planning scale and resolution; data collection and management; multi-objective planning including aims and outcomes; and interactive decision support.

Canada - Nova Scotia MOU on Coastal and Ocean Management

Memorandum of Understanding signed by the province of Nova Scotia and the Government of Canada on March 23, 2011.

Canadian Ocean Technology Sector Map

The Canadian Ocean Technology Sector comprises knowledge based companies that invent, develop and produce technological products for specific uses in or on the ocean, or provide knowledge-intensive, technology-based services, unique to the ocean.

Coastal Capital: Ecosystem Valuation for Decision Making in the Caribbean

This guidebook that details the steps in conducting a coastal ecosystem valuation to inform decision making in the Caribbean. It guides valuation practitioners, both economists and non-economists, through the three phases of a valuation effort (scoping, analysis and outreach), with an emphasis on stakeholder engagement in all phases.

Coastal Challenges: A Guide to Coastal and Marine Issues

Produced by the US National Safety Council.

Coastal Landscaping Resources from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management

A user-friendly resource to help landscapers and landowners alike make the most of their coastal property, and learn a thing or two along the way.


An information database concerning coastal issues in Atlantic Canada.

Comparative analyses of the OURCOAST cases (ICZM)

A comprehensive review of the analysis of 350 case studies of Europe-wide ICZM practices collected within the OURCOAST project. The report presents the most relevant lessons learned, key messages for Europe, the most limiting factors, and the main achievements of ICZM practices in Europe.

Consolidated Acts and Regulations of Canada

Including the Oceans Act (1996), the Coastal Fisheries Production Act (1985), and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (1999).

Convention on Wetlands of International Importance

The Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971, is an intergovernmental treaty that provides the framework for national action and international cooperation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources. Official documents are available from the Convention.

Ecosystem-based Management (EBM) Roadmap Site

The EBM Roadmap website has been established to provide practical support for ecosystem-based management (EBM). It provides access to readings, case studies, methods, tools, and data to address the core elements of EBM: Nature's Services; Scientific Evidence; Geographic Scales; Ecological Linkages; Cumulative Impacts; Tradeoffs Among Human Activities; Adaptive Management; and a Network of People and Information.

Effective ICZM strategy identified for harbour dredging

Removing sediment from harbour beds to allow ships to enter can significantly accelerate coastal erosion, the gradual wearing away of land by the sea. A new study highlights this damage and identifies a compensation strategy used in an Italian harbour to mitigate coastal erosion as a good example of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM).

European Code of Conduct for Coastal Zones

Officially adopted by the Council of Europe Ministers in April 1999.

FAO Guidelines for Integrated coastal area management and agriculture, forestry and fisheries

A 1998 report from the Natural Resources and Environment Department of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.

Final Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan (2015)

Volumes 1 and 2 of the Final Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan with figures, maps and eratta. The plan provides a comprehensive framework for managing, reviewing and permitting proposed uses of state waters. It raises standards for the protection of the most sensitive marine species and habitats, allows for more community-scale wind energy development, creates a formal role for regional planning authorities in wind energy planning, and outlines a five-year research plan.

From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean

The Global Ocean Commission has released its report “From Decline to Recovery: A Rescue Package for the Global Ocean”. The Global Ocean Commission, made up of former Heads of State, Government, ministers and prominent business leaders, has spent 18 months investigating the decline of the global ocean and has developed a rescue package of eight proposals to restore and protect its natural capital and services. Some proposals are aimed at governments, some at the UN and other international organizations, others at the private sector and even at NGOs and civil society.

Fundy Issues

Fact sheets, produced by BOFEP, the Bay of Fundy Ecosystem Partnership.

Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation

The European Union, The United States and Canada singed the “Galway Statement on Atlantic Ocean Cooperation” on 24 May 2013 at the Marine Institute, Galway, Ireland. The statement represents an agreement to join forces on Atlantic Ocean Research. The goal is to better understand the Atlantic Ocean and promote the sustainable management of its resources.

Gap Analysis Report. Preparatory Action, Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of development of the Arctic.

This “Gap Analysis Report” has been released as part of the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment of development of the Arctic Preparatory Action Project. The Gap Analysis Report was led by Ecologic Institute in partnership with the European Science Foundation, National Research Council of Italy, Sámi Education Institute, and Tromsø Centre for Remote Sensing. The report identifies, analyzes, and illustrates the Arctic information needs of stakeholders and policy-makers and offers recommendations on ways to improve knowledge and to improve two-way communication between information providers and users. It highlights information and communication gaps and major Arctic trends throughout a number of thematic areas and human needs in the Arctic.

Global Warming Publications from the EPA, the US Environmental Protection Agency

From the EPA, the US Environmental Protection Agency. Includes waste management reports, sea level rise reports, reference material, position papers, outreach material, international material, greenhouse gas emission reports, and conference reports.

Good Coastal Management Practices in the Pacific: Experiences from the Field

A 2011 report focusing on 17 coastal management initiatives from around the Pacific. The report is an International Coral Reef Initiative, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme.

Governing The Marine Heritage

The German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has released the report “World in Transition - Governing the Marine Heritage”. The WBGU developed a long-term vision of the conservation and sustainable use of the ‘blue continent', including that all marine zones with the exception of territorial waters should be declared the common heritage of mankind. The WBGU also makes recommendations for action that link up with ongoing political processes. In this context it examines the example of two focal themes: food (sustainable fisheries and aquaculture) and energy from the sea. The report argues that sustainable stewardship of the oceans is urgently necessary

Guide on Marine and Coastal Ecosystem-Based Management (2011)

The Guide outlines EBM principles and thinking, and provides an overview of core elements and pathways to getting started. It seeks to assist countries and communities to take steps towards making marine and coastal ecosystem-based management operational - from strategic planning to on-site implementation

Habitat Lost: Taking the Pulse of Estuaries in the Canadian Gulf of Maine

For information on obtaining a copy, email the CCNB, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea

The Governments of Bermuda, the Azores, Monaco, United Kingdom and the United States have signed a declaration committing to the conservation of the Sargasso Sea. The “Hamilton Declaration on Collaboration for the Conservation of the Sargasso Sea” is part of the Sargasso Sea Alliance – an initiative led by the Government of Bermuda and hosted by IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature), which is one of its founding partners. The Declaration seeks protection for the Sargasso Sea using international bodies that regulate areas beyond national jurisdiction, such as the International Maritime Organization, regional fisheries authorities and the Convention on Migratory Species.

Impacts of Sea-Level Rise and Climate Change on the Coastal Zone of Southeastern New Brunswick

A 3-year study to quantify the impacts of climate change on the coastal zone of Southeastern New Brunswick.

Implementing Canada's National Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities

Canada's first National Report to the Global Programme of Action.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management: four entrenched illusions

Addressing the misconceptions in ICZM. The perspective outlines four illusions associated with ICZM: round table discussions can solve any problem; the myth of the coastal manager; the community illusion; and the positivist illusion. It is argued that these illusions result from unproved conceptual over-simplifications and lead to a naive conception of action that often impedes ICZM implementation.

International Governance and the Regulation of the Marine Arctic

Three reports prepared for the WWF and International Arctic Programme by Timo Koivurova and Erik J. Molenaar.

International Green Economy Report

This 2012 report looks at ways to reduce environmental impact while improving the sustainability of ocean oriented economies.

Lessons Learned from California's Marine Life Management Act (MLMA)

This report assesses lessons learned about the implementation of the MLMA and provides recommendations to direct future MLMA efforts.

Management Plan for the Bras D'Or Lakes

The Bras d'Or Lakes Collaborative Environmental Planning Initiative (CEPI) released a new management plan called "The Spirit of the Lakes Speaks" on 8 July 2011 in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia. The plan is a living document intended to guide decisions and actions with a well-rounded approach to managing the Bras d'Or Lakes ecosystem that acknowledges both Aboriginal and contemporary knowledge.

Marine Planning Handbook

The document provides information on how to advance priorities while ensuring a transparent, participatory, science-based process. The handbook supplements the discussion of marine planning in the US National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan.

Marine Spatial Planning and the Historic Environment

A report prepared for English Heritage titled “Marine Spatial Planning and the Historic Environment” by Fjordr Marine and Historic Environment Consulting reviews the character of the marine historic environment in the light of the conceptual framework of sustainable development and considers the different emphases that animate marine spatial planning. The report also looks in detail at the place of the historic environment in ecosystem-based management, ecological services and socio-economic assessment.

MESMA Governance Findings Outline

The European Union FP7 project MESMA focused (2009-2013) on marine spatial planning and aimed to produce integrated management tools (concepts, models and guidelines) for Monitoring, Evaluation and implementation of Spatially Managed marine Areas, based on European collaboration. An outline of and key points from governance research under the MESMA project, and links to open access journal articles are available in the “MESMA Governance Findings Outline”.

National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan

The United States National Ocean Council’s “National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan” describes specific actions Federal agencies will take to address key ocean challenges. Six fact sheets were also released with the plan.

National Programme of Action Atlantic Regional Team: Management of Wastes from Atlantic Seafood Processing Operations - Final Report December 2003

This report looks for a way to facilitate the assessment of the significance of environmental impacts in the Atlantic Region with respect to point source discharges from the seafood processing industry. On the basis of the information gathered, recommendations are provided for addressing data gaps, refining the sector profiles, and analyzing potential impacts.

National Strategy for the Arctic Region

The United Sates has released this Strategy for the Arctic Region that outlines priorities for the next 10 years. The Strategy unifies Federal efforts across broad goals: advancing United States’ security interests, pursuing responsible Arctic region stewardship, and strengthening international cooperation.

New Brunswick Coastal Areas Protection Policy

Designed to establish province wide standards for the managements and the development of coastal areas. Released in 2002.

New Global Partnership for Healthy Oceans

The “Global Partnership for Oceans”, a coalition of governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private interests, has been launched to address the challenges to oceans management and governance, including over-fishing, marine degradation and habitat loss. The Partnership is supported by several United Nations organizations.

Newfoundland and Labrador Coastal Strategy 2011

The Coastal and Ocean Management and Policy Framework was released in 2011 with a goal to provide long-term strategic direction on sustainable use of coastal and ocean resources in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Northeast Regional Ocean Council Northeast Ocean Data Portal

A user friendly map to help visualize a wide range of environmental, political and economic information.

Nova Scotia Geomatics Strategy

Geographic Information Services at Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, on behalf of the Government of Nova Scotia, has released “Better Informed, Better Decisions: Sharing the Power of Location-Based Information Across the Government of Nova Scotia”. The document is an operational strategy for the use of location-based information and will guide the Government of Nova Scotia's direction over the next 5 years.

Oceans & Coastal Resources: A Briefing Book

Compiled by the US Congressional Research Service, a branch of the Library of Congress (1997).

Oceans Survey: Safeguarding our oceans and coasts through exemplary policies and laws

From the World Future Council this report is the result of an evaluation of marine and coastal policies worldwide. The World Future Council has worked closely with a network of policy makers, academic experts, and international and civil society organizations to present an analysis of the winning policies of the 2012 Future Policy Award on Oceans and Coasts.


The UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education offers a yearly 18-week Online Course in Integrated Coastal Zone Management from March to July. The course allows participants to develop skills in the management of coastal zones by examining the available technical and analytical frameworks. It focuses on policy design, methodology, tools and techniques for coastal zone management and on the special nature of the coastal zone and the demands made upon its resources.


In the ICZM Database, there are hundreds of case studies that reflect successful examples of ICZM approach and tools applied throughout the European Member States.

Overview of Current Governance in the Bay of Fundy / Gulf of Maine: Transboundary Collaborative Arrangements and Initiatives

Prepared for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans by the ACZISC Secretariat and the Marine & Environmental Law Institute of Dalhousie University (2006).

Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy

The Canadian Geomatics Community Round Table (CGCRT) is a collaboration between governments, the private sector, educators and students, professional associations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). A key goal of the CGCRT is to examine common issues facing the Geomatics Sector and to develop a Pan-Canadian Geomatics Strategy to re-position the Sector for future success. The objective of the Strategy is to better meet the needs of, and enable the ever-growing Geospatial Community.

Parks Canada Agency Library

An electronic library containing reports, documents and plans.

Power Sharing in the Coastal Zone - Shifting Roles of Government in Community-based Coastal Management

PhD thesis (University of Cardiff - 2009) by Larry Hildebrand.

Protecting Marine Spaces: Global Targets and Changing Approaches

The assessment was published in Ocean Yearbook Volume 27, by scientists at The Nature Conservancy and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, and demonstrates that we are on target for reaching the 10% protected area coverage target set for 2020 by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in 2010. The authors suggest that we are not on target to meet the new requirements of the revised Aichi targets, in particular to protect many of the ecosystem services that growing coastal-populations require.

Reformed Common Fisheries Policy For The EU

A Reformed Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) for the European Union was adopted in December 2013 which seeks to support coastal communities across Europe by creating the conditions for an economically viable and sustainable EU fishing fleet. It also seeks to ensure sustainable resource management while maximising catches for fishers. The practice of discarding will be stopped gradually with clear obligations and deadlines put in place to allow fishers to adapt. The promotion of sustainable aquaculture also forms part of the new policy.

Reports of the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence Coalition on Sustainability

Browse the archives of the SGSL Coalition on Sustainability for meeting minutes, tools, projects and more.

Review and evaluation of the Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management (ESSIM) Initiative

The ESSIM Initiative was the first integrated oceans management initiative with an offshore focus under Canada's Oceans Act. This report presents the results of a comprehensive evaluation and review of the ESSIM Initiative.

Review of a Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) for the Southwestern Scotian Slope

Review of the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board document focusing on ecosystem attributes and potential ecosystem-offshore petroleum interactions.

Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP) Documents

Documents are available for download from the Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP). The Ocean SAMP is a federally recognized coastal management and regulatory tool. Using the best available science, the SAMP promotes a balanced and comprehensive ecosystem-based management approach to the development and protection of Rhode Island’s ocean-based resources.

Summary Report of a Workshop on Large Marine Ecozone Boundaries in Atlantic Canada

Summary of the 2003 workshop held at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Sustaining Canada’s Marine Biodiversity: Responding to the Challenges Posed by Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture

Released by the Royal Society of Canada Expert Panel, the report concludes that the simplest and best strategy to deal with climate change is to protect existing diversity and to rebuild depleted populations and species to restore natural diversity. The Panel offers seven recommendations for action to meet these requirements.

The Convention on Biological Diversity’s Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas: Origins, development, and current status. Marine Policy

According to a study in Marine Policy titled “The Convention on Biological Diversity’s Ecologically or Biologically Significant Areas: Origins, development, and current status. Marine Policy” an international process to inform high-seas conservation and management is at a critical juncture. Experts have assembled detailed information on 172 ecologically or biologically significant areas (EBSAs), but policy disagreements have delayed further consideration

The Economic Case for Restoring Coastal Ecosystems

The Center for American Progress and Oxfam America released this report which finds that each dollar invested in the three case study project locations returned more than 15 times in net economic benefits.

The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan: Managing Ocean Resources through Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning, A Practitioner’s Guide

The Rhode Island Ocean Special Area Management Plan (Ocean SAMP) serves as a federally recognized coastal management and regulatory tool.

The Roads from Rio - Lessons Learned from Twenty Years of Multilateral Environmental Negotiations

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Earth Summit and the 20th birthday of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, “The Roads from Rio - Lessons Learned from Twenty Years of Multilateral Environmental Negotiations” has been published. This book provides a review of multilateral environmental negotiations from 1992-2012, with a focus on the changes that have taken place over the past twenty years.

The Shipping Industry and Marine Spatial Planning

The World Ocean Council and The Nautical Institute have jointly produced “The Shipping Industry and Marine Spatial Planning - A professional approach” to assist maritime professionals to better understand and engage in Marine Spatial Planning.

UNEP Policy Series on Ecosystem Management

The UNEP policy series seeks to facilitate dialogue on policy issues related to Ecosystem Management. Besides enabling UNEP to communicate with stakeholders, the policy series will also provide an opportunity for readers to discuss issues covered in the featured articles. The Policy Series is accompanied by an online blog where readers can post their comments, ask questions, and suggest topics for future issues in the series.

User's Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from Citizen Science

This guide was developed by Cornell Lab of Ornithology researchers for practitioners who want to evaluate learning outcomes from their citizen science projects. It includes a practical overview of evaluation techniques, tips, and best-practices for conducting evaluations, a glossary of terms, and a set of templates and worksheets to help with evaluation planning and implementation.

What We Heard 2010: Nova Scotia's Coastal Consultation

The report entitled "What We Heard 2010: Nova Scotia's Coastal Consultation" summarizes public input received from May to July 2010 on the State of Nova Scotia's Coast Report and on priorities and ideas for the Province's future Coastal Strategy.

Why Value the Oceans?

The United Nations Environment Program/ GRID-Arendal and the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University discussion paper and interactive e-book “Why Value the Oceans?” which asks a series of key questions on the value of ecosystem services provided by ocean and coastal biomes.

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