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Have your say on England's first marine plan

Boston is one venue for consultation events launched by the Marine Management Organisation to draft plans for the seas from Flamborough Head in the north to Felixstowe in the south.

The plan covering the sea nearest Boston will be one of the first two of 11 to be delivered for England, and we are one of the first countries in the world to plan across all marine activities.

The seas around England are vitally important to our nation. The UK marine economy is currently worth more than £47 billion annually, and has the potential to increase significantly. Our seas also matter to people and wildlife. Marine plans will inform and guide marine users and regulators, managing the sustainable development of marine industries taking account of local communities and the need to protect leisure uses and the environment.

It is hoped that the reduced costs and increased certainty provided by marine planning will create greater development opportunities leading to increased economic and employment benefits for coastal communities.

Paul Gilliland, the MMO's Head of Marine Planning, said: "Marine plans will be of interest to anyone who enjoys our coastline and seas, or relies on our marine area to make a living.  We want to hear from as many people as possible - from those living on the coast to major developers - and will be holding a series of public drop-in sessions.

"Our seas are facing unprecedented and competing demands, so this is an ideal time for marine planning to begin in these areas, to help meet that challenge in a way that provides for people, industry and wildlife."

The views of all those with an interest in the East marine areas are vital to the plan-making process. As well as offering an online consultation tool, nine drop-in sessions along the East coast will ensure as many people as possible know about the draft plans and have their say.

You can Watch a video on marine planning on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFn0buPVU6A

The sessions will run from 10am-8pm onThursday, August 1, at Black Sluice Centre, Boston, and on Tuesday, August 6, at North Shore Hotel and Golf Club, near Skegness.

You can submit your comments online and read the plans at https://www.connect.marinemanagement.org.uk/consultations/consult-draft-east-marine-plans