Coastal and marine spatial planning (CMSP) is a process for improving the management
of coastal and marine resources in order to promote their sustainable development.
Sustainability necessitates that decisions be made about existing and future spatial and temporal
distributions of human uses (and non?uses) of the coastal and marine environment.
Such decisions require methods for making tradeoffs. We present the outlines of an economic
methodology based upon models of spatially distributed regional economic impacts to
characterize the social welfare effects of tradeoffs among alternative CMSP policies. We show
how a regional computable general equilibrium (CGE) model of the US northeast coastal
economy could be used to assess changes in the spatial and temporal distribution of human
uses and activities in the US Northeast Region. This work extends earlier efforts to develop a
regional input?ouput (IO) model of the Northeast Shelf LME and to link a regional IO model
to linear models of a marine food web. The resulting CGE model could be used to analyze
marginal changes in social welfare with respect to policy changes and to evaluate tradeoffs
by estimating the socio?economic net benefits of alternative scenarios. We present some examples
of how the model could be used to simulate tradeoffs such as those involving the siting
of ocean wind farms.