Marine Plan Portal

About the marine plan portal

The MaPP marine plan portal, using the SeaSketch application, is a sophisticated planning tool that allows users to look at many different data layers together to learn more about the MaPP study area. The portal has more than 250 data layers including administrative boundaries, species, habitats and marine uses.

The portal is called a “decision-support tool” because it displays information that is used to support, or inform, discussions and decisions related to the implementation of marine spatial plans. These discussions include ways to avoid spatial conflicts between marine uses and activities, and how to maintain the ecological integrity of marine ecosystems.

Explore the marine plan portal

Visit the marine plan portal to get an idea of how we use this tool. You can explore the many data layers, learn about the ecology of the MaPP study area and discover the variety of uses and activities in this marine environment.

You can use the marine plan portal to:

  • view publicly available* spatial data layers – ecological, social, cultural, economic and administrative;
  • read descriptions of marine data and follow links to the data sources;
  • print high quality maps or save maps as images; and
  • overlap marine species with uses and activities to explore potential spatial or temporal conflicts.

*Some areas of the marine plan portal include restricted, sensitive or confidential spatial data and therefore are protected.

Spatial Plans

The MaPP initiative’s four sub-regional draft spatial marine plans were completed in April 2015. You can view and learn about the draft spatial plans in two different ways:

  1. View sub-regional spatial plans under Data Layers – MaPP Planning.
  2. Register to become a guest user on the portal and view the sub-regional spatial plans under Participate – Moderated Public Forum, where you can also run reports to find out more about the spatial zones.

Connect to the marine plan portal.

How the MaPP planning teams used the portal

The MaPP planning teams used the portal to view and overlay data layers and inform the designation of spatial zones. The portal did not replace the use of geographic information system (GIS) analysts or GIS software; instead it gave all MaPP planning team and advisory committee members the opportunity to view the same data layers and spatial information. The portal generated real-time analytical feedback on draft zoning proposals. These custom MaPP reports include ecological, human well-being and governance analyses. For example, reports identified how a zoning proposal overlapped with habitats, existing provincial tenures, and/or distances to marine infrastructure such as ports, marinas, and ferry terminals.

How the MaPP advisory committees used the portal

During the planning phase, the MaPP advisory committee members used the marine plan portal to:

  • view species, habitats and human-use data layers;
  • read descriptions of the data layers and review data sources and suggest new sources of information if available;
  • provide suggestions for additional data available for planning;
  • view high-value areas identified by the marine sectors;
  • view sub-regional spatial plans;
  • overlay spatial plans with other data layers; and
  • provide advice to the process of zone designation.

How the portal is used for plan implementation

During the implementation phase, the marine plan portal is used to:

  • view spatial plans;
  • overlay spatial plans with data layers to
    • report on EBM indicators;
    • develop geographic response plans;
    • develop a protected management zones Atlas;
    • assess cumulative effects.
  • inform potential modifications to spatial plans.

More about the marine plan portal

The MaPP initiative uses the SeaSketch application to view data layers and evaluate marine spatial plans.

The MaPP marine plan portal displays spatial data with geographic coordinates, that is, latitude and longitude, which are available to the public. All spatial data displayed on the portal has associated information (metadata) about the dataset including a brief description, sources of the data and data collection/creation dates so that users can learn more about what they are looking at.

The MaPP portal also contains layers contributed by the marine stakeholders in the planning process. These are password-protected because they contain confidential information for uses and activities that are important for discussions about zoning.

In addition to using the portal to create and evaluate zones, planning teams also use geographic information systems (GIS) for spatial analysis and decision support.

First Nations traditional ecological knowledge and local knowledge were also used to inform zoning. Confidential First Nations data are not available on the portal but have been provided to the MaPP planning teams to create the zoning that can be viewed on the portal.