Building Stable Agreements in Marine Policy: Critical Review of the Marine Life Protection Act Initiative South Coast Process

Building on the widely-credited Marine Life Protection Act (MLPA) Initiative, we teamed with the USC Sea Grant Program to conduct a rigorous evaluation of what could have made this “good” process a “great” one. We used a mix of participant surveys, close comparison of the MLPA with case studies from the literature on mutual gains bargaining, and our own reflective observations, to propose several design and process decisions to be considered in designing future marine resource protection and collaborative projects.

Our article in Negotiation Journal, “Creating Stable Agreements in Marine Policy: Learning from the California South Coast Marine Life Protection Act Initiative” recaps the California South Coast MLPA stakeholder process evaluates its shortcomings, and considers what could have been done differently to reach a more stable agreement between the involved parties: