The Great Northern Peninsula CMA encompasses more than 500 kilometers of coastline and 60 coastal communities, extending from Cape St. Gregory in the south to Cape Bauld in the north. Traditional industries include commercial fishing and forestry with tourism, aquaculture and oil and gas exploration noted as emerging industries. Issues such as coastal erosion, decline in some lobster stocks, potential conflicts for ocean space among industries has created a renewed awareness among local stakeholders to manage resources in a sustainable matter.
Interest in coastal planning began in 2000 with the completion of a coastal resource inventory covering the area. In 2001, two local REDBs partnered to develop a stakeholder list and conduct public consultations to identify coastal issues and concerns and to gauge interest in participating in a coastal planning process. In 2003, the Northern Peninsula Integrated Coastal Zone Management Steering Committee was formed to guide and promote education and awareness of and improve community access to information concerning the Northern Peninsula coastal zone.