MARCO News, December 2017

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Attendees confer on ways to communicate changing ocean conditions 
Photo: Karl Vilacoba
MARCO-MARACOOS WORKSHOP: Changing Ocean Conditions Related to Fisheries and Fisheries Management

In April 2017, MARCO and MARACOOS co-hosted a workshop to identify and rank means for identifying and communicating the effects of changing ocean conditions related to fisheries and fisheries management in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

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MACAN Hosts its First Workshop
Kaity Goldsmith, MACAN co-organizer and MARCO Peoject Manager, formally launches the MACAN website,, and invites attendee feedback.
Kaity Goldsmith introduces the MACAN web site
Photo: Katie Liming
After the launch of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN) in the fall of 2016, the Network has been focusing on achieving its objectives, three of which were the primary focus during MACAN's first workshop held on May 9, 2017 in Annapolis, MD. A full workshop summary is available here.

While all Network objectives were touched on during the workshop, the primary goals of the workshop were to work towards:
● Providing a forum to share best practices in monitoring and sample collection;
● Developing a list of regionally impacted species and identify regional research gaps; and
● Helping to implement the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan Healthy Ocean Ecosystem Action 3 on Ocean Acidification.
The workshop itself had specific objectives developed to achieve workshop goals:

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Ecologically Rich Areas Workshops Engage Stakeholders
Flip chart notes hanging on wall
Break out session notes       Photo: Kate Morrison
In May and November 2017, MARCO hosted two workshops, on behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body's Ecologically Rich Areas Work Group, to convene stakeholders and scientists to discuss Ecologically Rich Areas (ERAs).  Day-long workshops were held in Dover, DE (May 19) and Crownsville, MD (November 2).  Workshops were conducted in support of implementation of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan action: Identify and Increase Understanding of Ecologically Rich Areas.      

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Healthy Ocean Indicators Workshop
Options for indicators of ocean health discussed by workshop participants           Photo: Kaity Goldsmith
MARCO has been working with a project team consisting of the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) and other contractors, to help begin implementing the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body's action to develop regional Healthy Ocean Ecosystem Indicators as expressed in the  Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan  (OAP) Healthy Ocean Ecosystem Action 5 which establishes that a healthy ocean ecosystem indicator monitoring and assessment program is needed to better understand ecosystem changes as they occur, and how those changes impact and are impacted by human activity. Along with guidance from a Steering Committee comprised of Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body agency representatives, MARCO and the project team, a workshop was held on July 19th-20th, 2017 in Baltimore, MD to solicit input on potential indicators and on ideas around how indicators would be tracked and communicated.

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Workshop Series Explores the Value of Non-consumptive Recreational Areas
Break out groups seated at tables for facilitated discussion
Kevin Hassell, Kaity Goldsmith, Nick Meade, Laura McKay facilitate discussion in Virginia.
Photo: Doug Simpson
In fall 2017, MARCO and Surfrider Foundation co-hosted a series of four workshops throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, on behalf of the Mid-A RPB's Non-consumptive Recreation Work Group, to engage the public in a discussion of the value of important non-consumptive recreational areas and the activities they sustain. Non-consumptive recreational uses represented included surfing, beach combing, kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, and scuba diving, among others. Evening workshops were held in Long Island, NY (September 27), Bethany Beach, DE (combined event with Maryland) (October 5), West Long Branch, NJ (October 11) and Virginia Beach, VA (November 8). 

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MARCO Welcomes New Chair, Elizabeth Semple, NJ Coastal Management Program
MARCO is very pleased to welcome Elizabeth (Liz) Semple of the New Jersey Coastal Program within the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) as the new MARCO Chair, as of July 2017. The MARCO Chair is a two-year position that rotates among the five-member states and is responsible for convening MARCO business meetings, building consensus and providing leadership on vision and programmatic direction.   
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Upcoming Events    
The following events may be of interest to the Mid-Atlantic ocean community:       
  • MACAN Webinar "Modeling Acidification" January 9, 2018
  • MACAN Webinar "MACAN Monitoring Plan Development" February 6, 2018
  • MACAN Webinar "MACAN Research Priorities Development" March 6, 2018
  • Mid-A RPB to meet in January 2018
The next meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body will be Wednesday January 24, 2018 at EPA Region 3, located at 1650 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103.  Refer to the RPB website ( the agenda and to register. Due to federal facility security requirements, all participants must register in advance online.  

Check the  MARCO Events Calendar  regularly for event updates and new postings.

New Resources   

Established in 2009 by the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, MARCO provides a forum for our coastal Mid-Atlantic states to collaborate on shared regional priorities related to marine habitats, renewable offshore energy, climate change adaptation, and ocean water quality. MARCO initiated and oversees the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal to assist the region with ocean planning efforts. For more information about MARCO, visit our website,  


Thank you for your continued interest in MARCO. We welcome questions and feedback you may have, including content for upcoming issues of MARCO News. To provide comments or suggestions, or to join our email distribution list, please click "Join Our Mailing List" below, or contact us at [email protected].


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Photo Credits: Header (L-R): Coral, NOAA-OER/BOEM; Wind turbines, Ralf Hettler; Kayaks, Raul Rosa; Shipping container, Dan Barnes; Schooling fish, Jet Chen Tan; U.S. Naval ships, Gina Addison. Body (top-bottom): MARCO-MARACOOS Workshop, Karl Vilacoba; MACAN Workshop, Katie Liming; ERA  Workshop, Kate Morrison; Indicators Workshop, Kaity Goldsmith; NCR Workshop: Doug Simpson;; Footer (L-R) Fishing boat, William Sherman; Diver, Michael Eversmier; Beach scene, Chris Parypa.