MARCO News, January 2020

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Offshore Wind in the Mid-Atlantic  

Offshore Wind Projects in the Mid-Atlantic
As offshore wind development in the Mid-Atlantic intensifies, states are busily working to ensure this rapidly growing industry minimizes impacts to other ocean uses and marine life. MARCO continues to play a key role in the process, informing decision-making through its Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal and facilitating open discussion and information-sharing among ocean stakeholders.

Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network
Upcoming Webinar: "State and Federal Ocean Acidification Policy and Action"

January 23, 2019, 11-12PM  

In a joint webinar with the Northeast Coastal Acidification Network, Dr. Beth Turner and Dr. Sarah Cooley will present about state and federal policies related to ocean acidification. Please click here to register and find more information about the presentation content and speaker biographies.

Corals and Canyons Executive Summary Published

Paragorgia bubblegum and Acanthogorgia corals on a rock wall in Wilmington Canyon

Though near to some of the busiest ports and coastal waters in the world, the deep-sea canyons of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean are little-explored. Over the last few decades, scientists have discovered that these mysterious marine canyons are home to an impressive array of corals, sponges and fishes. A team of scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute recently used a ship tethered digital camera system to document marine life in the canyons in collaboration with the Deep Sea Coral Research and Technology Program, NOAA Fisheries Service, the National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and the National Ocean Service. An Executive Summary of these findings can be found on MARCO's website here.

New Content on MARCO Website

Offshore Wind Energy Lease Areas in the Delaware Bay

Over the last three months MARCO has continued to add new and exciting content to its website. The updated "Ocean Planning" dropdown menu now contains a page dedicated to Work Groups and Collaborative Efforts, which links to individual work groups and highlights their efforts. 

An updated Renewable Energy page has been added with a link  to the new  Offshore Wind Story Map

Read More    

Portal Update

A pair of new maps on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal provide a glimpse at which coastal counties' economies are most closely linked with the ocean. Both maps are digitized, interactive versions of maps that first appeared in MARCO's 2018 report "Climate Change Vulnerabilities in the Coastal Mid-Atlantic Region."  Go to the maps here.

US Coast Guard Port Access Route Study
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal team have partnered to create three new maps showing proposed anchorage grounds in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bay areas and a Port Access Route Study (PARS) area extending offshore from Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, to Ocean City, Maryland. All three maps can be found by clicking on the "USCG Proposed Areas and Studies" dropdown within the Portal's Maritime theme.  Read more

MARCO State Spotlight: New Jersey
As the most densely populated state in the nation with significant commercial and industrial areas, New Jersey represents a major load electrical center. However, the state is lacking an onshore wind resource capable of supporting the robust wind turbine generation necessary to address greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. As a result, interest in utilizing the offshore environment for clean energy development has been high in the state since the early 2000's.

States' News and Events
New York's Geographic Information Gateway (Gateway) News

New Risk Areas data layer
New York's GIS Team has developed new (Department of State) Risk Areas for the Lake Ontario coast, data layer available for viewing on the Gateway. DOS Risk Areas were first derived and used in 2012 for New York Rising Community Reconstruction planning carried out in the wake of Hurricane Sandy (which also included communities affected by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee), the areas are a compilation of regulatory flood maps, inundation, and erosion models resulting in Extreme, High and Moderate risk areas.  Read more about the Gateway


Delaware Wetlands Conference, January 29 & 30, 2020
On January 29th and 30th, 2020 wetland enthusiasts, experts and students from the Mid-Atlantic region will gather in Wilmington, Delaware to attend the 9th biennial 2020 Delaware Wetlands Conference. Participants will share the latest in wetland research, innovations to outreach and education, and the progress of conservation programs. To register, click here. For more information, contact:


Offshore wind can provide a clean, renewable source of energy, but activities during the construction phase can potentially affect marine mammals. To collect baseline data on when and where marine mammals occur within the Maryland Wind Energy Area (WEA) off Maryland's coast, scientists deployed underwater listening devices to record the ambient noise levels and marine mammal calls.

Farewell to Kim Grubert

Since 2014, Kim (Hernandez) Grubert worked in Maryland's Chesapeake and Coastal Service advancing, among other things, the state and Mid-Atlantic's ocean coordination and management efforts. Kim and her husband recently relocated to Colorado and Maryland's Coastal Program and the MARCO partnership wish to express their sincere appreciation for her enthusiastic dedication to our shared ocean! Her work in Maryland and with MARCO resulted in stronger regional ocean partnerships and improved data and communications about ocean resources and uses. Kim embraced ways to increase awareness about marine debris, working with MARCO and Maryland communities to help reduce plastic waste - these efforts will benefit our region for some time to come. If you wish to connect with Kim and hear how she is 'seas-ing the day' in her new inland ocean state, she can be reached at

Farewell to Nicole Rodi

Nicole has played a supporting role for the MARCO management board since 2015, when she started at Delaware Coastal Programs. She was an active member in multiple workgroups most notably the Marine Debris Workgroup. Over the last year Nicole has worked with MARCO partners to improve communication and outreach about MARCO's work. Nicole is continuing her career in the environmental field with the state of Delaware working on clean transportation initiatives.

Welcome to Maggie Pletta

Maggie holds a B.S. in Environmental Restoration and Management, with a focus on wetland habitats from the University of Maryland College Park and is currently working on her Masters in Communication and Public Relations at the University of Florida. She began working in the Delaware Coastal Programs in 2014, first as the Education Coordinator at the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNERR), and currently as a Planner IV working on coastal adaptations and ocean planning. This new position is what brings her into a supporting position for the MARCO management board. Prior to the Delaware Coastal Programs she worked for the National Park Service, NASA, Educational Non-Profits, and DNREC's Wetland Monitoring and Assessment Program. When not working Maggie enjoys traveling with her partner Carl (this coming year includes trips to the cloud forests of Costa Rica and a yoga retreat in Mexico), trying new food and drinks, and telling her dog Congo what a good boy he is every day.


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, .  


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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. Footer (L-R) Fishing boat, William Sherman; Diver, Michael Eversmier; Beach scene, Chris Parypa.