MARCO News, April 2022
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MARCO 2021 Accomplishments in Annual Report 

Looking Ahead: 2022 
Reflecting on 2021, I am grateful and proud of all the work MARCO has accomplished and of the new partnerships we’ve built. As described in the 2021 Annual Report, MARCO has advanced it’s work on the four original shared priorities (Climate Change, Marine Habits, Renewable Offshore Energy, and Water Quality) identified by the five Mid-Atlantic states and has made notable progress on several new priorities that we’ve identified as emerging issues; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) and Regional Blue Economy.

As the demand for ocean space increases in the years ahead, I look forward to using our platform to assist stakeholders in the ocean issues that matter most to them. MARCO will continue to work towards the goals outlined in the 2022-2024 Work Plan and leverage existing and new Work Groups and partnerships to facilitate information sharing, identify and address data needs, and engage with stakeholders. I hope that you will stay connected and consider getting involved in the coming years as we implement new projects and continue to advocate for the health of our ocean and coasts.

Kimberly Cole
Chair, MARCO Management Board
MARCO and DNREC Co-host an Oil Spill Modeling Webinar Series
On March 24th and 31st, MARCO and the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) Delaware Coastal Management Program (DCMP) co-hosted a webinar series featuring DCMP’s recently completed effort to model the fate and transport of different offshore oil spill scenarios in the Mid-Atlantic and to assess the economic impacts of those spills for Delaware. The recordings and reports can be found on the DCMP website. Read more
Tribal Lands Data Layer Collaboration
The Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal has assembled a new Indigenous Nations, Communities & Cultures map collection to assist with ocean planning and increase awareness of the region’s deep American Indian heritage and history. The collection contains six interactive map layers, including three based on federal datasets, one published by MARCO, and two created by the Indigenous-led nonprofit organization Native Land Digital, the organization behind Read more
Regional Wildlife Science Entity is now the Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind (RWSC)
As announced on April 5, the RWSE is now the Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind (RWSC). The new name better reflects its multisector work along the Atlantic coast to coordinate science and research related to offshore wind and wildlife, the RWSE is changing its name to the Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind (RWSC). The RWSC continues to be led by a Steering Committee with equal representation from four sectors: federal government, state governments, offshore wind companies, and environmental non-governmental organizations. Learn more about RWSC.
Prevent Balloon Releases Campaign in Full Swing
The Balloon Reduction Campaign was officially launched on March 22 and continues for another month. These four posters were created as an educational tool to inform people about the harms of balloon litter and some alternatives to balloon releases.

Visit to learn more about the campaign and alternatives to balloon releases.
MACO Update: Registration is Open for the 2022 Ocean Forum
The Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) is pleased to invite you to its Fourth Annual Mid-Atlantic Region Ocean Forum which will be held virtually on May 5 and 6. We are thrilled to have watched this event grow into an annual tradition for a diverse range of attendees who share a common passion for our ocean and coast.

We are proud to announce that the Keynote Speaker will be Kisha Santiago-Martinez, Deputy Secretary of State, Office of Planning, Development and Community Infrastructure, New York State Department of State. Ms. Santiago-Martinez will speak on sustainable oceans and increasing equity in ocean planning activities and use benefits on the morning of May 5.

The draft Forum agenda with the most current session topics and speakers can now be viewed on the Forum web page. From that page you can also access the pre-recorded presentations and posters.

Register for Day 1, May 5, 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Register for Day 2, May 6, 8:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal Spring Update
MARCO recently completed several additions to its collections of marine life, maritime and offshore wind data. Scroll below for highlights and click on the links for more information about these improvements.

Updated Cetacean & Right Whale Data: The Marine life Data & Analysis Team (MDAT) has added to the portal cetacean data products that include the latest North Atlantic right whale models developed by the Duke University Marine Geospatial Ecology Lab. Monthly right whale map resolutions have been increased and reflect the apparent major shift in distributions since 2010.
Location of Right Whales
MARCO Management Board Member Spotlight – New York, Mike Snyder

As part of an effort to help MARCO stakeholders and partners get to know members of the MARCO Management Board, the quarterly newsletter has added a new feature – “Spotlight on a Management Board Member.” This month’s spotlight is on the representative from New York, Mike Snyder, Ocean and Great Lakes Program Manager,
New York State Department of State.

State News


In 2006 New York passed the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act. This law called for incorporation of Ecosystem-based Management principles into state decision making. One of the requirements of the legislation, was to “…create an ocean and coastal resources atlas to make information available to the public and decision makers…” New York Department of State (DOS) developed a web-accessible mapping interface that made geospatial information related to ecosystem-based management available to the public and decision makers. The site operated from July 2008 until September 29th, 2015 when it was replaced by OPDCI’s Geographic Information Gateway (Gateway). The Gateway ( is an award-winning online mapping application that, like the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (M-A ODP), provides public access to geospatial data, real-time information, interactive tools, and expert knowledge. Read more


In November of 2021, a workshop entitled “Developing a New Jersey Statewide OA Monitoring Network'' was facilitated by Rutgers University and the ocean acidification team from the NJ Department of Environmental Protection’s Coastal Management Program (NJCMP). The workshop hosted attendees from entities who are collecting OA data and whose partnership would be essential in building a strong monitoring network. The objectives of the workshop were as follows:

• Review the existing acidification monitoring in New Jersey state waters and the current observation gaps
• Collectively summarize locations, time periods, and potential approaches to optimize and expand monitoring in New Jersey
• Discuss required costs, logistics, and next steps needed to develop, coordinate, and maintain a statewide acidification monitoring network
• Discuss strategies for communication, engagement, and partnerships with industry stakeholders

A document summarizing what was presented and discussed during the workshop has recently been made available and can be found here:
Renewable Energy Web Page Refreshed
Learn more about what is going on in our region and what data is on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal on the Renewable Energy web page.

June is Ocean Month. You can celebrate with us by liking our posts and using hashtags like #OceanMonth #OceanDay and #OceanClimateAction or tagging us in your own posts. Follow us now to see some wonderful wildlife photos in May.
Click to view the entire newsletter in PDF.
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, Christie Mazzeo-Pfoertner
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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