MARCO News, October 2021
MARCO Image Header
2020 Annual Report Published
The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) announces a return to publication of an annual report, beginning with the 2020 Annual Report.

MARCO stakeholders will read about major projects completed and actions taken in its priority focus areas. "MARCO by the Numbers" summarizes the opportunities for engaging in discussion on current ocean issues that MARCO developed with its stakeholders in mind. Wonder who is involved in all this work? Look for the list of leaders, and read about what the work groups have accomplished.
Cover design: Margaret Pletta
Prevent Balloon Litter Campaign Launched – find alternatives to balloon releases for celebrations
Photo credit: Courtney Hale
On October 4th the Prevent Balloon Litter Campaign was launched. The National Aquarium, Virginia Aquarium and New York Aquarium have placed posters, created by the MACO marine debris work group in their facilities to help spread the message of balloon release impacts and alternative ways to celebrate an event or honor a loved one lost. Posters, decals, and social media posts will be shared throughout the months of October and November to promote this campaign.

Regional Ocean Planning in the Mid-Atlantic Region
The NOAA Central Library hosted an October 13 edition of its online Seminar Series focused on regional ocean planning in the Mid-Atlantic and the work of MARCO. MARCO Program Director Avalon Bristow, MARCO Management Board member Mike Snyder (New York State Department of State), and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal Project Manager Karl Vilacoba provided an overview of MARCO’s history, accomplishments and current priorities, and previewed what mapping products are on the horizon for the Portal.

Listen to the webinar recording.
Partner Spotlight: Gulf of Mexico Alliance

GOMA responds to Hurricane Ida with recovery assistance mini-grants
GOMA's hurricane mini-grant program provides funding for projects that address immediate needs after major hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico related to their priority areas: water quality, wildlife/fisheries, natural habitats, and community resilience. Mini-grants support communities and non-traditional partner organizations that may not quality for larger assistance programs.

Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) Update

MACO Work Groups are proceeding with their 2021 work plans which can be found on the website here. In addition to the featured projects elsewhere in this issue, some of the activities include . . .

Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal Fall Update
MARCO made several significant additions and updates to the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal’s Marine Life, Maritime, Water Quality and Fishing themes over the summer and early fall including Port Access Route Studies, Updated fish maps, balloon litter and marine debris, proposed passive acoustic network, and fishing management areas,

Click here for more information about these map products.

Join us Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. for an edition of the Portal’s “How Tuesday” webinar series that provides a tutorial on using Groups and the Portal’s other advanced tools. For details and to register click here.
MARCO Management Board Member Spotlight – Maryland, Catherine McCall
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 Maryland, Catherine McCall.

States' News
Biannual surveys of mid-Atlantic beaches consistently find balloons and related debris such as ribbons. These items can be mistaken by wildlife or even domestic animals as food, or animals can become entangled. Effective October 1, a new Maryland law prohibits anyone over the age of 13 from intentionally releasing balloons and prohibits mass balloon releases - defined as 10 or more balloons. Please visit this news release for more information:
Balloon release litter on beach
Credit: MD DNR

Read the document Resilience Principles.
NYSDOS released a set of Resilience Principles, which are fundamental guidance used to inform planning and projects and foster actions that are more adaptable, equitable, compatible with the natural environment and consider long-term effects. Resilience can be challenging to translate to on-the-ground community efforts. These principles provide a comprehensive and understandable approach for communities to integrate resilience into planning initiatives and project development, resulting in more consistent and proactive decision-making and more resilient communities. The principles are designed for resilience as it relates to responding to the impacts of climate change.
New Jersey published its 2021 New Jersey Climate Change Resilience Strategy. New Jersey’s first Statewide Climate Change Resilience Strategy provides a suite of forward-looking policy options to promote the long-term resilience of New Jersey to climate change. As a framework for policy, regulatory, and operational changes, the Resilience Strategy presents actions that New Jersey’s Executive Branch can take to support the resilience of the state’s communities, economy, and infrastructure. The Resilience Strategy includes 125 recommended actions across six priority areas. Read the report.
Portsmouth Marine Terminal
Governor Ralph Northam announced an agreement for Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy to establish the first offshore wind turbine blade facility in the United States. Siemens Gamesa will lease more than 80 acres of the Commonwealth’s Portsmouth Marine Terminal and will build a facility to produce turbine blades supplying offshore wind projects in North America.
Read the full announcement here. video here.
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,

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: