MARCO News, October 2022
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2022 Virginia Marine Debris Summit
The 2022 Virginia Marine Debris Summit was held September 26-28 at the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center in Virginia Beach, VA. This year’s summit organized by Clean Virginia Waterways (CVW) and the Virginia CZM Program focused on consumer debris.

Following years of virtual meetings, including the 2021 MARCO Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Summit, the Virginia summit was held in person, selling out of registrations with 120 people in attendance, including a few attendees from MARCO states.

Credit: VA CZM Program
Ocean Conservation Work Group - New!
Credit: NOAA / BOEM / USGS
With input from stakeholders during the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum, the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) has formed an ocean conservation work group. MACO has the breadth of membership required to address how to optimize ocean conservation and sustainable uses of ocean resources.

Learn about Marine Sanctuaries – Public Webinar
This fall MARCO is hosting a new webinar entitled: Marine Sanctuaries as a Mid-Atlantic Ocean Conservation Tool. During this publicly available and free webinar, participants will learn how the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal can be used to visualize use of ocean and coastal space. We will then hear a case study from an existing National Marine Sanctuary, Stellwagen Bank, located off the coast of Massachusetts. This webinar is particularly timely given the ongoing designation process of a national marine sanctuary at Hudson Canyon.

The Mid-Atlantic ocean and coast support vibrant habitats and unique wildlife, thriving recreation and tourism opportunities, and many different commercial industries. MARCO and its ocean planning committee, MACO, work at the regional scale to inform management decisions by building an understanding of where and how ocean space is being used. This includes but is not limited to wildlife distribution and abundance; presence of different kinds of marine habitats; and human use information like fishing industry activities, offshore wind energy planning and lease areas, and transportation routes. 
Credit: NOAA

Keep an eye out for additional information in the coming weeks.
Partner Spotlight: RWSC launches its website
MARCO and the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) co-host the Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind (RWSC), which has recently launched a new website: Here, you can find information about the RWSC organizational structure, and its approach for developing an Integrated Science Plan for Wildlife, Habitat, and Offshore Wind Energy in the U.S. Atlantic ("Science Plan"). The RWSC is currently convening four subcommittees that are developing the Science Plan: marine mammals, birds and bats, sea turtles, and habitat & ecosystem. Subcommittees are composed of experts from the four sectors plus the research community, and meet about once a month. These meetings are open to the public, recorded, and posted to publicly available Subcommittee SharePoint sites. The new website makes it easy to find links to those SharePoint sites at You can also add any or all meetings to your calendar by going to

You can learn more about the RWSC structure and how your organization can get involved by viewing the webinar, What is the RWSC? Getting to know us betterYou can also download the slides. Finally, to receive regular RWSC updates - about one email per month - please  join the RWSC mailing list
Catch Up on Work Group Activities 
Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN) would like to alert stakeholders to a
Federal Register notice for public comment on the: Draft Strategic Plan for Federal Research and Monitoring of OA released by the Interagency Working Group on OA of the Subcommittee on Science and Technology. The public comment period ends November 12.

Work Groups have posted their semi-annual progress reports on the Work Groups and Collaborative Efforts web page. Read what activities have been accomplished and are ahead for the rest of this year.
Aragonite saturation state in surface water as an indicator of ocean acidification. Cool colors indicate more ocean acidification (lower aragonite saturation). Learn more
Fall 2022 MARCO Portal Updates
The Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal recently added several new map layers to its Maritime, Renewable Energy, Socioeconomic and Water Quality themes including wastewater discharge and infrastructure, marine highways and Ro/Ro’s, Right Whale speed zones, submarine telecom cables, lightering zones, ports by tonnage, Cape Fear anchorage areas, and the U.S. Wind project area.

MARCO Management Board Member Spotlight –
New Jersey, Devon Blair
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 alternative representative from New Jersey, Devon Blair.

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: