MARCO News, Winter 2024

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The MARCO Ocean Conservation Work Group is hosting a webinar with a featured presentation by Dr. Susan Barco, followed by an audience Q&A discussion. During the presentation, Dr. Barco will highlight recommendations from the Sea Turtle Chapter of the Regional Wildlife Science Entity Science Plan.


MACAN's spring webinar series launches February 8th with an overview of "MACAN Priorities and Projects for 2024". Dr. Janet Reimer will provide updates on MACAN's Workforce Development Fellowship, highlight our current research, outreach, and education initiatives, discuss ways MACAN can contribute to mCDR efforts in the region, and share information about our Fall 2024 State-to-State OA Networking Workshop.


A collection of seven acidification-related maps in the Portal’s Water Quality theme were recently expanded to include 20,000 additional sites where sampling is currently being or has been conducted recently in the region. This webinar will feature a presentation by Carly LaRoche, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Virginia in the Department of Environmental Sciences.



Save the Dates & Register Today!

May 13-14, 2024

Lewes, Delaware

Mark your calendars and register today for the Sixth Annual Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum, to be hosted by the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean on May 13 and 14 at The Virden Retreat Center in Lewes, Delaware.  Following two days of presentations and dialogue, attendees will have the opportunity to extend their experience on May 15 through site visits relevant to Forum Themes.  The Forum is the region’s premier annual event dedicated to ocean planning, gathering ocean professionals and stakeholders representing federal and state agencies, Tribal entities, marine industries, nonprofit research and advocacy organizations, and the public.

The free event will feature expert presentations and discussions on topics including climate-ocean action, sustainable ocean economies, ocean conservation and healthy ecosystems, marine spatial planning and data-sharing, and much more.


A call for proposals will be issued for presentations at this year’s Forum. Students and early career professionals will also be invited to participate in a poster session highlighting their work.

More details on the Forum will be available soon. For questions, email [email protected]. Information on past events can be found here.


Save the Dates

October 1-3, 2024

New Jersey

More information coming soon!


The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean is committed to improving and increasing engagement with State and Federally recognized Tribes in the Mid-Atlantic Region as well as those with ancestral ties to the Mid-Atlantic.

MARCO is looking to ensure Tribal members are able to attend as well as present at any meeting in which their Tribe has a vested interest. Please email [email protected] with the Subject Line: “Tribal Member Travel Support Request” if you would like to participate in any of MARCO’s upcoming meetings and require travel support. More information on Tribal Resources can be found here.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) seeks a part-time Administrative Coordinator. The Administrative Coordinator will support administrative and operational tasks that are critical for advancing MARCO’s work plan, including financial tracking, invoice management, and event coordination. The Administration Coordinator will report to the MARCO Executive Director.

This is a 1-year fully remote, contractual position, with the potential for renewal depending upon funding.

The successful candidate will exhibit strong communication and organizational skills required to support MARCO and enable it to effectively deliver its work plan to the five-member Mid-Atlantic States – New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.



Proposed Central Atlantic Lease Sale Areas:

BOEM is seeking comment through Feb. 12 on two potential areas for offshore wind development off the Virginia and Maryland/Delaware coasts.

Offshore Wind Ports:

Find the locations of port facilities that are currently in use or are expected to accommodate offshore wind farm development in the Mid-Atlantic.

Virginia Sanctuaries:

Maps showing sanctuaries for blue crabs, oysters and submerged aquatic vegetation in the Chesapeake Bay and along Virginia’s shoreline have been added to the Conservation theme.

Acidification Monitoring:

View the places at sea, in coastal waterways, and estuaries where the waters are being monitored for signs of increasing acidity.

Additional Updates:

Dive into the latest updates and exciting new features on the Marco Ocean Data Portal! Explore additional enhancements you may have missed.

Watch: Leonard Delivers COP28 Virtual Talk on Mid-Atlantic Ocean Planning

Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) Tribal Lead Kelsey Leonard discussed the history and importance of ocean planning in the region during a Nov. 30 COP28 Virtual Ocean Pavilion panel event. Leonard’s presentation (which begins at the 1:16:30 mark) also detailed the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal’s growth as a tool for deconflicting ocean uses, identifying critical habitats for protection, and educating the public on the region’s Indigenous nations and cultures.

The panel was one of a series of live events organized by the Global Ocean Forum and Plymouth (U.K.) Marine Laboratory in November and December to focus on the theme “Integrating Ocean and Climate Action.” Speakers provided arguments for increasing coordination among ocean-climate initiatives through integrated and ecosystem-based approaches, and presented illustrative cases that underscored and shared lessons learned from these practices. Leonard’s fellow panelists included representatives of the Alfred Wegener Institute, CORDIO East Africa, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N., Nippon Foundation-University of Edinburgh Ocean Voices Programme, OneOcean Flotilla, Plymouth Marine Laboratory, U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat, and Youth and Environment Europe.


Questions? Email p[email protected]



February 29 - 2:00 pm ET

Exploring Our Changing Ocean: Impacts and Response to Ocean Acidification in the U.S.A. A Roundtable Discussion about the newly launched OA Communications Project.

Organized by: The OA Alliance in partnership with MACAN

 Mid-Atlantic regional StoryMap:

"Exploring Our Changing Ocean: Impacts and Response to Ocean Acidification in the US". A collaboration between the Aquarium Conservation Project, the OA Alliance, and NOAA's Ocean Acidification Program, the six regional StoryMaps showcase OA science activities, stakeholder engagement, and responses taking place across the country.


Landmark Research Plan Established for Offshore Wind and Wildlife

The Regional Wildlife Science Collaborative for Offshore Wind (RWSC), with its host entities, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, Northeast Regional Ocean Council, and Coastal States Stewardship Foundation, is excited to announce the release of the first collaborative research plan to guide regional studies of interactions between offshore wind and wildlife on the U.S. East Coast. 

The Integrated Science Plan for Offshore Wind, Wildlife, and Habitat in U.S. Atlantic Waters is a first-of-its-kind blueprint for regional research that includes recommendations for data management, collection, and analysis across wildlife species groups and topics (including marine mammals, birds, bats, sea turtles, protected fish, oceanography, seafloor habitat, and technology). The Science Plan’s recommendations were developed by six Subcommittees comprised of hundreds of experts from state and federal agencies, offshore wind companies, environmental nonprofits, other private entities, and the research community, and were refined by feedback received during a public comment period in summer 2023. Read the full Science Plan announcement.  

Throughout 2024, each RWSC Subcommittee will continue to meet regularly to share information and advance Science Plan recommendations. RWSC will convene partners in the fall of 2024 to strategize and discuss research priorities based on available funding, ongoing research and results, and emerging policy and management needs, guided by the Science Plan. Attend a public webinar on February 9, from 1-2pm ET for more information about the Science Plan and its implementation can be found here.

 To receive monthly notices about these and other upcoming RWSC events and activities, sign up for the RWSC newsletter.



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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, 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: [email protected]