If you work on marine life in the Mid-Atlantic and want to learn more about the ongoing work of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body and the state-based Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, check out this webinar next week!
April Webinar: the Marine Life Data and Analysis Team (MDAT) Project
A Marine Life Data and Analysis Team (MDAT) has aggregated a trove of data related to marine life populations, distribution and trends in the Mid-Atlantic and throughout the East Coast. That data will soon take the form of several new map layers on this site and other regional ocean data portals. Join us April 5 at 11 a.m. as project lead Patrick Halpin of the Duke University Geospatial Ecology Lab shares his insights on the MDAT research and the data it is producing. This webinar will be presented by the MARCO Portal Team in partnership with the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC), Marine Cadastre.gov, and NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and National Marine Fisheries Service.
Pre-registration is requested by emailing email@example.com.
Link to notice: Webinar
LocationTo join the meeting:
A few months ago, Tim Dillingham, our Executive Director authored an opinion piece in the NJ Environment News on the National Ocean Policy and ocean planning. We invite you to read this article to learn more about our work on ocean planning in the Mid-Atlantic region. Full Article Here
Everyone needs healthy oceans. But, we do not always have them because of chronic pollution and increasing demands to industrialize the ocean. Our great fish stocks and fisheries, in particular face the loss of nursery areas, destruction from power plants, and new threats from hormone mimics in the water.
Full implementation of the U.S. National Ocean Policy is necessary to address the complicated and interrelated issues affecting the ocean and coastline we both need and enjoy. And everyone can play a role in making that happen.
The Atlantic and its seacoast is woven into the fabric of our lives. Most of us have cherished memories of days on the beach, hours fishing, surfing or sailing the waters. It is part of our family histories and heritage.
Many still make a living from our ocean and bays; the fish and shellfish they produce, or the harbors and ports they provide. The Mid-Atlantic marine economy brings $2 trillion (over 14% of U.S. gross domestic product) into the U.S. economy. In New Jersey alone, recreational fishing brings in over $1.9 billion in sales impacts to the state and generates over 13,000 full- and part-time jobs.
Clearly, there are powerful emotional and financial reasons to keep our ocean and coasts healthy.
Good stewardship of our ocean and coasts demands strong laws and policies, within a comprehensive framework designed to balance many competing interests. However, decisions affecting the ocean have long been made by a multitude of state and federal resource agencies. Unfortunately, we have seen the inability of these bodies to break free of the decades-old, specie-by-species, agency-by-agency decision-making approach. That fragmented process has led to conflict with and mistrust by citizens, industries and even other decision-making bodies.
Amidst that our ocean and coast have suffered.
Implementation of our comprehensive U.S. National Ocean Policy, in part brought to life through regional ocean planning, aims to change the process to reflect what fishermen and coastal citizens already know: our ocean and coasts are intertwined and require a more coordinated management approach based on solid data and local stakeholder involvement.
Ocean planning is exactly what it sounds like: creating a plan for how to sustainably use and protect our ocean and coastal regions. It doesn’t create new laws or regulations; there are enough of those already. Instead, it creates a process that puts all agencies, state and federal, with existing authority to protect and manage our ocean and coastal resources, in a room with stakeholders with the directive that they work collaboratively and efficiently to ensure a healthy Mid-Atlantic ocean for this and future generations.
The Mid-Atlantic States, federal agencies, and the region’s federally recognized tribal nations realize this and are now on track to complete the region’s first ever ocean action plan next year. This is an incredible milestone for our state and region, as the plan will guide future conservation and sustainable use of our ocean and coastal resources. It is also a perfect opportunity for citizens and ocean users from around the region to become involved. Ocean planning, like anything, comes down to what people put into it.
We have an unprecedented opportunity to ensure this plan reflects our input and becomes a tool we can all use to ensure our government is efficient and wise in how it manages and protects our region’s diverse marine ecosystems and the marine wildlife that depend upon them. This group of agencies and tribal nations (collectively called the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body) will meet in Norfolk, Virginia September 22-24 and they are asking us to step up and tell them what we need and if their efforts fit our needs.
In the end, the answer to the failure of current practices and policies is not to keep complaining about what does not work, but to create new pathways to better and more effective management. Full implementation of the National Ocean Policy and Mid-Atlantic ocean planning is one such pathway. As the communities most closely tied to the ocean, we should embrace ocean planning and urge our elected officials to do likewise.
Because the one thing we should all be able to agree on is that everyone needs healthy oceans.
For more information about the American Littoral Society or to become a member, please visit www.littoralsociety.org.
Documents for the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body's meeting March 22-24 are now available. The documents include:
Tuesday the 22nd will be an overview of where the RPB's work since its last meeting in September 2015 and a public engagement session in the afternoon. That is an especially important time for interested parties to come and have their voices, suggestions and concerns heard by the planning body on what the region's first ever ocean action plan should look like.
Materials can be found and downloaded here: http://www.boem.gov/MidA-RPB-Public-Meeting-March-2016/
March 22-24, 2016 at the Baltimore Marriot Inner Harbor at Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland.
All interested stakeholders are invited to attend this public meeting which will discuss draft components of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan and next steps, in preparation for the release of the full draft Plan for public comment this June. Registration is not require but is encouraged for planning purposes.
New policies announced by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council for activities which threaten habitat. The policies can be found here.
Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council via mafmc.org
17 February 2016
"The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has released a series of policy documents focused on non-fishing activities that threaten fish habitat. These documents outline the Council’s positions on five anthropogenic (human) activities: wind energy, offshore oil, marine transport, liquefied natural gas, and coastal development.Productive commercial and recreational fisheries are inextricably linked to healthy habitat. Multiple factors are contributing to the degradation or destruction of fish habitat, such as coastal development, land-based pollution, and dams and other blockages that restrict the movement of migratory fish species and can alter the delivery of freshwater to estuaries." ...
Continue reading the article.
This is an interesting article about the future of offshore wind in the United States.
Written by Karl Grossman for enformable.com
25 February 2016
... "Deepwater Wind has emerged as the leading offshore wind company in the United States.
It is seeking to follow its Block Island project, to be in operation this year, with what it calls Deepwater ONE, 30 miles southeast of Montauk, Long Island. Deepwater ONE would initially involve 15 turbines but the goal is for eventually 200—and their generating a significant portion of electricity for Long Island and southern New England.
And Deepwater Wind is working to follow that up with Garden State Offshore Energy—a joint venture with the New Jersey utility PSEG—with ultimately 200 wind turbines off Cape May, New Jersey. They would produce electricity for New Jersey."
Continue reading this article.
is a project website for the American Littoral Society.
The American Littoral Society promotes the study and conservation of marine life and habitat, protects the coast from harm, and empowers others to do the same.
18 Hartshorne Drive Highlands, NJ 07732