Within the RPB, the Interjurisdictional Coordination (IJC) working group is preparing a list of specific actions for inclusion in the Ocean Action Plan (OAP). The second major working group is compiling mega layers from the MARCO Ocean Data Portal; these layers are combinations of species and habitat data, as well as combinations of human uses, such as shipping, fishing, surfing, and diving. The third major working group is creating the Regional Ocean Assessment (ROA) as descriptive context for the current mid-Atlantic ocean and coastal system.
Each of the working group products will be combined in the draft Ocean Action Plan scheduled to be released for public comment in June 2016. After the public comment period and listening sessions, the RPB will present the final draft to the National Ocean Council (NOC) by September 2016, so that the NOC can approve the plan by the end of 2016. With a busy year ahead for the RPB, Surfrider Foundation supports the valuable work they are doing to help protect ocean ecosystems and non-consumptive recreational use.