Surfrider staff attended a meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) in Dewey Beach, DE. on January 29. At the meeting members of MARCO, as well as the affiliated Regional Planning Body (RPB), unveiled never-seen-before data describing the coastal and ocean areas of the Mid-Atlantic.

The information presented included 3600 different data sets synthesized into a handful of data layers showing the distribution of ocean biota including marine mammals, seabirds, coral, and fish. A separate synthesis of data covered varied human uses of the ocean including fishing, shipping, beach going, surfing, and armed forces activities. The data will be available on the MARCO Ocean Portal website by Spring 2016.IMG_1863

With this new insight into the workings of the Mid-Atlantic region, the RPB should have a solid foundation to build their mandated Ocean Action Plan (OAP), due to be finalized by the end of 2016. Stay tuned for public listening sessions in your state on the Draft OAP in June 2016.