The MARCO states, and a partnership of the federal agencies, tribal entities and the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council will convene the inaugural Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum on March 20, 2019, from 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. The preliminary agenda is below, and is followed by links to register, a campus map, and lodging options nearby.


(Updated 3/18/19)

Meeting Objectives:   

  • To learn about planned and ongoing programs and activities of states, federal agencies, tribes and the MAFMC relevant to waters off the Mid-Atlantic coast;
  • To review and discuss progress on previously identified opportunities for enhanced  intergovernmental coordination;
  • To identify ways to enhance intergovernmental collaboration and data sharing to support the Ocean Data Portal and development of priority ocean data and products that will address specific ocean management challenges;
  • To learn about additional issues and opportunities for collaboration that would benefit from increased regional coordination;
  • To engage stakeholders and partners on regional ocean coordination efforts that will improve the stewardship and management of the Mid-Atlantic ocean ecosystem and economy; and
  • To collect input provided during Forum for MACO to identify opportunities for continued and additional coordination and collaboration efforts to advance regional ocean planning.

Wednesday, March 20
8:30 a.m.     Registration | Pozycki Lobby
9:00 a.m.     Tribal Welcome | Pozycki 115

Liz Semple, NJ DEP/Chair, Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO)

9:15 a.m.     Advancing Intergovernmental Collaboration and Ocean Planning
Forum Leadership Team: Laura McKay, Virginia; Darlene Finch, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); and, Kelsey Leonard, Shinnecock Indian Nation

Overview of Forum Objectives, response to EO 13840 and Mid-Atlantic Regional Committee on the Ocean (MACO), and MACO’s commitment to collaborate and engage stakeholder and other partners.

9:30 a.m.       Implementation of Executive Order 13840
Deerin Babb-Brott, Principal Assistant Director for Oceans and Environment, Office of Science and Technology Policy
Overview of federal activities related to the implementation of EO 13840, including the federal Interagency Ocean Policy Committee and the NOAA/BOEM Scoping Study on Regional Data Needs and Ocean Data Portals. 
Presentation will be followed by opportunity for Q&A and stakeholder input.
10:00 a.m.    Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal and Regional Data Priorities
Session Leaders:
Nick Napoli, Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal/MARCO; Karl Vilacoba, Portal Team/Monmouth Univ., Urban Coast Institute
Danielle Brown, Gotham Whale
Matt Creelman, US Coast Guard
Stephen Drew, Sea Risk Solutions, LLC
Kim Grubert, MD Department of Natural Resources
Kevin Hassell, NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Lyndie Hice-Dunton, Ecology and Environment
Laura McKay, VA Coastal Zone Management Program
A presentation of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal’s 2019 work plan and data priorities followed by panelist perspectives on their use of the portal and their data priorities. Presentations will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A and discussion with stakeholders.

10:45 a.m.   Break | Pozycki Lobby
11:00 a.m.             Offshore Renewable Energy: Regional Perspectives | Pozycki 115
Discussion Leader:
Darryl Francois, USDOI, Bureau of Energy Management
Anne Marie McShea, NJ Board of Public Utilities
Catherine McCall, MD Department of Natural Resources
Mike Snyder, NY Department of State
Andy Lipsky, NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
Matt Creelman, US Coast Guard
Joe Atangan, US Fleet Forces Command
Jim Bennett, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
State representatives and Federal agencies will provide perspectives on offshore wind energy and potential issues for further regional discussion and collaboration. Presentations will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A and discussions with stakeholders.

12:15 p.m.   Lunch | Pozycki Upper Lobby
1:00 p.m.     Regional Issues Roundtables
Roundtable break-out sessions will focus on federal-state collaboration, ocean planning issues and activities building on previous efforts under the Ocean Action Plan, including information about current work groups and opportunities for additional MACO collaboration efforts. Presentations will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A and stakeholder input.
Session One: Topics

  • Ocean Acidification | Pozycki 204

Session Leaders: Kari St. Laurent, DE DNREC; Grace Saba, Rutgers University

  • Recreational and Non-consumptive Use | Pozycki 205

Session Leaders: Kevin Hassell, NJ DEP; Doug Simpson, US Coast Guard

  • Ocean Indicators | Pozycki 206

Session Leaders: Karen Chytalo, NY DEC; Sherryll Jones, NY DEC; and Cathy Wazniak, MD DNR
1:45 p.m.     Regional Issues Roundtables
Session Two: Topics

  • Marine Debris | Pozycki 204

Session Leaders: Laura McKay, VA CZM and Buddy LoBue, US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • Maritime Commerce and Navigation | Pozycki 205

Session Leaders; Matt Creelman and Doug Simpson, US Coast Guard

  • Science and Research Priorities | Pozycki 206

Session Lead: Joe Atangan, U.S. Fleet Forces Command

2:30 p.m.    Break | Pozycki Lobby

2:45 p.m.     Additional Issues and Opportunities for Regional Collaboration | Pozycki 115
Federal and state representative, subject matter experts and regional partners will provide brief overviews including their perspectives on the issue and the opportunity for and benefits of regional collaboration.

  • Opportunities for Regional Coordination on Sand and Sediment Resources:

Moderator: Tom Herrington, Monmouth Univ., Urban Coast Institute
Presenters: Jeff Waldner, BOEM Marine Minerals Division; Donald  Cresitello, US Army Corps of Engineers, Christopher Constantino, NJ DEP Bureau of Coastal Engineering

  • Marine Life and Habitat

Presenters: Laura McKay, VA CZM Program; Carl Lobue, The Nature Conservancy; and Jessica Coakley, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

  • Resilience and Coastal Infrastructure:

Presenters: Kisha Santiago-Martinez, NY Department of State, Mike Snyder, NY Department of State

Presentations will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A and discussion with stakeholders.

4:15 p.m.               Summary of Ideas for Potential Next Steps and Public Comment
Discussion Leaders: Laura McKay, Virginia; Darlene Finch, NOAA; and Kelsey Leonard, Shinnecock Indian Nation

Review and discussion of ideas presented and potential next steps, including plenary sessions and report out from roundtables. Stakeholders and public will also be provided an opportunity to provide additional comments to MACO.

5:00 p.m.     Adjourn

Register via Eventbrite here.

Agenda in pdf here.

Campus Map here.

Lodging Options here.

For more information, contact Judy Tucker at

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