MARCO Awarded Two Project Grants by Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program

Oct 28, 2020


In October, MARCO was awarded two project grants from the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.


Project Title:  2021 Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Regional Summit


The Mid-Atlantic region is impacted by marine debris that litters its waters and shoreline, harms ecosystems, marine life, navigation, and the economy. This project will support a two-day Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Regional Summit (“Summit”) in the spring/summer of 2021 to increase coordination, discuss current and emerging  marine debris fields, and foster cross-pollination of ideas and networking which could lead to new partnerships in the future. Summit attendees representing researchers, educators, policy-makers from state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations, academia, and businesses will explore regional solutions to decrease litter and marine debris in any of the five Mid-Atlantic coastal states (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) and the Washington, DC territory.  A 2021 Summit will also be a complement to both the update of the Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan and the development of the NOAA  Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Action Plan planned for publication in late 2020.

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO)  states have agreed that reducing marine debris is a priority, and collaborate with each other and with federal agencies, non-profit organizations, and academia through the Mid-Atlantic Marine Debris Work Group. A 2021 Summit has been identified as a priority by the Work Group. This work group was established under the 2016 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan and is led by the Virginia CZM Program Manager in collaboration with MARCO staff, NOAA and EPA.

For more information, visit:

2019 Marine Debris Summit

Virginia Marine Debris Reduction Plan

NOAA Mid-Atlantic Region Marine Debris Program

Marine Debris



Project Title:  Development and Use of Webinars and Surveys to Engage Ocean Stakeholders


As the region’s population increases, ocean uses intensify, and climatic changes bring uncharted changes to the ocean and coast, states are tasked with considering how these changes will affect the commercially, recreationally, and ecologically productive waters of the Mid-Atlantic. The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) will work collaboratively with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VA CZM), Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME) to support outreach in the Commonwealth of Virginia related to construction of offshore wind facilities, development of additional shipping fairways and other ocean management issues as resources allow. Information will be gathered from Virginia stakeholders in commercial and recreational for-hire fisheries to ensure that ocean maps and data reflect local knowledge and experience. However, survey tools will be developed with input from other Mid-Atlantic states to ensure their transferability. This project will be an important continuation of the 2019 fisheries outreach that MARCO is currently conducting, allowing Virginia and MARCO to continue engaging commercial fisheries and recreational for-hire anglers around data products on the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (“Portal”) and other ocean data collection efforts in the region.

One way that Virginia, as a member of MARCO helps advance understanding of ocean resources is through MARCO’s Portal. The Portal is a mapping tool used by decision-makers and other stakeholders to inform siting, planning, and management of uses such as offshore wind development, aquaculture, telecommunications cables, ocean disposal site designation, and more. It is critical for states to reach diverse stakeholder groups, especially those that generate revenue at-sea, to make them aware of current data on the Portal and ensure that the most useful data are included for planning purposes.

The pre-webinar outreach survey tools and the webinars  will be web-based and recorded, and therefore accessible to the fishing industry and ocean managers throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. MARCO will work with state representatives and members of MARCO’s Ocean Mapping and Data Team (which Virginia CZM chairs) to identify what data can and should be shared with the fishing community via the webinars. A final report will consolidate the feedback obtained from the surveys and webinars which will provide insight from the fishing community and other Virginia stakeholders to inform ocean planning in the Commonwealth. The report will also provide recommendations for how to deliver wider dissemination of the outreach tool throughout the region.

For more information, visit:

Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal

Ocean Mapping and Data Team

“New Partnership Will Update and Improve Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Commercial Fisheries Data Products,” MARCO News, April 2020


Share this:

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
pinterest sharing button
email sharing button
sharethis sharing buttonlinkedin sharing button





Share this: