MARCO Ocean Data Portal Updates: Spring 2023

Apr 26, 2023

A number of map products and educational resources have been added to the Portal recently to help inform users on offshore wind planning in the region, Coast Guard port access route studies, artificial reefs, marine debris and more. 

Proposed Offshore Wind Infrastructure: Five new maps showing the proposed locations for offshore wind energy infrastructure such as turbines, transmission cables, and substations throughout the region can now be viewed on the Portal.

Port Access Route Studies Update: The Coast Guard is seeking public comment on an update to its Consolidated Port Approaches and International Entry and Departure Transit Areas Port Access Route Studies (CPAPARS). The CPAPARS includes a series of recommendations and alternatives for shipping lanes, anchorages and other routing measures from the coasts of Rhode Island to Florida, which can be viewed with a new map layer on the Portal.  

Wind Transmission Story Maps: A two-part mini-series of “Ocean Stories” features on the Portal offers an educational look at the basics of offshore wind energy transmission siting. Created by members of MACO’s offshore wind work group, the first installment introduces the planning considerations involved with designing power cables in federal waters while Part II looks at the design and construction process for a cable connecting to two active turbines off Virginia Beach.

Artificial Reefs: The Portal’s Artificial Reefs layer has been revised to include additional and more accurate footprints for locations off the Delaware and New Jersey coasts. 

Balloon Litter/Marine Debris: The Portal’s maps showing the results of surveys for balloon and other plastic litter on beaches in the Mid-Atlantic have been updated with 2021 and 2022 data. Click on any of the beaches for pop-ups containing this information from 2018-22. 

Sanctuaries Webinar Demo: Portal project manager Karl Vilacoba demonstrated how to use the site’s interactive maps to get acquainted with the Hudson Canyon during a January MARCO webinar on marine sanctuaries.

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