WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Elizabeth Semple, Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO).
“In June 2018, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) stated its willingness to keep moving ahead as the Mid-Atlantic’s State-led regional ocean partnership to convene coordination efforts around regional ocean issues.”
“To engage the diverse interests in the region and enhance the vitality of the region’s ocean ecosystem and economy, MARCO will work closely with states, federal agencies, and tribal nations in the region to convene a Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Forum. The Forum will focus on issues of importance to MARCO, state, federal and tribal partners, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) and other ocean stakeholders.”
“The Forum will provide a venue for regional information sharing, coordination, and collaboration, and enhance the region’s ability to leverage existing efforts and information across multiple state and federal government agencies, federally-recognized tribes, non-governmental entities and ocean stakeholders. The Forum  organizers will identify and discuss existing and forthcoming challenges to the Mid-Atlantic’s ocean ecosystem and economy along with opportunities to collaborate, consistent with each entity’s mission and priorities.”
“MARCO and other Forum organizers will start by focusing on issues that have already been identified as regional issues of importance, including:(1) the collection and analysis of marine life and habitat data including shifts in ocean species distributions, (2) the reduction and prevention of marine debris, (3) the development of indicators to measure ocean health, (4) increased consideration of the importance of non-consumptive recreation, (5) on-going dialogues on offshore renewable energy, coastal resilience and the beneficial reuse of sand resources, (6) the continued development of a comprehensive ocean acidification monitoring network and research plan, and (7) continued operations, maintenance and updating of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal.”
“The first meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum is being planned for Spring 2019. Additional meeting details will be posted on the MARCO website https://www.midatlanticocean.org/  when available.”

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