Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean Update: 2022 Ocean Forum Spurs New Collaborations
With input from stakeholders during the 2022 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum, the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) is scoping an ocean conservation work group and has formed a Transmission Subcommittee under the Offshore Wind Regional Collaboration.
Some of the potential collaborative activities for an ocean conservation work group may include: 1) working with USGS, NOAA and Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program on development of the “American Conservation and Stewardship Atlas” by providing relevant data from the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal (Portal); 2) providing a forum for discussing what conservation means to different stakeholders and what resources in the Mid-Atlantic Ocean could be prioritized for conservation in order to provide for a sustainable ocean economy; and 3) engaging a broad range of users and geographic communities in the discussion. MACO plans to work with NOAA Sanctuaries and the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation to bring more information to the public about deep-sea canyon life through the resources on the Portal.
The Transmission Subcommittee plans to create a curated list of existing spatial datasets that are most important to inform the complicated and costly cable siting process and to identify key data gaps. It has begun to identify some of the physical, biological and social/cultural challenges to siting cables in federal waters off New York through Virginia which will lead to the identification of key datasets. Currently members of the subcommittee represent NOAA, DOE, USACE, NJDEP, DNREC, NYDOS.