To engage the diverse interests in the region and enhance the vitality of the region’s ocean ecosystem and economy, the MARCO states and a partnership of federal agencies, tribal entities and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council have formed the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO). The Committee will convene an annual Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum, as resources allow, as a venue for regional information sharing, coordination and collaboration, and to 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 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 focus on issues that have been identified as holding regional importance, such as:
- Provide a venue for ongoing regional information sharing and coordination about the Mid-Atlantic’s ocean ecosystem and economy;
- Generate a deeper understanding and awareness of state, federal, tribal and regional fisheries management entities’ programs and other activities affecting ocean waters off the Mid-Atlantic;
- Identify and pursue, where appropriate, opportunities for collaboration on regional ocean issues;
- Generate and maintain a list of contacts engaged in ocean planning to facilitate communication across the region;
- Identify ways to enhance federal data sharing and support for the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal to inform ocean planning and management; and
- Engage stakeholders in learning about, identifying and responding to regional ocean issues.
- March 20, 2019: The first Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum was held March 20 at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. Click here for videos and meeting materials.
- May 19, 2020: The 2020 Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum was held as a virtual webinar. Watch the Forum video and read related materials.