Mid-Atlantic Ocean Planning Committee (Mid-A OPC)

The Mid-A OPC (formerly the Mid-Atlantic Committee on the Ocean) is a committee established by MARCO to foster collaboration among states, federal agencies, the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC), and federally recognized tribes, and to engage stakeholders. The purpose of MACO is to enhance the vitality of the region’s ocean ecosystem and economy through increased communication and collaboration.


  • 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.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Accessibility


The Mid-A OPC recently adopted a statement pledging to listen and incorporate information from the widest possible set of stakeholders to better understand and address injustices and inequities in its work. The Mid-A OPC will ensure its work reflects a commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Justice and Accessibility (DEIJA), as well as addresses the needs of stakeholders from a variety of backgrounds and industries.

Read the DEIJ statement

The Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum

Committee members will convene an annual Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum 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 levels of government, federally recognized tribes, non-governmental entities and other stakeholders. The information and presentations discussed and shared through the Forum will inform the Committee and participants about potential areas to take future action, generate a deeper understanding and awareness of member priorities and policy changes/enhancements that may affect regional planning (e.g. funding, data, research, projects, best practices identified in other regions), and identify areas for more intensive coordination.

Mid-A OPC Participation

State: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Virginia

Federal: Current federal participants include but are not limited to the Department of Commerce; the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration); the Department of the Interior through the US Geological Survey, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Parks Service; the Department of Agriculture through the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service; the Department of Defense through the Joint Command, Navy, and/or Army Corps of Engineers; the Department of Homeland Security, US Coast Guard; the Environmental Protection Agency; the Department of Transportation Maritime Administration; and the Department of Energy.

Tribal: Shinnecock Indian Nation

Regional: The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Steering Committee

  • Kelsey Leonard (Tribal Co-Chair)
  • Shinnecock Indian Nation
  • Kristi Lieske (State Co-Chair)
  • Delaware
  • Jessica Coakley
  • Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
  • Wright Frank
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • John Kuriawa
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Aditee Madkekar
  • Bureau of Ocean Energy Management
  • Casey Nolan
  • Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Mike Snyder
  • New York Department of State
  • Roselle (Henn) Stern
  • US Army Corps of Engineers

Work Groups & Collaborative Efforts

MARCO and the Mid-A OPC collaborate with governmental agencies, tribal nations and many other interested stakeholders through a series of specially focused work groups on marine debris, ocean acidification, ocean mapping and data, non-consumptive recreation, offshore renewable energy and Maritime Commercs and Navigation Safety. More information can be found on the work groups page.


Additional Resources

  • Updates – news shared by Mid-A OPC members
  • This framework document sets forth the organization’s structure, goals and objectives, and guides its overall work.
  • This stakeholder engagement plan outlines a range of approaches the committee will take to work and communicate with stakeholders, partner organizations and members of the public.
  • Event calendar – regional ocean planning events

For More Information

Questions or comments about the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Planning Committee may be directed to info@midatlanticocean.org.