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MARCO to Host Mid-Atlantic Ocean Forum in Spring 2019

Posted on Oct 30, 2018

“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.”

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MARCO to provide forum for regional coordination and collaboration on ocean management

Posted on Jun 27, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The following statement was issued by Elizabeth Semple, Chair of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), in reaction to President Trump’s Executive Order Regarding the Ocean Policy to Advance the Economic, Security, and Environmental Interests of the United States   “Since 2009, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) has worked, as a Regional Ocean Partnership, across the five states of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York to enhance the vitality of the region’s ocean ecosystem and economy.”   “Over the past several years, MARCO States have championed major elements of regional ocean planning, including: (1) Coordination and collaboration at a Mid-Atlantic regional scale, (2) Effective engagement with all ocean stakeholders and (3) Public access to best available data and information.”      “MARCO is ready and willing to keep moving ahead as the Mid-Atlantic’s State-led Regional Ocean Partnership to coordinate and collaborate on issues of shared regional concern.  MARCO looks forward to engaging partners across diverse interests to advance shared regional issues of importance to the states, including, but not limited to (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.”   “Over the past several years, MARCO has cultivated strong and collaborative working relationships with tribal representatives, issue-based experts in federal agencies, regional associations and a wide variety of stakeholders. We look forward to hosting a forum to convene continued discussions of regional importance, on Thursday August 2, 2018 in Richmond, Virginia.  The meeting will be held at the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, 1111 East Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219.  Additional meeting details will be posted on the MARCO website http://midatlanticocean.org/ when...

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Report Assesses Mid-Atlantic Coast’s Economic Vulnerability to Climate Change

Posted on Apr 17, 2018

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) today released a first-of-its-kind report at the Mid-Atlantic scale that examines the vulnerabilities of several critical economic sectors to climate change. The report quantifies the potential impacts of threats like sea level rise, rising ocean temperatures and changes in the ocean’s chemistry to communities and businesses in 63 counties and independent cities along the coast from New York to Virginia.   The challenges are especially pronounced in the Mid-Atlantic, the most densely populated stretch of coastline in the country. The region’s waterfront is home to America’s largest city, New York; two of its busiest ports in New York/New Jersey and Hampton Roads, Virginia; and iconic beach destinations that have entertained summer tourists for generations.   The analysis considered the ramifications of both temporary flooding events and the permanent inundation of some areas that would occur if sea levels were to rise by 3 or 6 feet by the year 2100 – two scenarios that are commonly assumed by planners throughout the region. Among the findings:   Approximately 14.6 million people live in Census tracts adjacent to the ocean, Chesapeake or Delaware bays. In the 3-foot scenario, the resulting flooded area could affect 1.7 million people and in the 6-foot scenario, 2.1 million people. Today, 912,000 housing units would be vulnerable to flooding in the 3-foot scenario and 1.1 million in the 6-foot scenario. These include 212,000 seasonal units in the 3-foot scenario and 248,000 in the 6-foot scenario. Approximately 557,000 jobs would be vulnerable in the 3-foot scenario and 974,000 in the 6-foot scenario. In the 3-foot scenario, Delaware has the highest average vulnerability, followed by the counties/cities of Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, New York and Pennsylvania. At six feet, New York has highest average vulnerability, followed by Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland. The region’s major urban centers’ vulnerability to severe disruption increases significantly if sea level rises more than 3 feet.   “No community or business in the Mid-Atlantic will be spared from the impacts of climate change,” said lead author Charles Colgan of the Center for the Blue Economy of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California. “This is not simply a threat to waterfront areas. With everything from jobs to the housing market being tightly bound to ocean-dependent industries, every coastal community, whether beachfront or further inland, has some vulnerability.”   Significant and perhaps rapid shifts in habitat brought about by climate change will challenge commercial fishing and government agencies to move quickly to adapt fishing practices and management policies. From Maine to North Carolina, a 25 percent loss of catch is possible for species affected by climate change, which would...

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MARCO Seeks Proposals for Coastal and Ocean Economy Resilience Study

Posted on May 23, 2017

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) is soliciting project proposals to undertake a quantitative study characterizing the potential vulnerability and resilience of the Mid-Atlantic coastal and ocean economy. The study should consider the ecosystem services that support that coastal and ocean economy, as well as potential impacts to those services from changing ocean conditions.

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Delaware Transition on MARCO Management Board

Posted on Mar 10, 2017

MARCO is pleased to announce the arrival of new Management Board member, Kimberly Cole of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC). Kim will be representing the State of Delaware on the five-state Board. Kim’s arrival comes as a bittersweet transition for MARCO as we first said goodbye to one of our founding Management Board members and former Chair of MARCO, Sarah Cooksey. In September, Sarah announced her retirement from DNREC, where she led the Delaware Coastal Management Program for much of her 26 years on the job. However, Sarah’s passion for the environment won’t stop with her departure from DNREC. Although she retired from this venture she is signing onto a new one at The Nature Conservancy in Delaware as its new Director of Conservation. Join us in congratulating and sending well wishes to Sarah as she continues to inspire and protect the things that we love most. MARCO would also like to also recognize and thank Robert Scarborough for serving as the interim Management Board member from Delaware until Kim was appointed. Kim began her new role as Environmental Program Administrator at DNREC on Jan. 22.  Kim brings over 19 years of work experience on marine, estuarine and coastal management issues from scientific and policy perspectives. She spent the last nine years as the Manager for the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve. Before that she spent eight years as an Environmental Scientist with the Delaware Coastal Management Program. Kim has a passion for coastal issues and looks forward to working collaboratively with the MARCO Management Board. As the new Board Member representing the State of Delaware, Kim will play an important role in representing his state’s priorities in the 5-state regional partnership. We look forward to working with Kim in the months and years to come and ask you to join us in giving her an enthusiastic welcome to the...

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