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MACAN Hosts its First Workshop

Posted on Oct 19, 2017

After the launch of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN) in the fall of 2016, the Network has been focusing on achieving its objectives, three of which were the primary focus during MACAN’s first workshop held on May 9, 2017 in Annapolis, MD. A full workshop summary is available here.   While all Network objectives were touched on during the workshop, the primary goals of the workshop were to work towards: Providing a forum to share best practices in monitoring and sample collection; Developing a list of regionally impacted species and identify regional research gaps; and Helping to implement the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan Healthy Ocean Ecosystem Action 3 on Ocean Acidification.   The workshop itself had specific objectives developed to achieve workshop goals: To determine key stakeholder concerns and needs regarding impacts to estuarine, coastal, and ocean species and ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic; To initiate development of a comprehensive monitoring plan (e.g. location of sampling sites, timing/intervals, types of sampling, etc.), building off knowledge of monitoring that currently exists, to further understand estuarine, coastal, and ocean acidification and its impacts in the region; To develop an initial list of regionally relevant species that may be vulnerable to acidification; To begin to identify key research gaps to be pursued by MACAN and its partners; and To identify additional information to be provided on the MACAN website.   The workshop began with a welcome by Network co-leads Kaity Goldsmith of MARCO and Grace Saba of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS). Dr. Beth Phelan from NOAA’s Northeast Fisheries Science Center then provided a presentation on the State of the Science in the Mid-Atlantic. This presentation grounded remaining conversations for the day in what is known about the impacts of acidification in the region, so that the remainder of the day could focus on the gaps in regional knowledge.   The bulk of the late morning and afternoon consisted of three breakout session periods for three topics. The topics were: 1. Monitoring Plan 2. Ecological Research Gaps 3. Stakeholder Concerns and Needs   Each breakout session was also supplemented by a flash talk presentation by experts in each field. The flash presentations included: “Monitoring in the Mid-Atlantic” by Dr. Grace Saba, Rutgers University and MARACOOS “Ecological Research Gaps Associated with Coastal Acidification” by Dr. Whitman Miller, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center “Stakeholder Needs and Concerns” by Daniel J. Grosse, partner and co-founder of Toby Island Bay Oyster Farm in Chincoteague Island, VA   These breakout sessions and flash presentations provided significant insight into how MACAN can work towards developing a) a robust Mid-Atlantic acidification monitoring plan, and b) research priorities for the region. MACAN used this insight to...

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MARCO-MARACOOS WORKSHOP: Changing Ocean Conditions Related to Fisheries and Fisheries Management

Posted on Oct 19, 2017

In April 2017, MARCO and MARACOOS co-hosted a workshop to identify and rank means for identifying and communicating the effects of changing ocean conditions related to fisheries and fisheries management in the Mid-Atlantic Region.   Workshop planning started in September 2016, with a Steering Committee selected for its representation of industry, and state, federal scientists and managers, and university researchers. The workshop was co-led by Peter Moore/MARACOOS and Josh Kohut/Rutgers University and brought together 30-40 individuals for a working meeting. Invitees were asked to respond to a Request for Information (RFI) in advance of the workshop to inform discussions.   The Workshop Summary Report can be accessed...

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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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Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan Focus Shifts to Implementation

Posted on Mar 10, 2017

With the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan (OAP) finalized in December 2016, efforts have pivoted from the document’s development toward its implementation. With the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (MidA RPB), the five MARCO member states have begun advancing a wide-ranging agenda of actions that were identified in the Plan. The Plan aims to improve available information and enhance processes to ensure a healthy, productive, and resilient marine ecosystem and sustainable ocean uses in coastal and offshore areas from New York through Virginia. Developed by the MidA RPB – a consortium which includes the MARCO states plus Pennsylvania, eight federal agencies, two tribal entities and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council – the OAP is the product of collaborative discussions that began in 2013, and outlines a suite of actions for improving collaboration on decision making for ocean waters in the region. The MidA RPB submitted the OAP for federal review in the fall after considering thousands of written comments as well as feedback received during a series of open house public listening sessions hosted in July by MARCO.  A response to comments document describing how the MidA RPB incorporated public input is on the MidA RPB website, along with a Frequently Asked Questions document. The MidA RPB also provided information on the final OAP in a Dec. 8 public webinar (click here for recording). In May, the MidA RPB will be among a group of organizations recognized with a Peter Benchley Ocean Award for “Excellence in Solutions” in recognition of its efforts to produce the OAP. Below are some of the actions the MARCO states are advancing in conjunction with the MidA RPB: Healthy Ocean Ecosystems: Plan actions include identifying Ecologically Rich Areas at sea, mapping shifts in marine species/habitats, launching an ocean acidification monitoring network, building a regional strategy for marine debris reduction, and monitoring the health of the region’s ocean ecosystem. Sand Management: Inventory available resources for future resilience and beach restoration projects and improve existing federal-state interactions. Non-Consumptive Recreation: Identify, characterize and share information about measures to maintain the recreational value of important non-consumptive recreational areas and the activities they sustain. Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal: Develop and implement a plan for the site’s continued operation and enhancement. Science and Research: Identify priority applied science and research needs for the region. Coastal Zone Management Act: Continued improvement of collaboration and communication on ocean issues between federal government, states and tribes. MARCO and the MidA RPB appreciate the efforts of all stakeholders and members of the public who provided comments and participated throughout the Plan development process. The MidA RPB continues to welcome comments from the public during implementation. Those interested may email the MidA RPB at any time at MidAtlanticRPB@boem.gov....

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MARCO and MARACOOS Lead Launch of Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network

Posted on Mar 10, 2017

Over the last decade, scientists in the Mid-Atlantic region and around the world have devoted increasing attention to exploring the potential impacts of ocean and coastal acidification. Since this is a new field of study worldwide, it remains to be seen to what extent ocean and coastal acidification will impact the marine food web. As ocean and coastal acidification continues to increase, scientists, natural resource managers, and industry partners will need to work together to strengthen the science of ocean and coastal acidification as a basis for sound decision-making and action. In light of this emerging problem, MARCO launched the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN) in the fall of 2016 in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS). MACAN works to develop a better understanding of the causes of estuarine, coastal, and ocean acidification, predict the impacts to marine resources, and devise ways that local communities and industries can prevent and/or decrease the negative impacts caused by acidification. MACAN is a group of scientists, federal and state agency representatives, resource managers, and affected industry partners dedicated to coordinating and guiding regional science of ocean and coastal acidification. The recently certified Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan called for the formation of a consortium that would guide the development of a comprehensive ocean acidification monitoring system for the region. MACAN will serve as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body’s work group for this task, labeled in the Plan as Healthy Ocean Ecosystems Action 3. MACAN was established to serve as an information exchange and to identify vulnerabilities and research needs. It is a cooperative regional network that fosters collaboration to advance mutually agreed upon goals and objectives. The Network seeks to make more effective use of limited resources by focusing those resources on the highest regional priorities and reducing duplication of effort. A diverse Steering Committee of 15 individuals guides MACAN efforts. The Steering Committee developed a terms of reference document to describe the basic expectations for MACAN and its Steering Committee. These Terms of Reference describe: a) what this Network means to its members, b) why it was established, c) how the Network works together, and d) what principles underlie this Network. MACAN objectives, as expressed in the terms of reference are: Develop a regionally relevant education/outreach engagement strategy and information website Provide an information hub to share acidification resources in the Mid-Atlantic Provide an information hub to connect researchers and share research Provide a forum to share best practices in monitoring and sample collection Develop a list of regionally impacted species and identify regional research gaps  Help address the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Action Plan’s Healthy Ocean Ecosystem Action #3 MACAN is currently conducting a webinar series with...

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