MARCO has been working with a project team consisting of the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) and other contractors, to help begin implementing the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body’s action to develop regional Healthy Ocean Ecosystem Indicators as expressed in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan Healthy Ocean Ecosystem Action 5. This Action establishes that a healthy ocean ecosystem indicator monitoring and assessment program is needed to better understand ecosystem changes as they occur, and how those changes impact and are impacted by human activity. Along with guidance from a Steering Committee comprised of Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body agency representatives, MARCO and the project team, a workshop was held on July 19th-20th, 2017 in Baltimore, MD to solicit input on potential indicators and on ideas around how indicators would be tracked and communicated.

 

Prior to the workshop, the project team developed a white paper that was distributed to attendees as background for the workshop discussions. The project team wrote this white paper to provide background information about this action, potential options, and important considerations for decision-making to advance a healthy ocean ecosystem indicator monitoring and assessment program as described by the OAP Healthy Ocean Ecosystem Action 5. To prepare the white paper, the project team solicited input via webinar from a variety of stakeholder communities including commercial and recreational fishing, aquaculture, governmental and academic scientists, environmental NGOs, offshore natural resource managers, non-consumptive recreation, and energy and infrastructure.

 

The final report from the CBI contractors is available on the Mid-Atlantic RPB web site here and includes the white paper as Appendix A and a workshop summary as Appendix B. If you are interested in being kept informed of progress on this project, please contact MARCO Project Manager, Kaity Goldsmith, at: kgoldsmith@midatlanticocean.org.