Two recent studies raise new awareness on offshore marine wildlife and the economy of the Mid-Atlantic ocean, respectively.

 

DOE cover 300pxwThe report Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Studies: Distribution and Abundance of Wildlife along the Eastern Seaboard 2012-2014 was released in October 2015 as part of the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies (MABS) project (2012-2015) and provides new insight on offshore wildlife populations. The project was led by the Biodiversity Research Institute and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy and a wide range of other partners, including the State of Maryland.

 

Project activities contributing to the report included boat surveys, high resolution digital video aerial surveys, tracking of focal species, nocturnal avian migration monitoring, and development of analytical and modeling approaches for studying wildlife in the offshore Mid-Atlantic.

 

The goal of the MABS Project was to provide comprehensive baseline ecological data and associated predictive models and maps to resource managers, developers and other stakeholders. This knowledge on wildlife distributions, movements, and habitat use will help inform the siting and permitting of offshore wind facilities on the Mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf. These studies also contribute valuable wildlife data for other management purposes, including conservation and ocean planning.

 

Additional reports from the project can be downloaded below.

 

 

Ocean Economics

 

NOEP_National_Report_2016_Page_01Another report, released in February 2016 by the National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP) features the latest data and analysis on the health of the ocean and coastal economies.

 

This report, the State of the U.S. Ocean and Coastal Economies – 2016 Update includes:

 

 

  • New and updated 2005-2013 ocean economy data
  • New and updated coastal economy data through 2014
  • New 2012-2014 coastal demographics
  • New 2012-2014 marine fisheries
  • New and updated 2011-2014 marine shipping volumes and values
  • Just released federal oceans and coasts related expenditures through 2016

 

The findings of the report include recent figures on the economic value of the Mid-Atlantic ocean. For example, in 2014 Mid-Atlantic coastal counties employed 12.23 million people and contributed $1.8 trillion to the national GDP, a rise of 1.6% since 2010. Of this, $426.6 million came from fisheries landings with $136.6 million of that coming from the Hampton Roads, Virginia area alone, making Hampton Roads the 4th most important commercial fishing port in the United States in terms of landed value.  The Mid-Atlantic also places in the top 5 commercial fishing ports – via Reedville, Virginia – in terms of landed weight.

 

 

An additional report, Coastal States Summaries – 2016 Update, takes a state-by-state look at the many of same ocean economic factors discussed in the main update.

 

Download all reports:

 


 

NOEP_National_Report_2016_Page_01Download State of the U.S. Ocean and Coastal Economies – 2016 Update.

 

This latest update report features highlights from the CBE-NOEP collection of data compiled since the 2014 full Ocean & Coastal report showing the value of the oceans, Great Lakes and coasts of the U.S.
 

 


CoastalStatesSummaryReports_2016_Page_01Download the Coastal and Ocean Economic Summaries of the Coastal States – Update 2016 – These two page ocean and coastal economic summary reports are provided for each of the 30 coastal states with data complementing the CBE and NOEP’s latest State of the U.S. Ocean and Coastal Economies – Update 2016 report.

 

 

 


DOE cover 300pxwDownload Mid-Atlantic Wildlife Studies: Distribution and Abundance of Wildlife along the Eastern Seaboard 2012-2014.

This 32-page publication is a full-color summary of project goals, activities, and findings, and represents an overview of results from the final technical report for the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies Project (below). This communications piece explores aspects of the mid-Atlantic ecosystem; describes our survey and analytical approaches; and presents a range of results, featuring several case studies on specific species or phenomena. Each case study includes the integration of data from multiple study components, providing a comprehensive view of wildlife distributions and movement patterns in the mid-Atlantic study area.


MD cover 300pxwDownload Wildlife Studies Offshore of Maryland.

This 8-page publication is a full-color summary of project goals, activities, and findings for the Maryland-funded expansion of the Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies Project. This communications piece represents an overview of results from the final technical report for the Maryland-focused study (below), and features survey results and case studies on marine mammals, sea turtles, and wintering seabirds. Waters offshore of Maryland’s Atlantic coast are important for many species year-round, including breeding, nonbreeding, and migration periods. Baseline knowledge of wildlife distributions and habitat use is key to understanding conservation and management needs.

 


 

DOE Report Cover Artwork_2 300pxw

Wildlife Densities and Habitat Use Across Temporal and Spatial Scales on the Mid-Atlantic Continental Shelf
Full Report—42 MB


Table of Contents and Executive Summary
Chapter 1: Ecosystem background and project activities
Chapter 2: Synthesis of project findings

Introduction to Part II: Examining wildlife distributions and relative abundance from a digital video aerial survey platform
Chapter 3: High resolution digital video aerial survey methods
Chapter 4: High resolution digital video aerial survey data protocols
Chapter 5: Summary of high resolution digital video aerial survey data
Chapter 6: Recommendations for high resolution digital video aerial surveys in the U.S.

Introduction to Part III: Examining wildlife distributions and abundance using boat-based surveys
Chapter 7: Boat survey protocol for Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies
Chapter 8: Summary of boat survey data
Chapter 9: Monitoring aquatic biomass via hydroacoustics: echo sounding data processing and summary of results
Chapter 10: Spatial association between seabirds and prey on the mid-Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf
Chapter 11: A community distance sampling model to investigate the abundance and distribution of seabirds
Chapter 12: Predicting the offshore distribution and abundance of marine birds from shipboard surveys, using a hierarchical community distance sampling model

Introduction to Part IV: Integrating data across survey platforms
Chapter 13: Integrating novel and historical survey methods: a comparison of standardized boat-based and digital video aerial surveys for marine wildlife in the United States
Chapter 14: Summary of boat and aerial datasets: comparison between survey methods
Chapter 15: Density modeling for marine mammals and sea turtles with environmental covariates
Chapter 16: Modeling species assignment in strip transect surveys with uncertain species identification
Chapter 17: Integrating data across survey methods to identify spatial and temporal patterns in wildlife distributions
Chapter 18: Comparison of boat and aerial models of seabird abundance with environmental covariates
Chapter 19: Developing an integrated model of marine bird distributions with environmental covariates using boat and digital video aerial survey data *This chapter is in draft form

Introduction to Part V: Individual movements and habitat use for focal bird species
Chapter 20: Wintering movements and habitat use of Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) in the mid-Atlantic U.S.
Chapter 21: Wintering movements and habitat use of Red-throated Loons (Gavia stellata) in the mid-Atlantic U.S.
Chapter 22: Wintering movements and habitat use of Northern Gannets (Morus bassanus) in the mid-Atlantic U.S.
Chapter 23: Incorporating temporal variation in seabird telemetry data: time variant kernel density models
Chapter 24: Using state-space models to identify areas of persistent winter activity and their associated environmental covariates in Northern Gannets
Chapter 25: Offshore migration of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) along the Atlantic Flyway

Introduction to Part VI: Nocturnal avian migration monitoring
Chapter 26: Passive acoustics pilot study: nocturnal avian migration in the mid-Atlantic
Chapter 27: Using WSR-88 weather radar to identify patterns of nocturnal avian migration in the offshore environment


 

MD Final Report Cover with gannet_2 300pxwBaseline Wildlife Studies in Atlantic Waters Offshore of Maryland

Full Report—28 MB

 

Table of Contents and Executive Summary
Chapter 1: Ecosystem background and project activities
Chapter 2: Synthesis of project findings

Introduction to Part II: Examining wildlife distributions and relative abundance from a digital video aerial survey platform
Chapter 3: High resolution digital video aerial survey methods
Chapter 4: High resolution digital video aerial survey data protocols
Chapter 5: Summary of digital video aerial survey data

Introduction to Part III: Examining wildlife distributions and abundance using boat surveys
Chapter 6: Boat survey protocol for Mid-Atlantic Baseline Studies and Maryland Projects
Chapter 7: Summary of boat survey data
Chapter 8: Monitoring aquatic biomass via hydroacoustics: echo sounding data processing and summary
Chapter 9: Predicting the offshore distribution and abundance of marine birds from shipboard surveys, using a hierarchical community distance sampling model

Introduction to Part IV: Integrating data across survey methods
Chapter 10: Summary of boat and aerial datasets: comparison between survey methods
Chapter 11: Integrating data across survey methods to identify spatial and temporal patterns in wildlife distributions
Chapter 12: Density modeling for marine mammals and sea turtles with environmental covariates
Chapter 13: Comparison of boat and aerial models of seabird abundance with environmental covariates
Chapter 14: Developing an integrated model of marine bird distributions with environmental covariates using boat and digital video aerial survey data *This chapter is in draft form