Marine Habitats

Cold-water corals, deep submarine canyons, and a broad, sandy continental shelf are among the diverse ocean habitats of the Mid-Atlantic region. These habitats are home to sea turtles, whales, dolphins, seabirds, fish, crustaceans, and other species and support commercial and recreational fisheries and other important economic activities.

Each of the Mid-Atlantic States is engaged in various types of habitat identification activities and supporting the regional coordination of these activities.

Selected Initiatives in the Region

Documenting Whale Migration off Virginia’s Coast

This project is collecting aerial survey data on the location of large whales off the coast of Virginia. A GIS data layer will be created and uploaded to the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal.

Informing Mid-Atlantic Offshore Canyons Expeditions

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), in collaboration with other federal agencies and external partners, conducted a series of expeditions to survey deepwater canyons from Virginia to Maine. NOAA scientists invited MARCO to help identify priority areas that might be surveyed to help fill biological and geological informational gaps in the Mid-Atlantic. The NOAA ship Okeanos Explorer tested a new remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that explored the deep waters of the Mid-Atlantic region, including canyons off New York, New Jersey, and Delaware.

See Resources for additional information.

Page last updated: March 1, 2014