The Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal is an online toolkit and resource center that consolidates available data and enables state, federal, and local users and the general public to visualize and analyze ocean resources and human use information such as fishing grounds, recreational areas, shipping lanes, habitat areas, and energy sites, among others. Developed as a collaboration between the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Oceans (MARCO) and several partners including Monmouth and Rutgers Universities and The Nature Conservancy, the Data Portal is continually updated as appropriate datasets that align with MARCO priorities become available. The Data Portal serves as a platform to engage all stakeholders in the five coastal Mid-Atlantic States, putting all of the essential data and state-of-the-art mapping and visualization technology into the hands of the agencies, industry, community leaders, and stakeholders engaged in ocean planning. EAC provides support to the Data Portal team in several ways: engaging stakeholders to better understand effective data applications, working with federal agencies and others to identify new sources of data for incorporation into the portal, and outreach and education to promote use of the portal in the public, private and non-governmental sectors for planning and decision-making purposes.
As part of these efforts, the EAC team worked with Monmouth University and the MARCO states to conduct trainings for multi-agency state staff to facilitate use of the portal in state level planning and decision-making in program areas including federal consistency determinations, offshore energy planning, and management of martime resources.
Image Credit: Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Oceans