The ocean waters of the Mid-Atlantic provide a wealth of economic and environmental services to local communities. State and federally managed waters are used in many ways: commercial fishing, aquaculture, shipping, military exercises, sand mining, habitat for wildlife, recreation, etc. The intensity of these human influences and uses continues to increase, creating a new generation of challenges and urgency for responsible and sustainable management. The Mid-Atlantic States are committed to embracing new comprehensive, regional approaches to successfully address these challenges, and to ensure that future generations can enjoy healthy and productive ocean ecosystems.
In June 2009, the governors of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York signed a Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Conservation Agreement (pdf) to create the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO). This Council advocates in one voice to leverage greater state influence on the management of mid-Atlantic offshore areas and to direct federal and interstate actions and resources.
Mid-Atlantic Governors Priorities
Make the region a national leader in the sustainable development of alternative energy in offshore areas.
Prepare the region’s coastal communities for the impacts of climate change on the region’s ocean and coastal resources.
Integrate protection of sensitive and unique offshore areas on a regional scale.
Promote the region’s coastal water quality impairments as a necessary focal point for regional action.
Mid-Atlantic Governor's Actions
(each goal is outlined in detail at the bottom of this page)
Promoting Renewable Offshore Energy -
Reduce the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and increase its energy independence by making the Mid-Atlantic a leader in the appropriate development of offshore wind energy.
- Protecting Critical Ocean Habitats -
Protect the region’s ecologically significant offshore habitats. Starting with the ten offshore canyons, identify measures to ensure the long term protection of sensitive habitats.
Preparing for Climate Change Impacts -
Assess and address the key vulnerabilities of the region’s coastal residents, property, and economic and environmental infrastructure from climate change impacts.
Improving Water Quality -
Support the health of the region’s tourism and fishing industries by addressing threats to water quality
Excerpt from MARCO Agreement -
"The ocean waters of the Mid-Atlantic, stretching from New York to Virginia, provide a wealth of economic and environmental services to local communities, States, and the nation. At the same time, the people of the Mid-Atlantic region are a significant force that influences our ocean and coastal environment. As the intensity of these human influences has increased, they have at times led to significant threats to the health of our ecosystems...'
...Therefore we, the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia, are coming together to advance a regional approach for addressing the challenges facing our region’s resources."