Bathymetric Dataset Released for Vicinity of New York and New Jersey

Now available on the Multibeam Sonar Surveys page is a dataset covering areas around New York and New Jersey. The areas in the newly released dataset are shown in orange on the map (right), while green indicates other multibeam sonar surveys available for download. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) conducted the survey in 2012 in response to Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent closure of New York harbor and approaches. To access the dataset, select “NY Harbor and Approaches” in the survey...

Centralized Source of Eelgrass Maps and Data for the Northeast

Northeast Ocean Data announces the release of a centralized source of eelgrass maps and data for the northeastern United States. Eelgrass (Zostera marina) is a flowering underwater plant that provides food and shelter for a great variety of commercially and recreationally important fish and shellfish and their prey. The presence of eelgrass is an important consideration for a variety of coastal and ocean management activities. To assist with regional planning efforts, Northeast Ocean Data has compiled eelgrass data from state surveys into a single, centralized source. This is the first time these datasets have been compiled on a regional scale and made available online. Features of the Eelgrass Resource Page An interactive map shows eelgrass coverage based on available recent data for Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. An interactive map of past eelgrass surveys shows eelgrass in selected places from studies as early as the mid-1800s. A directory provides links to other sources of eelgrass data and information. The Northeast Data Working Group developed the eelgrass resource page collaboratively with state agencies and a group of eelgrass...

Coastal Tribal Lands Map Added to Northeast Ocean Data

Now available in the Data Explorer mapping tool is a data set obtained from the Bureau of Indian Affairs that depicts American Indian Reservations (AIR), Federally Recognized Tribal Entities (FRTE), Public Domain Allotments (PDAs), and off-reservation trust lands. It includes selected demographics and other associated data. This is not a complete collection of tribal lands, nor are the locations to be considered exact. The presence and location of the tribal lands have been derived from multiple sources. These data are intended for coastal and ocean...

Commercial Vessel Traffic Map Updated with 2013 Data

Commercial Vessel Traffic Map Updated with 2013 Data November 6, 2015 Northeast Ocean Data is pleased to announce the release of 2013 data on commercial vessel traffic in the northeastern United States. The dataset includes five categories of vessel traffic: All vessels Cargo vessels Passenger vessels Tanker vessels Tug-and-tow vessels The new data, along with data for 2011 and 2012, are mapped in the Marine Transportation viewer (previously called Maritime Commerce) and the Data Explorer.  Northeast Ocean Data’s commercial traffic datasets are based on raw Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) data provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. AIS are navigation safety devices that monitor and transmit the locations and characteristics of vessels in U.S. and international waters. All vessels 300 gross tons and above (except military) are required by the International Maritime Organization to carry an AIS transponder. The raw data were processed courtesy of the USCG and the BOEM/NOAA Marine Cadastre project. We developed the 2013 AIS data products using the same methodology and format as the previously available 2011 and 2012 AIS data. All three years of data are available for download on the Data Download page under the Marine Transportation section. These data products were informed and reviewed by the port and shipping sectors and the USCG during outreach conducted from New York to Maine in early 2015. More information is available through the Northeast Ocean Planning website and the final report summarizing outreach to the shipping and ports...

Energy Map Updated Following Lease Sale of Portions of the Massachusetts Wind Planning Area

Northeast Ocean Data’s interactive map of Renewable Energy Planning Areas has been updated to reflect the lease sale of portions of the Massachusetts Wind Energy Area. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) conducted a competitive auction for leases on January 29, 2015. RES America Developments, Inc., and Offshore MW LLC were the provisional winners of Lease Area OCS-A 0500 (187,523 acres) and OCS-A 0501 (166,886 acres), respectively, nearly doubling the acreage leased for wind energy through competitive...

EPA Beach Advisory and Closing Online Notification (BEACON) System Map

Now available in the Data Explorer is a map layer of beaches designated under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Beach Advisory and Closing Online Notification system (BEACON). BEACON is a national database that contains beach monitoring and notification data reported by states, territories, and tribes. It provides advisory or closing information based on water quality or other environmental conditions. While this layer contains many beaches at municipal, state, and federal levels, some beaches may not be included since they are not a part of BEACON....

Maps Show Predicted Habitats of Deep-Sea Corals in the Northeast

The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group is pleased to announce the release of maps showing predicted habitats of deep-sea corals in the northeastern United States. In this region, deep-sea corals live at depths of approximately 150 feet to greater than 6,500 feet on the continental shelf and slope. Little is known about deep-sea corals, which are of particular conservation concern because of their slow growth rates and vulnerability to disturbance. Scientists are still discovering new sites in the Northeast where deep-sea corals live, and additional locations as yet unknown are assumed to exist. To assist with management and conservation efforts, NOAA scientists developed a model that predicts coral habitats across the region based on the environmental and oceanographic characteristics — such as depth, temperature, and salinity — of known locations of deep-sea corals. The maps available on northeastoceandata.org show the predicted habitat areas for eight biological groups of corals. Colors on the maps indicate areas ranging from low to very high suitability. The coral habitat data were provided to Northeast Ocean Data by NOAA through the Marine Cadastre. Predictive modeling of deep-sea coral habitat can aid conservation planning, inform management of offshore activities affecting the seafloor, and guide exploration. Modeling can also lend insights into the environmental factors that determine where deep-sea corals live, helping to build scientific knowledge of how these unique ecosystems function. Predicted Habitats for Deep-Sea Corals Alcyonaceaimage preview | live map Gorgonian Alcyonaceaimage preview | live map Non-Gorgonian Alcyonaceaimage preview | live map Pennatulaceaimage preview | live map Pennatulacea Sessilifloraeimage preview | live map Pennatulacea Subsessilifloraeimage preview | live map Scleractinia Caryophyliidaeimage preview | live map Scleractinia Flabellidaeimage preview | live...

More People Are Using Northeast Ocean Data

From February through July 2013, the number of unique visitors to northeastoceandata.org increased fivefold, while the number of pages viewed rose more than sixfold. Forty-three percent of visits lasted more than five minutes, including 23% lasting more than half an hour. Welcome to all new users, and welcome back to repeat visitors. Tell us how you are using Northeast Ocean...

National Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning Workshop

The National Ocean Council held a National Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) Workshop in Washington, DC, on June 21-23, 2011. The first day of the Workshop was a dedicated public and stakeholder session, which was available through a live webcast. Click here for the draft agenda. The National Workshop, as called for in the National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, Our Coasts, and the Great Lakes, brought together federal, state, tribal, and regional representatives to develop an understanding of the CMSP process, begin to build a community of future CMSP practitioners, and consider next steps for regional implementation. Gathering public feedback through this workshop was a critical step toward implementing a National Ocean Policy, as established by Executive Order under President Obama. After this national session, regional workshops were planned to provide additional opportunities for public...

National Park Service Boundaries Now Available on Northeast Ocean Data

The Data Explorer now includes a map layer for the National Park Service’s Current Administrative Boundaries of the National Park System. This layer is provided via a service from the National Park Service and contains current boundaries for National Parks, historic sites, memorials, monuments, and other features. The map is updated automatically on Northeast Ocean Data whenever the National Park Service updates the...

New and Updated Data on Shipping Activity and Shellfish Habitat

The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group announces the release of new and updated data on commercial vessel activity, bird habitat and nesting sites, marine mammal habitat, and shellfish habitat. 2012 SHIPPING ACTIVITY Data on commercial vessel activity are now available for 2012, adding to the data for 2011 that were released last fall. The maps show traffic density for four categories of vessels: cargo, passenger, tug and tow, and tanker. A fifth dataset shows traffic of all four vessel categories on a single map. The datasets are derived from Automatic Identification System (AIS) data. AIS are navigation safety devices that monitor and transmit the locations and characteristics of vessels in U.S. and international waters. All vessels 300 gross tons and above (except military) are required by the International Maritime Organization to carry an AIS transponder. We derived vessel track lines from raw AIS data provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. (courtesy of MarineCadastre.gov) All Vessels (2012) image preview Cargo Vessels (2012) image preview Passenger Vessels (2012) image preview Tug and Tow Vessels (2012) image preview Tankers (2012) image preview SHELLFISH HABITAT The shellfish habitat dataset now includes New Hampshire, and the data for Maine and Massachusetts have been updated. The maps display shellfish habitat for oysters (American oyster, Eastern oyster, European oyster), clams (Atlantic surf clam, ocean quahog, quahog, razor clam, soft-shell clam), blue mussel, and scallops (bay scallop and sea scallop). Data for Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York will be added when they are available. Shellfish Habitat image preview | live map UPDATED DATA FROM NOAA’S ENVIRONMENTAL SENSITIVITY INDEX We have updated the datasets on bird nesting...

New Centralized Source of Bathymetry Data

Northeast Ocean Data announces the release of a new centralized source of bathymetry data for the northeastern United States. Bathymetry is the measurement of water depth and the shape of seafloor terrain. Just as topographic maps represent the three-dimensional features of dry land, bathymetric maps illustrate the land that lies underwater. The new bathymetry resource page offers: data from more than 100 seafloor mapping surveys conducted with multibeam sonar, an inventory of multibeam surveys that have been planned or conducted but for which data are not yet available, a gallery featuring selected bathymetric mapping products, and a directory of additional bathymetry data...

New Data on Shipping Activity, Boating, Energy Infrastructure, and Navigation

Now available in the Northeast Ocean Data Viewer are eleven new datasets on commercial vessel activity, recreational boating, energy transmission infrastructure, and navigation areas. SHIPPING ACTIVITY Five datasets on commercial vessel traffic are derived from Automatic Identification System (AIS) data collected in 2011. The maps show vessel traffic density in four categories of vessels: cargo, passenger, tug and tow, and tanker. The fifth dataset shows traffic of all vessel types on a single map. (courtesy of the MarineCadastre.gov) All Vessels image preview Cargo Vessels image preview Passenger Vessels image preview Tug and Tow Vessels image preview Tankers image preview BOATING Two datasets on recreational boating come from the 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey, which collected detailed spatial and economic information on marine recreational boating in federal and state waters from Maine to New York. The datasets display recreational boating routes and locations of recreational activities such as fishing, diving, and wildlife viewing as plotted by survey participants. These two layers will complement the previously released recreational boater route density dataset, which is now available for download. With this update, the complete set of spatial data provided by this survey is now accessible through the Data Viewer and the Data Download page. Recreational Boating Routes image preview Recreational Boating Activities image preview ENERGY INFRASTRUCTURE A pair of electric transmission datasets show the locations of substations and power lines. (courtesy of the MarineCadastre.gov) Electrical Transmission Substations image preview Electrical Transmission Lines image preview NAVIGATION The marine transportation datasets now include maintained channels, and danger zones and restricted areas. (courtesy of the MarineCadastre.gov) Maintained Channels image preview Danger Zones and Restricted Areas...

New Interactive Maps of Water Quality in the Northeast

Northeast Ocean Data announces the release of easy-to-use interactive maps of water quality data for the northeastern states from New York to Maine. Based on data provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the maps display No Discharge Zones, impaired waters, and wastewater discharges. Also shown on the maps are boundaries of watersheds and subwatersheds in the region. To view the water quality maps, go to northeastoceandata.org/maps/water-quality. NO DISCHARGE ZONES Section 312 of the Clean Water Act authorizes states to establish No Discharge Zones where the discharge of sewage, treated or untreated, from commercial and recreational vessels is prohibited, and EPA to approve them based on its determination that there are sufficient sewage pump-out facilities to serve the area’s boating population. The Northeast Ocean Data map shows EPA’s Region 1 and 2 No Discharge Zones, including final and proposed No Discharge Zones. No Discharge Zones image preview | live map IMPAIRED WATERS Under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act, states are required to identify rivers, coastlines, lakes, and other water bodies where existing pollution controls are not sufficient to meet water quality standards. The states must establish protocols to improve water quality in those areas. The water quality map on NortheastOceanData.org shows all 303(d) impaired waters in the region. Website users can click on a watershed to see the impaired waters and then click on an impaired waters feature to view a detailed report. Impaired Waters image preview | live map WASTEWATER DISCHARGES Section 402 of the Clean Water Act established the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which authorizes EPA and delegated states to issue permits...

New Map of Lakes, Estuaries, Rivers, and Coastlines for Which Pollution Budgets (TMDLs) Have Been Set

The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group is pleased to announce that the water quality map now shows water bodies for which a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) has been established. The TMDL sites shown on the map are based on a data service (last updated in August 2014) hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Federal Clean Water Act requires states to identify water bodies where existing pollution controls are not sufficient to meet water quality standards and to develop a “pollution budget” designed to restore the health of the impaired body of water. This budget, generally referred to as a TMDL, reflects the maximum amount of the pollutant that can be discharged to a specific water body to meet water quality standards. Water bodies may be impaired for more than one pollutant, and each pollutant requires its own TMDL. The objective of a TMDL is to design an implementation plan to restore impaired water bodies. TMDL sites appear on the map only when zoomed in on a small geographic area. Users can click on a watershed (indicated by purple lines) to zoom automatically and see TMDLs in that watershed. For a detailed TMDL report, click on a TMDL site on the map. Examples of TMDL Maps TMDLs and Impaired Waters Using the buttons in the legend box, TMDL sites can be displayed on the map along with other waters that have been designated as impaired under Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act but that do not yet have a TDML...

New Recreation Data Show Whale Watching, SCUBA, Sailing, Surfing, and More

New Recreation Data Show Whale Watching, SCUBA, Sailing, Surfing, and More November 6, 2015 Northeast Ocean Data is pleased to announce the release of new mapping data on coastal and marine recreational activities in the northeastern United States. The data on commercial whale watching areas, SCUBA diving locations, long-distance sailing race routes, and other individual activities are available in the Recreation viewer and the Data Explorer. The new datasets add to the recreational boating and coastal recreation area data previously available on Northeast Ocean Data. The data come from a project launched by the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) in 2015 to collect regional spatial data depicting coastal and marine recreational activities. The project team, consisting of Point 97, SeaPlan, and the Surfrider Foundation, used a variety of online and in-person participatory mapping techniques to characterize various recreational sectors. More information is available in the project’s final...

New Regional Map of Coastal Historic Sites

Northeast Ocean Data announces the release of a new interactive map of data from the National Register of Historic Places. The map shows historically and culturally significant sites within ten kilometers of the coastline in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The NRHP database is a listing of buildings, objects, properties, and districts that have significance in American history or culture and are noteworthy for preservation. Northeast Ocean Data developed this regional database and map in collaboration with the State Historic Preservation Offices of Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York, which provided databases of NRHP sites in their states. Some NRHP sites may be missing from the map as the states are working on updating their datasets. We will be updating the regional dataset on an annual basis. The map does not currently include NRHP sites in New Hampshire and Connecticut because databases for those states are now being developed. The data for those states will be added when they are available. In addition to the interactive map, the regional NRHP database is available on the data download page, where it can be downloaded for use in GIS and other applications. Preview of Interactive Map Click on image to open interactive map in a new...

New Regional Map of Coastal Historic Sites

Northeast Ocean Data announces the release of a new interactive map of data from the National Register of Historic Places. The map shows historically and culturally significant sites within ten kilometers of the coastline in Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York. The National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) was established by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The NRHP database is a listing of buildings, objects, properties, and districts that have significance in American history or culture and are noteworthy for preservation. Northeast Ocean Data developed this regional database and map in collaboration with the State Historic Preservation Offices of Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New York, which provided databases of NRHP sites in their states. Some NRHP sites may be missing from the map as the states are working on updating their datasets. We will be updating the regional dataset on an annual basis. The map does not currently include NRHP sites in New Hampshire and Connecticut because databases for those states are now being developed. The data for those states will be added when they are available. In addition to the interactive map, the regional NRHP database is available on the data download page, where it can be downloaded for use in GIS and other applications. Preview of Interactive Map Click on image to open interactive map in a new...

Northeast Ocean Data Portal releases new versions of interactive map and geospatial databases

The Northeast Ocean Data Portal Working Group today released a new version of the Portal’s interactive map—the Northeast Ocean Data Viewer—and a new set of downloadable geospatial databases on fishing effort, commercial vessel traffic, and other ocean uses. The Northeast Ocean Data Portal provides data, tools, and information to support ocean planning in the northeastern United States. Among the enhancements to the Northeast Ocean Data Viewer are faster loading of data layers and the addition of bathymetry data from three external sources: University of New Hampshire Center for Coastal Ocean Mapping, NOAA National Geophysical Data Center, and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Many additional upgrades are included in the new version of the Viewer, which is an easy-to-use interactive map of data on ocean uses, environmental features, and political and administrative boundaries. Contained in the new and improved databases is a high-resolution dataset on commercial vessel traffic derived from one year of Automatic Identification System (AIS) data. The dataset was created through a cooperative effort between the NOAA Coastal Services Center, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and The Nature Conservancy. Another significant addition to the geospatial databases is a ten-year dataset on the average numbers of fishing trips made with fishing gear such as trawls, dredges, and pots and traps. Check out the enhanced Northeast Ocean Data Viewer Download the new...

Northeast Ocean Data Portal Second Release Announcement

The Northeast Ocean Data Portal Working Group is pleased to announce the release of new datasets and an enhanced data and map viewer. Since the initial release of the Portal in June 2011, the Working Group has focused on developing regional data products for the priorities defined by the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, and enhancing functionality to improve data access and analysis capabilities. The second release of the Portal is highlighted by the addition of the following datasets to our catalogue: Administrative and Regulatory Massachusetts Area Under Consideration for Potential Wind Energy Development Rhode Island/Massachusetts Area of Mutual Interest for Future Offshore Renewable Energy Development Ocean Uses AIS Vessel Density (Large Vessel Traffic from Automatic Identification System) Cable Areas Energy Facilities Pipeline Areas Recreational Fishing Vessel Trips Shellfish Classified Areas Biological Resources Coastal Wetlands Demography (new data category) Economics National Ocean Watch Data (2006 – 2009) Population by County Population by State The release is also highlighted by a suite of functionality enhancements that have been incorporated into the Northeast Ocean Data Viewer—resulting in a new look and feel, a more user-friendly design, and prototypical analysis tools. The Viewer now has enhanced data extraction capabilities, a search by location feature, and updates to the design of the layer list, external sources window, and system tool icons. Lastly, additions have been made to the external sources datasets, representing the Working Group’s commitment to continuously linking to outside sources to facilitate a one-stop data shop for ocean and coastal resource managers in the Northeast.  The Viewer’s external source datasets have been updated to include new products from the Multipurpose Marine Cadastre:...

Northeast Ocean Data Releases Maps of Commercial Fishing Activity

Commercial fishing plays a vital role in the Northeast’s economy and culture. Although fishing occurs across the entirety of the region’s ocean waters, each fishery focuses its activity on particular areas. As part of the regional ocean planning process, it is essential to clearly identify and map areas of importance to commercial fisheries. The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) in 2012 and 2013 conducted a Commercial Fisheries Spatial Characterization project to begin producing accurate fishery maps for ocean planning. The project team held more than 50 meetings with fishermen, scientists, and fisheries managers to collaborate on reviewing and revising maps based on Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data collected by the National Marine Fisheries Service from 2006 to 2010. Maps for four federally managed commercial fisheries are now available: scallop, multispecies, monkfish, and surf clam/quahog. Each map broadly characterizes the areas used by fishing vessels operating in the fishery. On the maps, the relative amount of vessel activity is indicated qualitatively from high (red) to low (blue). Commercial Fishing Vessel Activity – Scallop  image preview | live map Commercial Fishing Vessel Activity – Multispecies  image preview | live map Commercial Fishing Vessel Activity – Monkfish  image preview | live map Commercial Fishing Vessel Activity – Surf Clam/Quahog  image preview | live map Importantly, the maps do not distinguish between fishing activity, vessel transit, or other vessel activities. The most accurate interpretation of the maps is that they indicate relative levels of vessel presence. For example, areas near ports may appear red because fishing vessels frequently transit those waters going to and from fishing grounds. In addition, the maps cover only...

Northeast Regional Ocean Council launches new website

The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) announced the launch of its new website at www.northeastoceancouncil.org. The website provides information about NROC’s initiatives in ocean planning, coastal hazards resilience, and ocean and coastal ecosystem health. NROC will be using the website as a key mechanism for engaging people throughout New England in developing and implementing solutions to ocean...

Ocean.data.gov opens a new view of the ocean

The National Ocean Council’s prototype data and information portal, Ocean.Data.Gov, was released Tuesday, December 6.  This marks a significant achievement in the implementation of the National Ocean Policy established by Executive Order.  The portal provides access to data and information from many of the 26 Federal agencies and offices represented on the National Ocean Council, a variety of analytical and visualization tools to support decision making, a technical community of practice, and resources for regional planning efforts. Please see the official announcement on the National Ocean Council’s website. The Northeast Ocean Data Portal is featured on the new site, and members of the Working Group and our partners in the planning and data community had an opportunity to comment and provide quotes on the prototype portal.  We look forward to continuing to work with our national and regional partners to improve access to data and tools to support ocean planning and management....

Public Webinar on Marine Life Characterization Project

  On August 27, 2014, the Northeast Regional Planning Body (RPB) will present a public webinar about the Marine Life Characterization project. A team led by scientists from Duke University and NOAA are coordinating development of spatial data products on marine mammals, sea turtles, birds, and fish. This effort will greatly expand the marine life data available on Northeast Ocean Data. A major workshop in June 2014 marked the beginning of this process. For more information about the Marine Life Characterization project, contact . To submit or suggest datasets, contact...

Reader-friendly Data Descriptions Added to Viewer

Northeast Ocean Data contains a wide variety of mappable data from anchorages to zooplankton. To make it quick and easy to understand the data, we’ve added new and improved, brief descriptions of all datasets. The descriptions tell in plain language what the maps show for each dataset, and they highlight key information about the data and its sources. More detailed, technical information is also still available in the full metadata. To find data descriptions in the Northeast Ocean Data Viewer, click the page icon next to a map layer name. Soon the data descriptions will also be added the interactive maps as part of an upgrade planned for later this...

Redesign of Northeast Ocean Data website

The Northeast Ocean Data website has been redesigned to better serve stakeholders and resource management agencies. A major focus of the redesign was on providing support for the Northeast Regional Ocean Council’s new and ongoing initiatives in ocean planning. The website’s most exciting new feature is a set of simple interactive maps on key topics in the northeast region. Maps currently available focus on aquaculture, energy, maritime commerce, and marine mammals. Each map shows information that is relevant to the topic. By greatly simplifying the user interface and presenting only a few types of data at a time, we are making it much easier for people with little or no technical expertise to explore the data and to gain new insights into each of the topics. These maps are intended to change and improve, and new maps will be added over time. We are working with many organizations to obtain new information, identify data needs, and determine the best way to display information about ocean resources and activities. The newly redesigned home page provides one-click access to the interactive maps. New interactive maps for commercial fishing, recreation, and other marine life are being developed and will be posted soon. Nearly all content from the previous version of the website is still available on the redesigned site. The content has been updated and reorganized to make it more user friendly. In addition to the new interactive maps, the website provides the Northeast Ocean Data Viewer, downloadable data, external data sources, and a compilation of policies and standards related to ocean planning in the northeast region. We are continuing to develop...

Redesigned Home Page Accommodates Growing Collection of Maps and Data

To accommodate the rapidly growing collection of maps and data available on Northeast Ocean Data, we are posting a redesigned home page today. The clickable photographs for data themes are now grouped into three categories — human dimensions, marine life, and environment — to make it easier for website users to find what they are looking for. For each data theme, there is an interactive map and/or a collection of data resources. The black-and-white photos are placeholders for data themes that are currently in development. The anticipated date of release is listed on the photo. More information is available on the Upcoming Products page. The right column of the new home page contains the Featured Map, which highlights a noteworthy data set, and the Data Explorer, which can be used to view, overlay, and download all of the data sets hosted by Northeast Ocean Data. Those changes and others on the home page are intended to make it as simple as possible to access the rich data resources that we continue to develop in collaboration with numerous organizations and...

Upcoming Releases: Rebuilt Data Explorer, New Habitat Story Map, Restoration Map, Updated Recreation Map

October 8, 2015 The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group and partners are hard at work on several exciting products. Stay tuned for release announcements for the following products:  Rebuilt Data Explorer: The Data Explorer is an interactive map on which you can select any combination of data from all of our data themes and view them together on a single map. Previously, the Data Explorer has been separate from our theme maps. We are completely rebuilding the Data Explorer with new functionality and improved performance, and it will be integrated seamlessly with the theme maps. New Habitat Story Map: Each state in the Northeast is using different approaches to map seafloor habitats. Why is this the case and what can we do to make a regional habitat map? We are putting the finishing touches on a new story map to highlight habitat mapping in the Northeast region and to support coordination of mapping for ocean planning. Restoration Map: We are working with a joint subcommittee of the Northeast Regional Planning Body and the Northeast Regional Ocean Council to develop a map of priority projects for ecosystem restoration and conservation that, when implemented, will improve ocean health in New England. The map contains projects to restore watersheds, fish passage, salt marshes, eelgrass, oysters, and other priorities. Recreation Map: We will soon be adding whale watching areas, scuba sites, sailboat racing areas, and other new data to the recreation map. The data have been generated through collaborative efforts of several partner organizations, who compiled and digitized data, held meetings with stakeholders, and conducted participatory GIS mapping...

Updated Map of Eelgrass Coverage in New England

We have updated Northeast Ocean Data’s map of eelgrass coverage with the most recent data available for Connecticut (2012), Rhode Island (2012), Massachusetts (2010, 2012, 2013), New Hampshire (2012), and Maine (2001-2010, 2013). Eelgrass is a plant that grows in shallow waters at many sites along the Northeast coast. Beds of eelgrass are vital sources of food and shelter for fish and invertebrates. The presence of eelgrass beds is an important consideration during ocean planning, natural resource conservation, and the permitting processes for many types of coastal and ocean uses. Below are static images showing parts of the interactive map. Click on the images to enlarge them. To see the interactive map, which allows you to zoom in and see details of eelgrass coverage along the coast, click here. The eelgrass mapping data can also be downloaded as part of the Northeast Ocean Data biology database, which is available on the Data Download...

Updated Maps of Fishing Vessel Activity and New Maps of Fishery Management Areas

Updated Maps of Fishing Vessel Activity and New Maps of Fishery Management Areas December 8, 2015 Northeast Ocean Data announces the release of updated maps of commercial fishing vessel activity featuring enhanced visualization of the latest data. In addition, we are releasing new maps that depict selected regulated fishery management areas for the scallop, herring, groundfish, surfclam/ocean quahog, and lobster fisheries. Fishing Vessel Activity The fishing vessel activity maps are the product of a multi-year effort to spatially characterize commercial fishing activity in the northeastern United States based on Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) data acquired from the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). VMS is a satellite communication system used to monitor the location and movement of fishing vessels operating in certain federally managed fisheries. To create these maps, we developed a new method of characterizing the VMS data that provides higher-resolution visualization while maintaining the strict data confidentiality required by NMFS. Included in this release are 19 maps that show vessel activity in 7 federally managed fisheries: Herring Monkfish Multispecies (Groundfish) Scallop Surfclam/Ocean Quahog Squid Mackerel For 4 of the 7 fisheries, data are provided for 2006 through 2014, grouped into two time periods (2006-2010 and 2011-2014). For surfclam/ocean quahog, the data cover 2006-2010 and 2012-2014. For squid and mackerel, the maps show only 2014 because previous federal regulations did not require VMS for those 2 fisheries. For each fishery, there is an option to show only vessel activity below a threshold speed, as an indicator of fishing activity rather than transiting or other vessel activities at higher speeds. The speed thresholds are 5 knots for the scallop...

Updated Maps of Ocean Energy Resources, Projects, and Infrastructure

There has been increased interest in using the ocean for energy generation and distribution, including for new facilities harnessing energy from ocean currents and offshore wind. In response, Northeast Ocean Data is releasing new interactive maps of offshore wind and tidal energy resources; project and planning areas; and existing infrastructure such as transmission lines and coastal energy facilities. This information is intended to support regional ocean planning related to ocean energy. We developed the datasets and maps in consultation with the energy industry and related government agencies. Wind Energy Resources  image preview Tidal Energy Resources image preview These maps show modeled wind and tidal current speeds. They can be used to identify general areas that may be suitable for offshore renewable energy development based on resource availability. Adjusting the interactive slider bar (see Legend box on maps) highlights areas of interest. Energy Projects and Planning Areas   image preview Energy Infrastructure   image preview This map shows the locations of renewable energy project areas in the Northeast at various stages of operation, permitting, and research. It includes operational installations, permitted projects, projects in review, and planning and research areas. This map shows existing facilities, cables, and pipelines that are part of the region’s energy infrastructure. Renewable and non-renewable power generation facilities include coal, oil, gas, hydro, and nuclear plants. For more information about the maps, click the About tabs located along the left side of the maps. For information and metadata for a specific dataset, click the symbol next to the dataset’s name in the Legend box. We encourage you to send comments, questions, and suggestions about the...

Updated Northeast Ocean Data website provides enhanced support for regional ocean planning

The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group is pleased to announce an update to NortheastOceanData.org, featuring new data types, new and updated interactive maps on key topics, and a redesigned data viewer. These enhancements are a result of several months of collaborations with stakeholders to better develop and present information to support ocean planning. Among the new data now available on the website are: A compilation of aquaculture sites in Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine that is developed in collaboration with the states and informed by industry. A map of recreational boating activity based on the results of the 2012 Northeast Recreational Boater Survey. This map serves as a precursor to additional recreational information that will come out of this partnership with boaters and the boating industry. Maps of pilot boarding areas, navigational safety and security zones, regulated navigation areas, and marine mammal management areas developed at the recommendation of the maritime commerce sector. More maps of marine life, including data sets on marine mammals, sea turtles, plankton, and fish provided by the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center and The Nature Conservancy. These initial maps provide a starting point for discussions with stakeholders about the appropriate characterization of natural resources in support of ocean planning. We have also improved access to and display of the data, including: New interactive maps for data related to fish, plankton, sea turtles, and recreation. Updates to existing interactive maps with new data related to aquaculture, maritime commerce, and energy. A redesigned data viewer, providing more effective access to our entire data catalog, including the ability to search for data by keyword. The...

Updates and Additions to the Bathymetry Data Pages

Northeast Ocean Data announces updates and additions to its bathymetry data pages, which provide a centralized source of maps, data, and information on water depth and seafloor terrain in the northeastern United States. Bathymetry data are used for maritime safety, ocean planning, renewable energy development, scientific research, and fisheries management. NOAA PLANNED HYDROGRAPHIC SURVEYS The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey, Hydrographic Surveys Division provides information about planned surveys, which are tentative and subject to change based on budget and priorities. A link to a map of planned surveys for 2015-2017 is now provided on the Ongoing and Planned Surveys page and the Other Bathymetry Resources page. RHODE ISLAND MAPCOAST The Rhode Island MapCoast Partnership is dedicated to multidisciplinary mapping of coastal underwater resources, including bathymetry, habitat, geology, soils/sediment, and archeological resources in shallow waters. We have added a link to Rhode Island MapCoast data on the Other Bathymetry Resources page. BATHYMETRY CONTOURS FOR WATERS SOUTH OF CAPE COD AND RHODE ISLAND The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group has developed a new data product with bathymetry contours for a large area extending southward from coastal Rhode Island and Cape Cod. The area encompasses Montauk, Buzzards Bay, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket Shoals. Bathymetry contours can enhance visualization of high-resolution bathymetry datasets. This data product is derived by combining high-resolution and low-resolution datasets from NOAA Electronic Navigation Charts (ENCs®). This makes it possible to see contours for the entire area and also to zoom in and see detailed contours in particular places of interest. This new product is available on the Featured Products page, including an interactive...

Updates to Interactive Maps, Home Page, and Upcoming Products Page

Today we are releasing several revisions and updates to Northeast Ocean Data’s interactive maps and web pages: The Aquaculture map now shows aquaculture sites, shellfish management areas, Atlantic Surf Clam and Ocean Quahog Environmental Degradation Closures, and Food Safety Program Temporary Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) Closures. The map previously named Energy is now called the Energy & Infrastructure map. It shows coastal energy facilities, electrical transmission lines and substations, submarine cables, and LNG sites, as well as planning areas for renewable energy. On the Maritime Commerce map, data have been reorganized and cartography has been revised. On the home page, we revised the design and added a photo tile for upcoming map of restoration projects. The maps overview page has updated information and a revised design. On the upcoming products page, we posted new information on the commercial fishing, restoration, and recreation maps that are currently in development, and we revised the page...

Updates to NE Ocean Data databases

We have posted updated versions of our Physical Oceanography and Ocean Uses databases. The latest data are now online in the interactive maps and in the Northeast Ocean Data Viewer. Advanced users can obtain the databases from our Data Download...

Upgraded Data Explorer Map Provides New Functionality and Enhanced Performance

October 8, 2015 Northeast Ocean Data is pleased to announce the release of the latest version of the Data Explorer. The Data Explorer is an interactive map on which you can select any combination of data from all of our data themes and view them together on a single map. We completely rebuilt the Data Explorer with new functionality and improved performance, and it is now integrated seamlessly with the theme maps that focus on particular...

Upgrades to Interactive Maps Are in the Works

The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group is working on the next round of upgrades to the interactive maps, redesigning and enhancing the user interface to add new features and make the maps even easier to use. Among the upgrades we’re working on: All of the maps will be bigger to fill the entire width of the web browser window. Switching between the different maps on marine commerce, energy, and other themes will be simpler. We’re adding more information about the maps to highlight important map features and applications to ocean planning. We are currently building a prototype with a goal of releasing the upgraded maps in September. If you are interested in previewing these maps and providing us with your feedback, please contact...

Upgrades to Northeast Ocean Data’s Interactive Maps

Northeast Ocean Data has overhauled the user interface for its interactive maps, adding new features and making the maps even simpler to use. The purpose of Northeast Ocean Data’s interactive maps is to make it easier to view key types of data on the ocean environment and human uses of the ocean. Each map focuses on a theme: maritime commerce, recreation, aquaculture, fish and shellfish, marine mammals and sea turtles, or other marine life. Bigger maps: The maps now fill the entire width of the web browser window. Map selection menu: Switching among different maps is fast and easy with the new menu above the maps. About This Map: Information about each map is available in a popup box that can be dragged and repositioned on the map. Draggable, popup map legend: The map legend can be dragged and moved on the map. Zoom to: The “Zoom to” menu offers a quick way to see a section of the region, or to reset the map to the full Northeast view after zooming in. Share this map: Users can share their current map views — including the currently visible data and geographic area —  by clicking the Share button and then using email or social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+) to send a custom-generated URL. Print this map: The current map view can be printed or saved as a static image (png). Data Viewer is now Data Explorer: We have renamed the Data Viewer to Data Explorer and improved its integration with the other interactive maps. The Data Explorer is capable of displaying all of the data available through Northeast Ocean Data, whereas the other,...

Video – Guided Tour of Northeast Ocean Data Website and Maps

This video provides a guided tour of Northeast Ocean Data’s main components – interactive maps, downloadable data, and external data sources. The four-minute tour includes a demonstration of the interactive maps, using the Maritime Commerce maps as an example. The video is also available at this link:...

What Maps and Data Are We Currently Working On?

We often hear from Northeast Ocean Data users who want to find out what maps and datasets we are currently developing or updating, and when they will be released. To help provide this information, we have added an Upcoming Products page to the website. The Upcoming Products page describes some of the maps and data currently in development, along with their anticipated release dates. A contact person is listed for each upcoming product, and we encourage you to contact them with any questions that you might have about the products. As always, we also welcome suggestions about data sources and feedback about our products....