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 the Northeast Ocean Data website as a valuable tool for stakeholders and government agencies engaged in regional ocean planning. Please tell us what you think about the interactive maps and redesigned site.