Northeast Ocean Data Portal Newsletter • July 2019
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Upcoming Webinar

Please join us for a public webinar on July 31, 2019, from 12:00–1:30 pm to introduce the newly updated Marine Life data, demonstrate Portal features, and answer questions. Join the webinar using this link:

Advance registration is appreciated but not required; please register by emailing Karl Vilacoba ( if you plan to attend.

The Northeast Ocean Data Portal is hosting the webinar in coordination with the Marine-life Data and Analysis Team (MDAT) and the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal.

Data Updates

All of the updated datasets listed below can be viewed on the Data Explorer map. Most are available in downloadable databases or map services on the Data Download page.
Marine Life
  • Fish (Version 3): Added individual species data from spring NEFSC trawl surveys, updated data from fall surveys, provided higher spatial resolution (2 km), used NEFSC methods and code, and updated Species Group data products 
  • Marine mammals (Version 2.1): Updated Individual Species data products for several cetacean species that did not receive updates in Version 2 (2018) and updated all Species Group data products
Learn More
Energy and Infrastructure
  • Added new map layers for the proposed Vineyard Wind development and the South Fork Wind Farm proposed by Deepwater Wind South Fork LLC
  • Updated map layers for renewable energy leases and planning areas to reflect outcomes of competitive lease sale held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in December 2018
Learn More
Administrative Boundaries
  • Added new map layer for Amended Rhode Island Geographic Location Description
Learn More
  • Updated with the latest dataset available for New Hampshire
Learn More
Commercial Fishing – Communities at Sea
  • Added dozens of new map layers showing which areas of the ocean are important to different fishing communities
Learn More

Next Anticipated Data Updates (Dates TBD)

Marine Transportation – Navigation
Revised cartography to improve visualization of navigational layers

Updated bathymetry products for the Gulf of Maine

Energy and infrastructure
Ongoing updates to planning areas, lease areas, and infrastructure

Updated information from the state of Massachusetts and other states if available

Atlantic Large Whale Take Reduction Team Regulated and Exempted Areas
Layers from NOAA GARFO representing areas where and how different fishing gears can be set to reduce the risk of entanglement of large whales

Deep sea corals
Updated layers for soft and stony coral habitat suitability

Deep sea canyons
New global dataset

Offshore wind speed
Updated data from NREL/BOEM

New Tutorial

Commercial Fishing: Communities at Sea
This tutorial shows how to use the Communities at Sea maps, which make it possible to see links between fishing ports and the fishing locations that are most important to them.
More Tutorials

Portal in Action

Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) Ocean Planning Committee Meeting (June 4)
Approximately a hundred people attended the Ocean Planning Committee meeting held in Gloucester, MA, focused on offshore wind development. A presentation by Darryl François (BOEM Office of Renewable Energy Programs) on the Status of Offshore Wind Planning and Leasing from New York to Maine included a discussion of the Portal’s role as an information resource for BOEM and stakeholders. Other speakers and meeting participants also highlighted the Portal’s value, and the Portal team fielded questions and suggestions at a Portal kiosk. 

Offshore Aquaculture Workshop at Salem State University (May 15)
We conducted a live demo of the Portal, and the Portal was cited as a “highly recommended” resource by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for data pertinent to offshore aquaculture planning.

Northeast Biological Observations Workshop (May 6)
The Portal team participated in discussions with experts in the region about offshore biological monitoring and animal tracking data. The Portal was featured as a resource for ocean data products and provided examples of data development and data management practices. The Portal was also discussed specifically as a data source used by EPA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during a process to identify ocean disposal sites. In his talk on whale observations, Zack Klyver of Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company showed the Portal’s map of whale watching areas.

News Items

Major release of marine life data provides new maps of fish distribution and biomass, and updated maps of marine mammals

Amended Rhode Island Geographic Location Description

Tutorial on “Communities at Sea” Maps of Commercial Fishing Activity

Explore Connections Between Fishing Communities and Their Fishing Grounds on New Maps

Updated Maps of Aquaculture Sites in New Hampshire

Upcoming Portal Events

7/31: Marine Life Webinar
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