April 2020 Newsletter | Northeast Ocean Data Portal


Northeast Ocean Data Portal Newsletter • July 2020

This issue reviews the Portal’s data updates, events, and news during the second quarter of 2020 and looks ahead at upcoming happenings.

Data Updates

All of the updated data below can be viewed on the Data Explorer map. Most Portal datasets are also available in downloadable databases or map services on the Data Download page.

Marine Transportation - Proposed Areas and Studies

Marine Transportation – Proposed Areas and Studies

  • Added new category under Marine Transportation called Proposed Areas and Studies with new map layers showing:
    • boundaries for five U.S. Coast Guard-led Port Access Route Study (PARS) areas along the East Coast, and
    • nine Atlantic Coast shipping safety fairways under consideration by the U.S. Coast Guard
  • In collaboration with the US Coast Guard and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal

Learn More

Energy & Infrastructure Theme Map

Energy & Infrastructure – Planning Areas

  • Updated Active Renewable Energy Leases and BOEM Wind Planning Areas map layers
  • Developed a new page that provides an overview of the status of offshore wind leases and projects in the Northeast
  • In collaboration with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)

Learn More

Vessel Traffic

Marine Transportation – 2018 and 2019 Vessel Traffic

  • Added annual and monthly data on vessel transits for several categories of vessels in 2018 and 2019
  • In collaboration with the Marine Cadastre and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal

Learn More

Northeast Fishing Effects Model

Habitat – Northeast Fishing Effects Model

  • Added three types of data and maps from the NEFMC Northeast Fishing Effects Model: Sediment, Percent Seabed Habitat Disturbance, and Intrinsic Seabed Habitat Vulnerability
  • In collaboration with the New England Fishery Management Council

Learn More

Commercial Fishing – Management Areas

Parks and Reserves

Cultural Resources and Recreation – Parks and Reserves

  • Updated map layer representing Parks and Reserves within 10 kilometers of the New England shoreline

Learn More

Next Anticipated Data Updates

Energy and Infrastructure

  • Ongoing updates to planning areas, lease areas, proposed projects, and infrastructure (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)


  • Updated information from states if available

Marine Life and Habitat

  • Eelgrass and coastal wetlands (in collaboration with US EPA Region 1, states, and others)
  • Seabed stress and mobility (US Geological Survey)


  • Updated maps of whale watching activity/areas
  • Updated maps of scuba areas
  • Updated maps of charter/party boat activity
  • In collaboration with local industry, stakeholders, and experts

Portal in Action

US Coast Guard Public Comment Period: Northern New York Bight PARS (Closing August 28)
The Coast Guard is soliciting public comment on a Port Access Route Study (PARS) for the Northern New York Bight. Comments and related material must be received on or before August 28, 2020. The Data Portal is supporting this process by providing online maps of the PARS study area and by helping to raise public awareness of the comment period and virtual public meetings.

Global Ocean Summit (June 26)
Nick Napoli (NROC and Northeast Ocean Data Portal) was a speaker in the Global Ocean Summit & Series: Linking Large Marine Ecosystems to Local Science and Management for Sustainable Development, hosted by the University of Rhode Island. He participated in the panel discussion in Session 4: Northeast U.S. Continental Shelf Large Marine Ecosystem: A holistic perspective

OneNOAA Science Seminar (June 23)
As part of the OneNOAA Science Seminar Series, members of the Portal team presented a public webinar on the technologies that the Portal leverages, the process used to develop and disseminate peer-reviewed data products in response to Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) priorities and users’ needs, and some of the data and tools available. They also provided examples of public- and private-sector entities that use the Portal and how they are using it in the northeastern US to support planning and decision-making for offshore uses such as wind energy, aquaculture, dredged material disposal, and fisheries management.

BOEM Public Comment Period: Vineyard Wind  (June 11–July 27)
From June 11 to July 27, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) solicited public comment on its Supplement to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for the proposed Vineyard Wind 1 Offshore Energy Project. The Data Portal supported the public comment period by providing interactive maps of the proposed project envelope and cable route, which could be overlaid with other data on ocean uses and the ocean ecosystem.

NROC Webinar: State-Led Ocean Planning and NEFMC Planning (May 28)
Speakers in the NROC Ocean Planning Committee webinar on May 28 provided updates on state-led marine planning efforts in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts and on planning by the New England Fishery Management Council (NEFMC). Many of the presenters used maps from the Northeast Ocean Data Portal in their discussions of transmission cables, aquaculture, offshore wind, and other activities.

Partnership between NROC, MARCO, and RODA underway to update and improve Northeast and Mid-Atlantic commercial fisheries data products (January–September 2020)
The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) are partnering with the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) to engage commercial fishermen in the development of updated maps and data for the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portals. Learn more.

Other Updates

New page provides maps and information about offshore wind projects in the Northeast

Revisions to Portal’s navigation menu and map headers increase user-friendliness

New basemaps and increased control of dynamic NOAA chart layers

Upcoming Portal Events

TBD: NROC Ocean Planning Committee webinar(s). See www.neoceanplanning.org/news for details.

Through September: Review of Commercial Fishing data products with industry members

Ongoing Portal trainings and demonstrations with various entities

Contact Emily Shumchenia (emily.shumchenia@gmail.com) to schedule a Portal training.