Northeast Ocean Data Portal Newsletter • January 2021

This issue reviews the Portal’s data updates, events, and news during the fourth 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.


Updated Maps of Proposed South Fork Wind Farm

View updated data depicting the proposed South Fork Wind Farm and South Fork Cable Export Project, along with links to additional information about BOEM’s recently released Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Now Portal users can see the proposed locations for turbines and interarray cables, and the boundary of the wind farm work area.

Learn More

Storm and Flood Risk Data from North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study

Through its Resilient Shorelines Grant Program, NROC funded the development of a database and web services that provide streamlined access to high-resolution data on coastal storm and flood risk in the Northeast. Produced by a team from RPS ASA, the database includes projections for future climate scenarios and is a valuable resource to support planning and preparedness by state and local government.

Learn More

New Ocean Disposal Site

View maps and information related to the Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site at Isles of Shoals North, designated by the US EPA to serve Maine, New Hampshire, and the northern Massachusetts coastal region.

Learn More

Right Whale Dynamic Management Areas

In collaboration with NOAA Fisheries, Portal users can now view the current DMAs live in the Data Explorer as they are updated by NOAA Fisheries (approximately every hour). The DMAs layer can be overlaid with any other layer on the Portal, including Marine Mammal Seasonal Management Areas and marine Traffic Lanes.

Learn More

Coastal Zone Management Act Boundary

A newly added map layer on the Northeast Ocean Data Portal represents the extent of the nation’s coastal zone, as defined by the individual states and territories under the CZMA. The layer was developed by NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management and is hosted by

Learn More

Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind Turbine Locations

In partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal, the locations of the first offshore wind turbines in U.S. federal waters off the coast of Virginia are now available to view.

Learn More

Next Anticipated Data Updates

Commercial Fishing

  • Various fishery management areas in collaboration with NOAA Greater Atlantic Regional Fisheries Office
  • Maine Department of Marine Resources Lobster Zones and lobster fishing effort and catch
  • Updates to fishing activity data products that reflect feedback from industry received via the collaboration between NROC, MARCO, and the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA) to update and improve commercial fisheries data products

Energy and Infrastructure

  • Ongoing updates to planning areas, lease areas, proposed projects, and infrastructure (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)
  • Maine Department of Marine Resources Floating Offshore Wind Research Array Area of Interest


  • Updated information from states if available

Marine Life and Habitat

  • Eelgrass and coastal wetlands (in collaboration with US EPA Region 1, states, and others)
  • Engage marine life work groups to plan development and updates to cetacean and turtle distribution and range shifts data products, avian distribution and range shifts data products, fish distribution and range shifts data products, species sensitivity and risk data products for multiple taxa, and products that address best practices for the use of data and information


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



Portal in Action

Regional coordination of data platforms and offshore wind-related data collection on habitat, fisheries, and wildlife 

In early October, the Northeast Regional Ocean Council, Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO), the Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (NERACOOS), and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems (MARACOOS) held a virtual meeting to increase understanding and coordination among groups participating in regional data management and offshore wind-related data collection on habitat, fisheries, and wildlife.

Aquaculture Opportunity Areas webinar 

On October 26, NROC held a public webinar to discuss a recent Executive Order “Promoting American Seafood Competitiveness and Economic Growth”, spatial analyses that will be performed to develop Aquaculture Opportunity Atlases for select regions, NOAA’s plans in work with stakeholders and interagency teams to inform siting and impact analysis, and opportunities for stakeholder input. A recording of the webinar and presentation slides are available for download.


Upcoming Portal Events

NROC & MARCO Offshore Wind Transmission Webinar Series

NROC, in partnership with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) are holding a Friday morning webinar series to increase understanding and promote dialogue about offshore wind transmission planning in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic U.S.

  • Webinar 1 (January 29) – Bringing Offshore Transmission to Shore: How It’s Done and Stakeholder Considerations
  • Webinar 2 (February 5) – The Role of Offshore Wind in Meeting State Decarbonization Goals and Why Transmission Matters
  • Webinar 3 (February 12) – How the Grid Works 101 and Offshore Wind Considerations

There has been increased focus in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic on the importance of critical transmission infrastructure considerations when planning for the potential development of the offshore wind industry. Transmission is regulated and managed onshore and offshore by multiple state and federal agencies, as well as regional entities. This webinar series will provide NROC and MARCO members, partners, and others with an understanding of the current framework for transmission planning on land, and issues that are emerging as planning extends offshore. More information and registration

Coastal GeoTools 2021: Tools Showcase (February 9)

The Data Portal will be featured in the virtual Tools Showcase from 3:00 to 4:30 pm. The showcase will allow participants to virtually meet members of the Portal Working Group, explore the Portal, and provide an opportunity for participants to and ask questions about, gain an increased understanding of the available data, tools, potential uses in management and decisionmaking, and plans to update/maintain the Portal in the future. More information

Portal Trainings and Demonstrations (Ongoing)

The Data Portal team provides trainings and demonstrations for various entities on an ongoing basis. Contact Emily Shumchenia ( to schedule a Portal training.