Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Ocean Resources

Ocean Action Plan Updates

The implementation of New York's Ocean Action Plan works to support the achievement of tasks and actions identified within the OAP itself. With the help of DEC sponsored programs, competitive research grants, and monitoring and data collection priorities, DEC can make well informed decisions in conserving our ocean resources. Many of the sixty-one Actions are underway. Following the timelines identified within the OAP, regular updates will be provided through a State of the Ocean Report. DEC and our partners are leading the nation in effective ocean management.

Here is a closer look at some of the exciting projects we are working on through the New York Ocean Action Plan:

Data for Offshore Planning

Map of potential wind areas
Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Potential Wind Areas

New York relies on the ocean and its resources for a wide range of commercial and recreational activities. It also relies on the emerging ocean industry for the developments of offshore resources and technologies, like offshore wind and other renewable energies. Improving the understanding of NY's existing oceanic and offshore resources is the first critical step in offshore renewable development. In July 2013, the NYDOS complied the New York Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study (link leaves DEC website), which provided data about physical, biological, geographic, and socioeconomic information about NY's offshore resources. More recently, DEC founded the Atlantic Sturgeon monitoring project in the proposed NYPA wind energy area. This project collects data on the use of NY's proposed wind energy area by tagging and monitoring endangered Atlantic Sturgeon. This project remains important for monitoring the relationship between offshore wind and high priority fish species. In the coming year, the project will begin to monitor and tag shark species. These projects are associated with Action 35 and 22.

In April 2013, the MidA RPB launched the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) Ocean Planning Portal, which is an online toolkit and resource center that consolidates available data from state, federal, and local entities. The Portal serves as a platform for all stakeholders to engage in state-of-the-art mapping and visualization technology for the Mid-Atlantic region. This invaluable tool uses 11 categories of data that help the MidA RPB and other ocean stakeholders make sound environmental, socioeconomic, and political decisions. For more information, please visit the MARCO Data Portal (link leaves DEC website). Addresses a variety of Actions.

New York State Offshore Wind Master Plan

Photo of Block Island Wind Farm
Block Island Wind Farm, Photo Credit: Deepwater Wind

Offshore wind energy has the potential to be a major source of affordable, renewable energy for downstate residents living on Long Island and the New York City metropolitan area. In the 2017 State of the State Report, Governor Cuomo announced a plan for New York to become 50% renewable by 2030. The development of offshore wind is essential to meet these demands.

Currently, NYSERDA is leading the development of the NY Offshore Wind Master Plan (link leaves DEC website), which will provide guidelines to advance offshore wind in New York. This plan encourages the development of offshore wind that takes environmental, maritime, economic, and social issues into account. Together with NYSDEC, NYSERDA is currently conducting studies and engaging with stakeholders to ensure that offshore wind is developed thoughtfully, responsibly, and cost-effectively. The Master Plan is set to complete by the end of 2017.

Additional information can be found on NYSERDA's Offshore Wind Energy website (link leaves DEC website), which provides the processes, steps, and timelines associated with NYSERDA's Master Plan. Actions 35, 38, and 39

Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body

Mid Atlantic ROAP
Mid-Atlantic ROAP

In 2013, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body (MidA RPB) (link leaves DEC website) was formally established as a non-regulatory group comprised of voluntary members from various Mid-Atlantic States (NY, NJ, PA, MD, DE, VA) as well as federal and tribal agencies. Their purpose: to develop a Mid-Atlantic Regional Ocean Action Plan (ROAP) (link leaves DEC website) that will improve our understanding of the ocean and monitor its valuable resources. The collaboration of the Mid-Atlantic States region is necessary to better coordinate, share data, and plan for ocean expansion. The regional ocean action plan was approved by the federal National Ocean Council (NOC) in December 2016. NYSDEC and NYSDOS represent New York State within the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning Body and participate in work groups to implement regional topics thus fulfilling Action 40.