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Ocean Resource Planning

Ocean Action Plan Updates

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

Data Portals 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.

Additionally, New York's Geographic Information Gateway (Gateway) (link leaves DEC website) provides public access to data, real-time information, interactive tools, and expert knowledge relevant to planning activities throughout New York. Presently, you can find information about New York's submarine canyons, living shorelines, and offshore energy resources through the Gateway.

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 2019 State of the State Report, Governor Cuomo announced a plan for New York to become 100% renewable by 2040 and established the offshore wind target to 9,000 megawatts (9 gigawatts) by 2035.

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.

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

Mid Atlantic ROAP
Mid-Atlantic ROAP

Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) was established in 2009 by the Governors of NY, NJ, DE, MD and VA and includes focus areas on offshore wind, climate resiliency, marine habitats and water quality. 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.

As a result of the revised National Ocean Policy (link leaves DEC website) in 2018, the Mid Atlantic States created the Mid Atlantic Committee on the Ocean (MACO) (link leaves DEC website) and will hold annual meetings between federal and state partners known as the Mid Atlantic Ocean Forum. The first forum meeting will be held at Monmouth University in New Jersey on March 20, 2019. NYSDEC and NYSDOS represent New York State within the Mid-Atlantic Regional Planning and participate in work groups to implement regional topics thus fulfilling Action 40.

Last updated: 02/06/2019