A Partnership in Ocean Conservation

On June 4th, 2009, Maryland joined the Mid-Atlantic States of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia to announce a partnership and formally commit to address the region’s priority ocean issues including offshore energy, climate change, water quality, and habitat protection. The ocean waters of the Mid-Atlantic provide a wealth of economic and environmental services to local communities, the states, and the nation. However, the challenges facing our coastal and ocean resources are complex, ever-changing and not respectful of jurisdictional boundaries. Maryland acknowledges that in order to ensure that our ocean is healthy, resilient and productive for current and future generations we must embrace a new regional approach to its protection, restoration and management. The states’ governors, through the formed Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, will advocate in one voice to leverage greater state influence on the management of offshore areas and to help guide federal and interstate actions and resources.


Although Maryland’s jurisdiction only extends three nautical miles offshore, the State has a vast interest in the ecological and economic resources located both within and beyond three nautical miles. In Maryland, ocean related businesses generated statewide economic impacts of over $900 million – a major contributor to the health of Maryland’s economy – and emerging uses of ocean space and resources, such as offshore wind power, have the potential to facilitate new economic growth. The ocean and near shore habitats support a rich diversity of marine life which also contribute to valuable commercial and recreational fisheries and tourism.

MARCO Website

MARCO Website

Learn more about MARCO’s efforts to improve the health of our ocean and coastal resources, and ensure that they continue to contribute to the high quality of life and economic vitality of our region’s communities well into the future.

Wind power farm in sunset.

Highlights Document

MARCO has made significant progress in establishing and embarking on a regional agenda for shared state action in the Mid-Atlantic. Click the thumbnail to view the highlights document.

Watershed Assistance Collaborative - Photo by Edward Lowe

MARCO Work Plan

The 2011-2012 MARCO Workplan describes the actions that will be completed by MARCO’s five issue Action Teams. Click the thumbnail above to view the Workplan.

Maryland’s Ocean - Photo by Allen Sklar

Mapping and Planning Portal

The MARCO Mapping and Planning Portal is an online tool that allows state, federal, and local decision-makers and the public to visualize, query, and analyze ocean and coastal data in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Worth Quoting

Baby Shell

“This new regional partnership with New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia is an exceptional opportunity to create a more effective and efficient path to our shared environmental and economic goals. Working together with our sister States -- pooling our resources and our expertise -- we can and will ensure that our ocean is healthy, resilient and productive for our children and theirs.”

Governor Martin O'Malley

Contact Information

Chesapeake & Coastal Service

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Tawes State Office Building E-2

580 Taylor Avenue

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

Phone 410-260-8732

Fax 410-260-8739

Download MARCO Fact Sheet

MARCO Fact Sheet