This report provides a compilation of new maps and spatial assessments for seabirds, bathymetry, surficial sediments, deep sea corals, and oceanographic habitats in support of offshore spatial planning led by the New York Department of State Ocean and Great Lakes Program. These diverse ecological themes represent priority information gaps left by past assessments and were requested by New York to better understand and balance ocean uses and environmental conservation in the Atlantic. The main goal of this report is to translate raw ecological, geomorphological and oceanographic data into maps and assessments that can be easily used and understood by coastal managers involved in offshore spatial planning.
New York plans to integrate information in this report with other ecological, geophysical and human use data to obtain a broad perspective on the ocean environment, human uses and their interactions. New York will then use this information in an ecosystem-based framework to coordinate and support decisions balancing competing demands in their offshore environment, and ultimately develop a series of amendments to New York’s federally approved Coastal Management Program.
The targeted users of this report and the compiled spatial information are New York coastal managers, but other State and federal decision-makers, offshore renewable energy development interests and environmental advocates will also find the information useful. In addition, the data and approaches will be useful to regional spatial planning initiatives set up by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and federal regional planning bodies for coastal and marine spatial planning.