Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey, has announced a $1.6 million grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal, an online toolkit and resource center designed to support ocean planning in the mid-Atlantic region.
A project of the university’s Urban Coast Institute, the portal organizes complex ocean data in one place and puts essential information and state-of-the-art mapping and visualization technology into the hands of state agencies, industry, community leaders, and the public. With that data, state and federal agencies and the public can better visualize and analyze ocean resources and useful information on fishing grounds, recreational areas, shipping lanes, habitats, and offshore wind energy sites.
The grant will enable the portal team to coordinate efforts with the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean, a multistate regional partnership, to engage ocean stakeholders across the region; continue development of the portal; and collaborate with ocean users, scientists, and local experts to conduct a regional ocean assessment and improve understanding and awareness of the importance of mid-Atlantic ocean resources to the region's economy and environment.
"We are extremely grateful to the Moore Foundation for this support, which enables Monmouth University's Urban Coast Institute to continue this important work in collaboration with other partners on issues of critical importance to the state and region," said Monmouth University president Paul R. Brown. "This is an excellent example of how science and technology can be coupled with public engagement to inform important ocean policy and management decisions."