Northeast Ocean Data provides streamlined access to a wide variety of data on human and natural dimensions of the sea in the northeastern United States. Users interested in downloading data for use in geographic information systems (GIS) and other applications may obtain many datasets from the Data Download page. We offer topic-specific data resource pages on bathymetry and eelgrass because of widespread interest and a large volume of available datasets. The External Data Sources page is a directory of other useful sources of datasets, web mapping services, and tools. The Policies and Standards page provides links to standards, regulations, and policies relevant to ocean planning in the Northeast.

Support for Regional Ocean Planning

The Northeast Ocean Data Working Group maintains and updates the existing datasets and adds new datasets in response to needs of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC). Incorporating and maintaining each dataset requires an investment of time, effort, and funding. These investments can be substantial, depending on the complexity of the dataset and the amount of processing required. To ensure that the most important types of data are available, the Working Group focuses on addressing NROC’s priorities. Data are designated as high, medium, or low priority based on their value for NROC’s efforts, including stakeholder engagement. Information on how priorities are developed based on stakeholder engagement is available on the Northeast Regional Planning Body website.

Priorities are refined continually through ongoing communication between NROC and the Northeast Ocean Data Working Group. The Working Group dedicates most of its effort to obtaining, adding, and maintaining datasets that have been identified as high priority. Medium- and low-priority datasets are added on an opportunistic basis when they are readily available and easily processed.

High-Priority Data Types

The following data types have been identified as high priorities based on the ocean planning activities of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC).

Ocean Uses:

  • Vessel traffic patterns
  • Marine transportation
  • Energy facilities
  • Pipelines and cables
  • Commercial fisheries
  • Recreational boating and fishing
  • Shipwrecks
  • Aquaculture
  • Power transmission
  • Cultural and heritage sites

Administrative and Regulatory:

  • Federal fishery management areas
  • State fishery management areas
  • Military, hazard, and restricted areas
  • Federal marine protected areas
  • State marine protected areas

Biology and Habitat:

  • Birds
  • Whales, dolphins, and porpoises
  • Fish
  • Shellfish
  • Seafloor habitats
  • Wetlands

Physical Oceanography:

  • Bathymetry
  • Seafloor geomorphology
  • Wind regime
  • Surface currents and waves (circulation)
  • Shoreline classifications
Please contact us to provide feedback on these priorities and to tell us about datasets that may be useful additions to the Northeast Ocean Data website.

Northeast Ocean Data provides data and maps for the Northeast Ocean Plan.