The Department of State (DOS) has collaborated with federal, State, and non-governmental partners to assemble an Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study (pdf) highlighting known or predicted locations of certain ocean uses and resources. DOS is continuing to work with partners to obtain and analyze additional data and anticipates making these future datasets publicly available.
New York’s offshore waters are increasingly busy places, yet they support economic activities and are key to ecological health. The Department of State has initiated an interdisciplinary and inclusive offshore planning process to identify areas of the Atlantic Ocean potentially suitable for new offshore renewable energy development, and offshore habitat areas that support New York's ocean industries. These offshore planning efforts will build from the Offshore Atlantic Ocean Study and will include additional data collection and analysis of offshore uses and resources important to New York.
The Department of State is New York’s lead agency for regulatory activities related to renewable energy development in the federal waters of the Atlantic Ocean offshore New York. The lead federal agency, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has established a New York Outer Continental Shelf Renewable Energy Task Force to coordinate planning and project regulatory reviews for wind development offshore New York. Our office leads the State’s participation in the Task Force and actively coordinates the participation of other State agencies.
New York lies at the convergence of the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic
regions of the Atlantic Ocean, sharing many ecological traits with both.
Working with neighboring states to the south and north, and in
cooperation with federal agencies, the Department of State has sought
partnerships that will advance the shared goals of a healthier, more
productive and economically sustainable ocean ecosystem. The Department led the formation and early development of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean (MARCO) and participates in the Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) as an ex-officio member.
Though significant, the State’s role in offshore decision-making is one piece of a complex assortment of authorities and jurisdictions that is divided among a host of federal agencies. With the establishment of the nation’s first ocean policy and the creation of a Cabinet-level National Ocean Council (NOC), the federal government is poised to re-focus its management of the oceans and untangle the existing web of laws and jurisdictions through a greater emphasis on coordinated agency planning and actions. The Department of State serves as the Mid-Atlantic region’s designee on a formal advisory body to the NOC. In the coming months, the Department of State also will represent New York State as a member of the recently-created intergovernmental Regional Planning Body (RPB). The RPB is charged with developing a regional ocean plan that can focus federal activities and decisions to better address the region's needs and priorities.
New York's coastal ecosystems are critical to the State's environmental
and economic security, and integral to the State's high quality of life
and culture. Healthy coastal ecosystems are part of the State's legacy,
and are necessary to support New York's human and wildlife populations.
The New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act, Article 14 (pdf) of the Environmental Conservation Law,
establishes an inter-agency framework to conserve, maintain, and restore
coastal ecosystems. The New York Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Council, advances the
understanding, protection, restoration, and enhancement of New York's
ocean and Great Lakes ecosystems while promoting sustainable and
competitive economic development and job creation.