News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Partners With Mid-Atlantic States To Protect And Manage The Ocean

New York, NY - Today at an Ocean Summit in New York City, the State of Maryland joined with the states of New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia to announce a new Mid-Atlantic ocean partnership designed to address the region’s priority ocean issues including offshore energy, climate change, water quality, and habitat protection. The states’ governors, through the newly 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 help guide federal and interstate actions and resources.

“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,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “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.”

Working together, the Mid-Atlantic Governors have agreed to act to: protect the region’s ecologically significant offshore habitats; reduce the region’s reliance on fossil fuels and increase its energy independence by making the Mid-Atlantic a leader in the appropriate development of offshore wind energy; strive to protect coastal residents, property, and economic and environmental infrastructure from climate change impacts; support the health of the region’s tourism and fishing industries by addressing threats to water quality; and engage the region’s diverse ocean and basin interests as partners in advancing the Mid-Atlantic States’ shared agenda by hosting a stakeholder summit.

Maryland Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin represented Governor O’Malley at the Summit.

"This new partnership is designed to advance a regional approach to address the challenges facing our ocean, said Secretary Griffin. “It is evident that as much as we need the ocean, the ocean needs all of us to seize the opportunity before us and to act now."

Maryland’s ocean jurisdiction extends three nautical miles offshore however, the State – like its neighbors – has a vast interest in the ecological and economic resources located both within and beyond that jurisdiction.

“While we Marylanders are capable of meeting many challenges, the efforts of one State are not enough to protect and restore the Ocean we treasure,” said Governor O’Malley. “This is why we have joined forces with our neighboring Mid-Atlantic States to embrace a new regional approach to its protection, restoration and management.”

For more information, visit: www.dnr.maryland.gov/ocean/


   June 4, 2009

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 449,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov