MARACOOS 2018 Annual Meeting Highlights

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MARACOOS Board of Directors Chair Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood addresses participants.

June 4th, 2018

MARACOOS would like to thank all of the participants of the 2018 Annual Meeting for the user needs, expertise, and collaboration ideas shared. Keep reading for a summary of the 2018 Annual Meeting or click here to jump down to PDFs of speaker presentations. MARACOOS partners, collaborators, and stakeholders gathered in Annapolis, MD on May 18 for the 2018 MARACOOS Annual Meeting. The MARACOOS Board of Directors opened the event the preceding evening with a reception for networking discussions with meeting participants.

The meeting opened with remarks on MARACOOS accomplishments over the past year from Dr. Gerhard Kuska, MARACOOS Executive Director and Dr. Scott Glenn, Vice-Chair of MARACOOS Board of Directors. Dr. Carolyn Thoroughgood, Chair of the MARACOOS Board of Directors, presented an in depth look at MARACOOS stakeholder engagement.

In addition to updates on MARACOOS activities, this year’s meeting included featured remarks from three different MARACOOS stakeholders. Capt. J. Stuart Griffin of the Pilots’ Association of the Bay and River Delaware gave an overview of the role of harbor pilots in bringing vessels safely into port and possible collaborations with MARACOOS. According to Capt. Griffin, pilots rely heavily on specific data about individual ports because “when you’ve seen one port, you’ve seen one port.” As the amount of available port data grows, the next challenge will be creating visualization tools that don’t overwhelm or distract pilots operating vessels.

David Mandell, Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Management for the City of Annapolis, shared how he uses data from MARACOOS partners to plan for, repond, and mitigate emergency situations especially related to weather and flooding.

In a recent grant application, Mandell was asked to provide scientific evidence that Annapolis experiences regular nuisance flooding. Mandell worked with MARACOOS partners at the US Naval Academy to identify and analyze existing data and was awarded the grant.

MARACOOS Board of Directors member Drew Minkiewicz delivered remarks from Jim Gutowski, President of the Fisheries Survival Fund, who was unable to attend. The Fisheries Survival Fund represents 350 scallop vessels in the Mid-Atlantic region and works to improve the sustainability of the scallop fishery. Current challenges facing the scallop industry include a lack of understanding of large increases in scallop biomass and leasing areas for offshore wind farms that cover scallop beds.

During lunch, meeting participants heard from keynote speaker Dr. Alan Blumberg, co-founder of Jupiter Intelligence. Dr. Blumberg gave an overview of Jupiter Intelligence and spoke on the importance of partnering with government agencies when establishing start-ups. Jupiter Intelligence will offer companies specialized information on climate, weather, and social dynamics.

Dr. Thoroughgood led the MARACOOS Business Meeting after lunch. She formally thanked departing MARACOOS Board of Directors member Dr. Fredrika Moser for her service and wished her luck in her new role as President of the Sea Grant Association. The voting members of MARACOOS accepted Arthur Allen, Dr. Alan Blumberg, Dr. Katherine Bunting-Howarth, Dr. Carl Friedrichs, Dr. Richard Luettich, and Dr. Cecily Steppe as new members of the Board of Directors.

The final session of the meeting featured a special discussion on offshore wind energy development. Jill Rowe, Director of Environmental Risk Assessments for RPS, moderated a panel of experts in the offshore wind field. Panel members included Dr. Mary Boatman of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Kim Hernandez of Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Whitney Fiore of Deepwater Wind, Jen Banks of US Wind, and remarks from Anne Marie McShea of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, presented by Dr. Scott Glenn. Panelists answered audience questions on offshore wind development and reconciling multiple coastal ocean user needs.

Story By: Jessica Ganim