The coastal waters off the Delmarva Peninsula extend from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at Fisherman Island, VA to the entrance to the Delaware Bay at Cape Henlopen, DE, encompassing most of Delaware and the Maryland and Virginia Eastern Shores. Tourism accounts for the majority of the ocean economy in the Delmarva Atlantic counties and contributes nearly $800 million in GDP annually.
The Virginia Eastern Shore region, situated between the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, represents a tiny portion of Virginia’s population and stretches for only 70 miles. A network of barrier islands and tidal marshes protect the Atlantic coastline. Various wildlife reserves, including the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, are located in this region and enable continued coastal science research.
Ocean observing in North Carolina’s coastal region plays an essential role in supporting regional economic activity. Data collected by SECOORA and local partners are accessible in raw form and in decision-support tools such as the North Carolina NERRS System-Wide Monitoring Program (SWMP) to the Coast Guard, coastal managers, commercial and recreational fishermen, and others. MARACOOS supports development of robust coastal observing systems and data products that boost economic growth and protect residents from future coastal hazards in North Carolina’s Coastal Region.