About Ocean Community

This community is part of the implementation of the National Policy for the Stewardship of the Ocean, our Coasts, and the Great Lakes by the National Ocean Council. Stewardship includes informed planning for the future use of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes.  The foundation of good planning is reliable data and information.  Our community is all about making the discovery of and access to that data and information easier for you.

As a first step, we are working with Federal agencies to make their data web accessible, and where possible, we are asking the Federal agencies to register their data with this community.  We have already made available some of the data that may be needed for your planning process, but we know there is more you need.  Please use the Feedback Page to tell us what you’d like us to add, or to provide feedback on how we can better serve you.

On our Tools page, we have information on some decision-support tools for marine planning.  As new tools are developed and shared, we will include them here.  If you would like to add or share a tool, please use our Feedback Page to contact us.  In addition, our Bulletin Board is a place to share and discuss information about tools and data with others engaged in marine planning.

For data to be useful and shared, it must adhere to established standards.  We have created a Technical page where you can access  a variety of the latest standards that we are using for this community.  We haven’t created any new standards, but we are open to hearing from you about what works and what you find most helpful.

This community is national in scope, but is designed using a regional approach because the important work occurs regionally and locally.  On our Regional Planning page, you can link to data portals and ongoing work by region.  Please let us know if there is more we should include.  

Looking to the future, we will be continuously adding data as it becomes available.  We are also looking for the best ways to assist you in your planning and decision-making in each region.  While we currently provide only Federal data, we would like to expand to help you better access data from outside the Federal Government.

With your help, we will continue to build this community into a useful, one-stop discovery and access portal for data and information to support marine planning.  Thank you for contributing to our community!