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Delaware will benefit from federal funding to the Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean

Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean

The Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean or MARCO will receive federal funding for planning and protection projects.

MARCO is getting $3.9 million for a range of ocean planning and collaborative initiatives.

Those initiatives include efforts to determine acidification’s impacts in coastal waters, reducing plastic and other debris in the ocean and minimizing conflicts between offshore wind developments and other ocean users.

To help reduce plastic debris, water refill stations will be given to communities with waterfront recreation areas to reduce litter from single-use plastic bottles.

MARCO is a partnership between Delaware, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia for addressing shared regional priorities and providing a collective voice for a healthy ocean.

And MARCO’s program director Avalon Bristow says all those states stand to gain from the group’s work

"The idea is that the benefits are sort of spread across all five states, and that the work that we do deals with issues that kind of span those state boundaries. So I do think that Delaware as with all of the other four states within our region will kind of reap the benefits of the work that we're doing here," said Bristow.

Other initiatives include determining hot spot locations in the region that are at high risk or vulnerable to acidification events, and improve understanding of commercial fisheries’ interests to offshore wind projects through outreach and engagement.

"There's not going to be any impact on Delawareans in terms of kind of physical closures or anything like that. The work that we do is more on the back end,” said Bristow. “There's a lot of need for coordination across jurisdictions and across agencies."

The funding is provided through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and it’s expected to support work for the next two years.

This federal funding will support work for the next two years.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.