A cornerstone of collaborative, regionally based planning is providing access to data for transparent, science-based decision-making. This is especially true in the coastal and marine environment. The President’s Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force recognized this in its recommendations.
“A robust national information management system dedicated to coastal and marine scientific data and information products is required to meet the diverse data and application requirements of CMSP, and the varying technical capabilities of users.”
Final Recommendations of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, The White House Council on Environmental Quality, July 19, 2010
The prototype implementation of a national information management system for Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (marine planning) based on this recommendation was released in December 2011 as Ocean.Data.Gov, a community of Data.Gov. This new portal gives Americans transparent access to the same data and information that federal agencies have about the oceans and coasts. NOAA is an active member of the Ocean.Data.Gov core working group, as well as a primary contributor to Ocean.Data.Gov, which contains many NOAA data sets and tools.
In support of the National Ocean Policy, NOAA created a Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) Data Registry, a Web-based resource to provide access to a collection of NOAA geospatial data sets that directly contribute to comprehensive regional marine planning. Within the CMSP Data Registry, data that have been deemed as high-priority needs from regional planning communities have been organized thematically and served with supporting metadata. Some of the available data include seamless raster navigational charts, bathymetry, human uses, essential fish habitat, and boundaries for U.S. marine protected areas. Approximately 50 data sets are included in the registry. Authoritative NOAA data are provided in a variety of standard Web mapping service formats for one-stop discovery, display, and download. Many can be previewed—either individually or simultaneously in a data mash-up with other registry data sets—using ESRI’s ArcGIS.com map viewer. These data are also being integrated into Ocean.Data.Gov to reach an even broader audience.
Regional data managers from across the country came together at a workshop hosted by NOAA’s Coastal Services Center in June 2012 to accomplish these goals: to develop a strategy to link national systems like the CMSP Data Registry and Ocean.Data.Gov to regional information management approaches in the ocean and coastal planning community; to identify common standards and procedures to be adopted by regional ocean governance groups; and to establish a practitioner’s network of data and tool developers and contributors to Ocean.Data.Gov and the larger network of data portals. View the workshop report from the regional data managers.