NROC Priorities

The Northeast Regional Ocean Council (NROC) is a state and federal partnership that facilitates the New England states, federal agencies, regional organizations, and other interested regional groups in addressing ocean and coastal issues that benefit from a regional response. NROC’s mission is to provide a voluntary forum for New England states and federal partners to coordinate and collaborate on regional approaches to support balanced uses and conservation of the Northeast region’s ocean and coastal resources.

NROC seeks to improve management of ocean and coastal resources by:

  • identifying local, state, and regional ecosystem-based environmental issues;
  • seeking new, and encouraging existing, ocean and coastal initiatives and partnerships;
  • facilitating information exchange, including reports, discussions, initiatives, and plans which may be developed or considered; and
  • fostering regional communication, interaction, and cooperation on marine and ocean-related research and development, education, exploration, and observation.

NROC’s key priorities are:

  • Ocean and Coastal Ecosystem Health
    Build hazards resilience to impacts of coastal erosion, flooding, storms, and climate change through region-wide dissemination of data, tools, and case studies, as well as fostering collaborative actions.
  • Coastal Hazards Resilience
    Enhance region-wide coordination and collaborative actions on shared ocean and coastal ecosystem health priorities including those affecting water quality, habitats, and living resources and their derived social and economic benefits.
  • Ocean Planning
    Provide a forum, data and information, best practices, and opportunities to coordinate offshore planning, regulatory, and siting activities to improve ocean and coastal ecosystem health, enhance decision making, and ensure compatibility among human activities.

These priority issue areas also form the basis for NROC’s standing committees, which define and implement specific work plans (follow links above to each committee for more details). NROC is currently updating these work plans to reflect the priorities and activities being implemented by NOAA IIJA funded projects during 2023 and 2024. A summary of NROC’s IIJA projects is available here: NROC IIJA Funded Projects

NROC has also identified the following cross-cutting priorities:

  • NROC recognizes climate change as a major driver that is not limited to a single issue area, and thus NROC strives to integrate climate change issues across all work plans.
  • NROC recognizes the importance of advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and justice in the context of the Northeast Regional Ocean Council’s efforts to promote regional solutions for sustainable ocean management in New England. NROC has developed a dedicated NROC DEIJ 2024-2028 Work Plan and is committed to pursuing the following DEIJ strategies:
    • Integrate DEIJ into NROC organizational structure
    • Promote DEIJ among NROC partners
    • Advance DEIJ through NROC projects and activities
    • Improve capacity for NROC to advance DEIJ