Coastal & Ocean Partners

Photo Courtesy Kip Evans Photography · © 2018 All Rights Reserved

Mid-Atlantic Regional Council on the Ocean

Established in 2009, MARCO is a regional partnership formed by the Governors of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia to address shared regional priorities and provide a collective voice on regional ocean matters. MARCO’s main priority areas are: climate change adaptation, marine habitats, water quality, and renewable energy.


Exploring the Mid-Atlantic Deep-Sea Corals and Canyons

In 2015 and 2016 coordinated two workshops that convened scientists and natural resource managers to explore ways to raise public awareness about and to promote the scientific research of the deep-sea corals and canyons ecosystem in the Mid-Atlantic. Supported data processing efforts for the NOAA Okeanos Explorer cruise and worked with NOAA scientists to help identify priority areas for future surveys to help fill biological and geological informational gaps in the Mid-Atlantic.

Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network

In May 2017 co-launched with MARACOOS, the first-ever Mid-Atlantic Coastal Acidification Network (MACAN), filling a gap among scientists and ocean users interested in coastal and ocean acidification. Facilitated discussion among a Network of experts and ocean users and provided workshops and webinars to share information across the Network. Developed a regional monitoring plan and identified research gaps in order to coordinate resources in the Mid-Atlantic around priority questions and needs.  For more information:

Regional Coordination on Ocean Issues

Since 2013, participated in discussions with federal agencies and tribal representatives to improve the collection and analysis of ecological and human use data for decision-making. Developed a framework to measure ocean health, established a coordinated approach to prevent marine debris through behavior change, and explored issues of importance to recreational users.   Supported information exchange between diverse ocean stakeholders, industry representatives, tribal representatives and the Mid-Atlantic states on a range of coastal and ocean issues. These efforts led to improved communication channels between agencies and supported more efficient use of limited resources.

Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal

Launched the Mid-Atlantic Ocean Data Portal which provides thousands of layers of data on marine life and habitats and various ocean uses in a centralized format for public use.  Provided a series of tutorial demonstrations for target user groups.  For more information:

Natural and Nature Based Features

Developed a needs assessment to advance the use and understanding of Natural and Nature Based Features as a method to increase coastal resilience[1]. Created a framework for using citizen science to monitor Natural and Nature Based Features[2]. Identified promising paths to advance current practice and to improve implementation of strategies for prioritizing wetlands for their usefulness in improving coastal resilience[3].




As MARCO’s fiscal sponsor, CSSF provides timely and professional financial management and legal services that enable us to accomplish our programmatic goals as a Regional Ocean Partnership.

Kate Morrison

Former Executive Director

Northeast Regional Ocean Council

Formed in 2005, 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. It is NROC’s mission 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.


  • Supporting the development and implementation of the 2016 Northeast Ocean Plan, the first regional ocean plan to be developed in the United States.
  • Developing and maintaining the Northeast Ocean Data Portal, a website containing an unprecedented library of maps and datasets characterizing human use and ecological patterns that are used to inform offshore development, fisheries management, waterways management, and ecological conservation decisions from offshore Long Island through the Gulf of Maine.
  • Convening and supporting the Northeast Regional Planning Body, a regional forum including representatives from all six New England states, federally recognized tribes, federal agencies, and the New England Fishery Management Council.
  • Engaging thousands of stakeholders to inform the development and implementation of the Northeast Ocean Plan and to provide and validate information available via the Northeast Ocean Data Portal.  This includes representatives from the energy, telecommunications, fisheries, aquaculture, ports and shipping, recreation and tourism industries, environmental organizations, and academic and research institutions.

As NROC’s fiscal sponsor, CSSF has enabled NROC to focus on advancing its ocean management and planning objectives by providing accounting, contract management, and legal services and supporting NROC’s successful fundraising efforts.

Nick Napoli

NROC Ocean Planning Director

West Coast Ocean Alliance

The West Coast Ocean Alliance (WCOA) builds upon previous regional ocean coordination activities carried out through the West Coast Regional Planning Body (2014-18) and West Coast Governors Alliance on Ocean Health (2007-2015) and West Coast Ocean Partnership (2015-18). The WCOA engages state, tribal and federal government partners in a collaborative non-regulatory forum to pursue consensus-driven activities carried out by members in support of the group’s Regional Vision (previous page). The WCOA brings together its members through regular remote meetings and annual in-person meetings, while also supporting sub-regional working groups focused on specific coastal areas of the West Coast.


Since its inception the WCOA has:

  • Established a unique forum to bring ocean co-managers together to discuss current and future uses of the ocean on the West Coast that’s never before been achieved.
  • Formally engaged over a dozen tribes, the three West Coast states and 15+ federal entities in regular coordination and communication about the latest ocean and coastal management issues they’re working through.
  • Supported the formation of new sub-regional marine planning dialogs to focus on specific areas along the West Coast to facilitate more effective coordination and support of existing and new marine planning.
  • Coordinated closely with the West Coast Ocean Data Portal to ensure use of up-to-date ocean data and science in support of ocean and coastal management.
  • Engaged with a range of stakeholders, including industry, local government, academia and NGOs to gain important input on the most pressing ocean issues and desired outcomes of marine planning for the West Coast.

CSSF has provided invaluable support in its role helping oversee fiscal, contracting and personnel support for the West Coast Ocean Alliance  (former West Coast RPB). They are immediately responsive to all requests made by the staff and membership related to a range of project needs, and provide efficient and tailored solutions to the often complex aspects of effectively managing our entity on both a daily and long-term basis.

John Hansen


Former Partners 

Pacific Islands Regional Planning Body

The Pacific Islands Regional Planning Body is comprised of 17 members from both federal, and state and territorial government agencies, as well as the regional fishery management council.  The Pacific Islands RPB members will work together to develop a regional plan for the balanced, sustainable management of the coastal and marine areas of the Pacific Islands Region.


  • Created a charter to which participating federal agencies, as well as the fishery management council, three territories (American Samoa, Guam, and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI)) and the State of Hawaii are signatories.
  • Developed a stakeholder engagement plan to guide the efforts of the PI RPB as well as associated teams.
  • Hosted two coastal and marine spatial planning trainings to train PI RPB members, alternates, and stakeholders.  One was co-hosted by the West Coast RPB.
  • Developed an ocean plan for American Samoa that should be finalized by December 2018.
  •  Kicked off ocean planning in Guam and CNMI.

Several of these efforts were supported by CSSF, who was responsive to the needs of the PI RPB and a pleasure to work with.  CSSF provided excellent grant services and was a conduit between the funder and the PI RPB.  We look forward to working with CSSF on future projects.

Sarah Pautzke

PIRPB Coordinator

Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association

Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association – is the coastal ocean observing system for the Southeast U.S. SECOORA’s mission is to observe, understand, and increase awareness of our coastal ocean; promoting knowledge, economic and environmental health through strong regional partnerships.


The Southeast coastal region is vulnerable to a variety of disasters that can impact the vitality and long-term viability of its coastal communities. Planning for the disaster recovery process provides an opportunity to build resilience to future hurricanes, flooding, and other hazards. The Southeast Disaster Recovery Partnership (SDRP) was established to strengthen the ability of the Southeast’s coastal economy and environment to recover from the next coastal storm. This Partnership provides the training, resources, information, and industry support the coastal communities need to effectively bounce back.

Coastal States Stewardship Foundation is the prime recipient of a NOAA Regional Coastal Resilience award to fund SDRP’s activities. Since the launch in 2016, SDRP partners have:

  • Held three business recovery workshops in different coastal South Carolina counties
  • Completed a Disaster Recovery and Redevelopment Plan for Brunswick and Glynn County, Georgia
  • Launched a major “lessons learned” analysis of North Carolina’s Hurricane Matthew recovery
  • Engaged businesses and local governments to build Miami-Dade County’s disaster recovery capacity
  • Convened partners and resilient disaster recovery experts for three regional meetings
  • Released a white paper on public-private partnerships for disaster recovery

CSSF is the fiscal linchpin for our efforts, says Amanda Martin, SDRP Coordinator. Along with SECOORA, they provide consistent structure as our partnership’s work evolves. CSSF has also been a generous supporter, helping us raise the private match dollars required to accept our major federal grant.

Amanda Martin