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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 of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes and the foundation of planning is data and information.

We are just getting started and want to share what we have done so far, so this site is a prototype. We are making available some of the data that may be needed for your planning process, but we know there is more. We are striving for this site to be simple, yet useful. As a first step, we are providing greater access to data by making it available on websites across the participating Federal agencies. This will allow you to have the data when you want it. The community is here to make that discovery and access easier.

We also have a registry for tools which we will expand as people create new tools with the data we are providing. This will be a place for people to share what they have created.

For data to be useful and shared, it must meet some agreed to standards. We have created a Technical Community of Practice where you have access to 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.

Overall, this effort is national in scope, but is designed using a regional approach because the important work occurs regionally and locally. Thus, we have identified some of the important work going on in different regions so people can share what they are doing. Please let us know if there is more we should include. Looking to the future, we will be adding the ability to view data on maps. 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 expand to help you better access data from outside the Federal government.

So please help us build this community into the best source of data and information to support planning for the future of the ocean, our coasts, and the Great Lakes. To hear from you, we have a Forums Page where you can tell us what data and tools you would find most useful.