This map provides examples of how has helped users meet their ocean planning goals. Click the icons on the map to explore how and where is being used. Contact us to have your example added to the map.

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Tropical Cyclone Wind Exposure

Tropical cyclones frequently affect the offshore and coastal waters of the U.S. The exposure of marine waters to tropical cyclones varies by storm, year, and locality, and winds associated with these storms

Shallow Coral Reefs (within Benthic Cover)

Shallow-water coral reefs are more than just pretty places to go snorkeling and scuba diving. These sensitive areas are some of the most biologically rich and economically valuable ecosystems on earth.

Essential Fish Habitat

Fish require healthy surroundings to survive and reproduce. Essential Fish Habitat includes all types of aquatic habitat—wetlands, coral reefs, seagrasses, rivers—where fish spawn, breed, feed, or grow to maturity.

Shipping Lanes and Regulations

The ocean is a highway for ship traffic, and highways require rules. Shipping fairways, lanes, and zones keep ships organized by guiding them on established “roads” and indicating the direction the traffic is moving.

Artificial Reefs

Why are old subway cars and army tanks littering our ocean floor? What purpose can these sunken relics serve? Societies have constructed artificial reefs out of obsolete objects or “trash” for thousands of years for everything from blockading pirate ships to benefiting algae farm productivity.

Anchorage Areas

An anchorage area is a place where boats and ships can safely drop anchor. These areas are created in navigable waterways when ships and vessels require them for safe and responsible navigation.

Wrecks and Obstructions

The Wrecks and Obstructions data set within uses the information found in the Automated Wrecks and Obstructions Information System to create a downloadable data set.

Ocean Uses

Ocean Use data is often collected through community workshops and is used to generate one contiguous data set.

Sediment Thickness

Sediment thickness varies throughout the seafloor. This data helps planners understand seafloor complexity.

Seagrasses Distribution

Seagrasses are a highly sensitive part of the ocean ecosystem. These habitats are important for so much more than being front lawns of the ocean.

Coastal Zone Management Act Boundary

The Coastal Zone Management Act Boundary is the state-identified landward and seaward boundary within which the state’s coastal zone management programs apply.

Wave, Tidal, and Ocean Current Sites

Waves, tides, and ocean currents have been identified as potential renewable ocean energy sources. Energy development technologies are now being tested in U.S. waters.

High Frequency Radar

High-frequency radar is an effective tool for measuring the speed and direction of ocean surface currents. The broad range of uses for this information on currents has motivated the development of a national network of surface current mapping systems as part of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS).

Tidal Stream Resource Potential

Tidal streams can be used as a form of alternative ocean energy. They are high velocity sea currents created by periodic movement of the ocean caused by the gravitational pull of the moon.

Habitat Area of Particular Concern

A habitat area of particular concern is a designation that encompasses discrete subsets of essential fish habitat, which provide extremely important ecological functions or are especially vulnerable to degradation.

Zones, Limits, and Maritime Jurisdictions

A boundary seems like a simple concept. Unfortunately, establishing boundaries is a complicated matter, especially in the ocean.

Ocean Wave Resource Potential

Wave energy is a form of alternative ocean energy that can be harnessed for consumption. The Ocean Wave Resource Potential data set shows users the predicted mean wave energy density within U.S. waters.

Federal Radar and Impact Zones

Weather radar stations are located all across the U.S., including the coastlines. Ocean uses, such as wind turbines, can impact its operation.

Proposed and Designated Critical Habitat

The Endangered Species Act (ESA) was enacted to conserve species that are in danger of extinction now or in the foreseeable future.

DoD Offshore Wind Mission Compatibility Assessment

Wind Stipulation Areas are areas in which the Department of Defense has an interest and that may not be compatible with offshore energy development.

Automatic Identification System

The Automatic identification System (AIS) is a program designed to collect location information from vessels across the coastal continental U.S., inland rivers, Hawaii, and Guam.

Aids to Navigation

Aids to navigation are placed along coasts and in navigable waters as guides to mark safe water and hidden dangers as well as to assist in determining a vessel’s position in relation to land.

Marine Protected Areas

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are defined as, “any area of the marine environment that has been reserved by federal, state, territorial, tribal, or local laws or regulations to provide lasting protection for part or all of the natural and cultural resources therein.”

OCS Lease Blocks and BOEM Protraction Diagrams

Lease blocks are used to help the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) manage the submerged lands of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). Protraction diagrams are boundaries used in delineating the OCS lease blocks.

Wind Planning Areas

Wind planning areas are areas where cursory screenings for use conflicts have been completed by facilitating improved coordination among local, state, and federal partners to accelerate the leasing process.

Offshore Wind Resource Potential

The offshore wind resource potential data set identifies areas of high wind energy that would be ideal wind farm locations.