Theme Maps show pre-selected, curated collections of data on key topics and are intended for users who want a quick and easy way to see the main datasets on a topic of interest. Theme Maps have basic mapping functionality and do not offer options to add different combinations of data or to adjust how the map displays the data. This page describes the available data themes and provides links to the Theme Maps by clicking on the icons or text links. Please note that a Theme Map may not include all datasets on the topic, and users are encouraged to check the Data Explorer to see if additional datasets are available. 


Marine Life and Habitat

Northeast Ocean Data provides an unprecedented amount of peer-reviewed data on where marine mammals, sea turtles, fish, and birds live in the region, on their abundance or biomass, and on physical and biological habitats. Marine life and habitat data were developed with direction and guidance from expert work groups and continue to be revised and updated as new data become available. Data providers and appropriate points of con­tact for each dataset are provided in the metadata.



The Aquaculture map shows shellfish management areas and the locations of currently operating marine aquaculture facilities, based on the best available information from state aquaculture coordinators and programs. Because of differences among the datasets, map users are encouraged to read the metadata for each state’s data.


Commercial Fishing

The Commercial Fishing theme is intended to characterize commercial fishing activity for select fisheries from a regional perspective. The theme includes two subthemes: Vessel Activity, which depicts the areas where ves­sels operate in certain federally managed fisheries as monitored by the NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service, and Communities at Sea, which shows linkages between fishing communities and the fishing places that are most important to them by linking Federal Vessel Trip Report (VTR) data with vessel permit information. Data on recreational fishing are provided in the Recreation map.


Cultural Resources

The Cultural Resources map shows shipwrecks, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, National Park Service properties, and other federal, state, and local parks and reserves. In addition, it shows sites, landmarks, districts, and properties on the National Register of Historic Places that are located within 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) of the coastline.


The Energy & Infrastructure theme includes two subthemes: Infrastructure, which shows the footprint of energy and telecommunications infrastructure in the Northeast, including existing cables, pipelines, facilities, and operational offshore renewable energy installations, and Planning Areas, which shows the location and status of offshore renewable energy projects and related planning and lease areas in New England. Data on these maps are developed and maintained by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), the Marine Cadastre, and in collaboration with other authoritative public and private sources.

Marine Transportation

Marine Transportation

The Marine Transportation theme includes two subthemes: Navigation and Commercial Traffic. The Navigation map shows features that are important to waterway users and decision makers in order to maintain a safe and secure waterway. The Commercial Traffic map shows annual and monthly densities of traffic for various types of vessels based on data from the Automatic Identifica­tion System (AIS). Marine Transportation maps were reviewed and finalized with robust input from stakeholders and experts including mariners, fishermen, port authorities, pilots, and industry representatives.


National Security

Data for the National Security map were developed and reviewed by the Department of Defense (DOD). The map contains several layers showing DOD presence in the region. Complete descriptions and appropriate DOD points of con­tact for each map layer are provided in the metadata.



The Recreation theme includes five subthemes: Boating, Whale Watching, Scuba, Recreation Areas, and Coastal Use Surveys. Recreation datasets were developed with extensive stakeholder input from industry representatives, state agencies, and local stakeholders.



The Restoration map shows the locations of ecosystem restoration projects that, when implemented, will improve ocean health in New England. The projects encompass dam removal, fish passage, eelgrass, oysters, land conservation, watersheds, water quality, and wetlands. The dataset was developed and is maintained by the Northeast Regional Ocean Council’s Restoration Subcommittee.


The Water Quality theme includes three subthemes: No Discharge Zones, Impaired Waters, and Wastewater Discharges. Each map displays data associated with existing designations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Water Act. The data are developed and maintained by EPA.

Data Explorer

Data Explorer Thumbnail Image


Define and view any custom combination of data on one map