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Northeast U.S. Shelf Regional Ecosystem

Learn more about the Northeast Shelf Regional Ecosystem, which reaches from northern Maine, down to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

Stongington Maine harbor with fishing vessells and row boats.

The Northeast Shelf Regional Ecosystem is highly productive, supporting economically important fisheries for centuries and other marine species such as the North Atlantic right whale and deep-water corals. This ecosystem has faced intense coastal development, leading to pollution and habitat degradation. The pace of observed ocean and climate changes in this region is faster than in other regions, but new innovative activities are advancing to address these challenges. Offshore wind energy and aquaculture continue to develop in the Northeast Shelf Regional Ecosystem.

Chesapeake Bay

Part of the Northeast Shelf, the Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in North America and is an extremely productive and complex ecosystem. Within the Bay, we focus on applied research and monitoring in fisheries and aquatic habitats; synthesis and analysis to describe and predict Bay ecosystem processes; and the delivery of policy advice and technical assistance to Bay decision makers.

Learn more about NOAA’s Chesapeake Bay Office