Marine Planning
Practical Approaches to Ocean and Coastal Decision-Making

Multipurpose Marine Cadastre

data on seafloor habitats

Data on seafloor habitats from The Nature Conservancy’s Northwest Atlantic Marine Ecoregional Assessement. These biodiversity data are the first “trusted” data to be added to the federal Multipurpose Marine Cadastre.


The Multipurpose Marine Cadastre is a web-based map viewer that shows legal, physical, ecological, and cultural data in a common geographic information system (GIS) framework. Users choose an ocean area and quickly see the applicable jurisdictional boundaries, restricted areas, laws, critical habitat locations, and other important features. The Cadastre was created to facilitate siting of offshore renewable energy projects, and now many of its data resources are also being used for coastal and marine spatial planning. With the Cadastre, potential conflicts can be identified and avoided early in the planning process, and the Cadastre is also a valuable tool for the permit review process.

Initially, the Cadastre project focused on providing authoritative data from government sources with an emphasis on legal and administrative features. Recently, however, the federal government approved the addition to the Cadastre of biodiversity data from The Nature Conservancy’s Northwest Atlantic Marine Ecoregional Assessment. These data are the first to be added as trusted data, meaning they are considered reliable but not authoritative. Inclusion of trusted data will increase the Cadastre’s utility as a tool for multi-objective planning. Staff from The Nature Conservancy worked closely with the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to plan and begin the process of incorporating trusted data into the Cadastre.

Following this successful pilot project to add biodiversity data from the eastern United States, The Nature Conservancy is now collaborating with federal partners toward adding more biodiversity data into the Cadastre. Adding these trusted data is important to ensure that coastal and marine spatial planning and alternative energy planning can address conservation goals.

Geographic Location

The Multipurpose Marine Cadastre contains data for ocean and coastal waters of the United States.

Project Leads

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