March 7-10: Ocean advocates go to Capitol Hill

President Obama and the new Congress have inherited a struggling economy, two wars and a climate crisis. They need to know that healthy ocean and coasts are vital to our economy, security and fighting global warming. That's why ocean leaders and advocates nationwide will be coming together in Washington, D.C., March 7-10 to call attention and share information about the state of our seas and the human and wildlife communities that depend on them. On Tuesday - we'll wrap up the summit with a visit to members of Congress, urging their support of the ocean and coastal resources that are so important to our country.

NRDC - along with a host of other environmental partners - is sponsoring the Blue Vision Summit to bring a range of people engaged in ocean conservation together for three purposes:

  • To convince President Obama and Congress to take action on the ocean 
  • To highlight climate change impacts on the ocean
  • To highlight solutions that are working, from the local to the global level, to address marine threats

The summit will include a night with top ocean explorers, two days of meetings and discussions, two evening celebrations and a Capitol Hill Day that will provide an opportunity for people to meet with their elected representatives.

I'll be there for the long weekend, and Monday morning I'll be moderating a panel focused on state and regional solutions for healthy ocean policy, where I will be joined by experts from California, New York and Massachusetts state governments. California Secretary for Resources Mike Chrisman will speak about the state's work establishing a network of Marine Protected Areas (think National Parks of the sea) up and down its coast. New York Deputy Secretary of State George Stafford will talk about the proposal to go forward in determining sites to develop offshore renewable energy. And Massachusetts Undersecretary for Oceans & Coasts Deerin Babb-Brott will discuss the state's implementation of its own trailblazing healthy oceans law - the Massachusetts Oceans Act.

Participating in the summit are hundreds of other ocean leaders from around the country and leaders of the new administration and Congress, including White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Nancy Sutley, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (invited) and Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Representatives Sam Farr and Madeleine Bordallo, oceanographer Sylvia Earle, advocate and "Animal Planet" correspondent Philippe Cousteau, Author Bill Mckibben, Sherman's Lagoon Cartoonist Jim Toomey, "Arctic Tale" Director Adam Ravetch, Terry Tamminen, Ocean Rower Roz Savage and many other dedicated ocean defenders from sea to shining sea.

If you're concerned about our oceans and coasts - and the money and jobs that rely on them - we'd love for you to join us in calling on Congress to acknowledge how important our seas really are to the country and the planet. You can learn more and join us by registering here!