In a recent piece in MSN News, Jason Scorse, Director of the Blue Economy and David Helvarg, Executive Director of Blue Frontier, lay out that our public seas must play a central role in national climate policy, and we have no time to waste.
Our mission at the Center for the Blue Economy is to promote ocean-based sustainability solutions through leadership in economic research, education, and policy analysis.
What is the “Blue Economy”?
The “Blue Economy” comprises the economic activities that create sustainable wealth from the world’s oceans and coasts. The center examines ways that ocean and coastal resources can support economic development and enhance healthy, resilient oceans and well-managed coastlines.
Our research focuses on two areas—helping organizations understand how to measure the size and changing nature of economic relationships with the oceans and coasts in order to guide choices and monitor progress, and the economics of climate change adaptation in coastal regions.
Climate change and ocean health are often thought about as separate silos, when the two are interconnected.
Climate change is warming the oceans and changing their chemistry. Without ocean health, the entire planetary water cycle and oxygen cycle are in danger. The oceans sequester huge amounts of carbon dioxide helping to cool the planet, but that may not continue with “business as usual.” Climate change affects even those far from any coastline. We must solve the ocean climate challenge together, and we have a short window of time to take action. The Center for the Blue Economy has partnered with Blue Frontier to bring together thought leaders from across industry, government, academia, and the conservation community to craft the Ocean Climate Action Plan or OCAP. Key elements of the plan are now being considered as part of the infrastructure bill and reconciliation bill being developed by Congress. Historic levels of funding for climate adaptation and mitigation are on the line. Is climate change important to you? If so, now is the time to speak up.
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Each academic term, two speaker series converge: The Center for the Blue Economy Speaker Series focuses on topics related to ocean and coastal resource management and climate change, and the Environmental Justice & Sustainability Speaker Series offers a broader range of topics, from food security to water conflicts. Both series bring creative, pragmatic, and practice-based environmental professionals to campus primarily to support students in the International Environmental Policy program, but all lectures are open to the public. Sponsored and hosted by the Center for the Blue Economy and the Nancy Eccles and Homer M. Hayward Family Foundation, the series features forward-thinking speakers who present cutting-edge solutions to complex problems across a wide variety of fields. The spring 2022 speakers are taking shape now.
The Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics, Volume 8, Issue 2, features eleven papers drawn from the recent Fifth International Symposium on the Oceans in National Income Accounts. The papers highlight an evolution in ocean economic thinking: from defining and measuring the blue economy as statistics related to GDP, to an information system that provides decision makers with the facts they need around marine ecosystem service flows and changes.
Director of the Center for the Blue Economy Dr. Jason Scorse contributed to a new report on ocean-based climate solutions published by the Economist Group.