The story of climate change is not a simple one, not easy to tell. Middlebury student Kamryn You Mak weaves a readable, light, yet profound tale, as she connects the deep threads and through lines of a changing planet to her own experience in her article “Ice Plant = Climate Change,” a Planet Forward StoryFest 2022 finalist.
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 were passed as part of the infrastructure bill and the reconciliation bill is being re-developed by Congress to pull out climate components. 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.
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.
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In an article for Hakai Magazine, International Environmental Policy student Nick Rahaim ’22 describes the conflict between global fisheries and the hungry whales that eat their catch.
In a San Francisco Chronicle opinion article, Jason Scorse, director of the Institute’s Center for the Blue Economy and David Helvarg, executive director of Blue Frontier, argue that sanctioning Russia’s oil and natural gas exports is crucial to the U.S. response to the crisis in Ukraine.