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.
Since first launched by the Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) in 2015, the International Symposium on Oceans in National Income Accounts has provided a crucial platform by which international organizations develop and discuss ways to measure and monitor economic activity generated by oceans and coasts. The 5th International Oceans in National Income Accounts Symposium was hosted by National University of Ireland, Galway on March 24-25, 2021, and Dr. Charles Colgan, the Director of Research at the Center for the Blue Economy (and the individual who instituted the methodology to measure the blue economy worldwide) gave a notable presentation. He gives an overview of some key points in the Ocean Climate Action Plan developed by the CBE and our partners which are now being considered at historic levels of funding in U.S. Congress, and lays out clearly how climate change adaptation and mitigation strategies will change how nations measure the oceans’ economic contributions to their national income accounts.
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Each fall, 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 fall 2021 speakers are taking shape now. Click the link above or see the lectures below.
Center for the Blue Economy & Sustainability Speaker Series Fall 2021
Climate change, adaptation, resilience, mitigation—from the oceans to the Arctic—we are facing a whole new world in the 21st century. Center for the Blue Economy staff, Research Fellows, and Advisory Council members playing an important part of that critical conversation.
Ten billion dollars in funding to restore beach dunes and dune grass, salt marshes and estuaries, oyster and coral reefs may seem unrelated to the rebuilding of America’s crumbling roads, bridges and sewer plants. But restoring and expanding natural coastal barriers — or living infrastructure — is actually a practical cost-effective way of reducing the growing impacts of sea-level rise, intensified storms and “sunny-day flooding” associated with the rapidly worsening climate emergency. And those impacts will be devastating to the U.S. economy if we don’t act now. While vulnerable coastal counties comprise less than 10 percent of the nation’s landmass, they generate 46 percent of its GDP.