| by Elli Kerlow

News Stories

Monterey Bay Aerial Shot

Blue Frontier Campaign, an ocean conservation and policy group, and the Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies have put forward an Ocean Climate Action Plan (aka “Blue New Deal”) as a way for the United States to respond to the threats documented in the IPCC report. 

The newly released report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that looks at climate impacts on the world ocean and the world’s ice is a sobering warning that we are facing dangerous changes from a warming, acidifying ocean that is seeing declining oxygen and fish catches and intensifying storms and coastal flooding.


Also responding are millions of young people who have staged climate strikes this week.

Critical masses of people around the world are waking up to the fact that we don’t have much time left to act.  Our Ocean Climate Action Plan will be the Blue part of the Green New Deal -a comprehensive guide to using the oceans and coasts both to mitigate climate change and build socioeconomic resilience.
— Jason Scorse, Director of the Center for the Blue Economy

The plan first appeared under Helvarg and Scorse’s byline in the March 13 edition of Mongabay.com a conservation science publication:  Putting the Blue in the Green New Deal. 

Since then, the plan has received growing coverage and support.  The proposal recommends broad-based changes needed to address the IPCC reported threats to the U.S. coastal population (43% of total population) and blue economy (44% of GDP).  

Our plan offers a blueprint of practical solutions that can help mitigate and buffer the impacts of fossil fuel fired climate disruption and secure our communities and our economy.  All that’s needed is the political will to enact them.
— David Helvarg, Executive Director of Blue Frontier

Among eight identified areas in need of change, they call for a complete reformation of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) administered by FEMA, major coastal infrastructure investment with a focus on protection and restoration of natural barriers and coastal habitats, new guidelines and systems for expanding offshore renewable energy production, new forms of assistance to greening ports and fishing communities and a revised National Disaster Response System including creation of a new combatant command within the Department of Defense.

The Ocean Climate Action Plan is being refined and developed through marine and maritime stakeholder engagement including an October 18, 2019 working summit in Monterey California and follow up working sessions in Washington D.C. in the spring of 2020. 

The aim is to provide a template for state and national legislation and policy, persuading the presidential candidates to endorse or respond to the plan, to use it to educate citizens, incorporate it into future climate legislation, and/or create stand-alone legislation.

Jason Scorse and David Helvarg  are available for interviews.

To read the Ocean Climate Action Plan go to: Ocean Climate Action Plan


For More Information

Elli Kerlow
David Helvarg

Jason Scorse