| by Rachel Christopherson

News Stories

a flag flys off the stern of a vessle, with ocean and city scape in background

On June 8th, 2022, World Ocean Day, the Biden-Harris Administration announced the creation of a whole-of-government Ocean Climate Action Plan.   The Center for the Blue Economy, Blue Frontier, and our coalition of Ocean Climate Action partners celebrate this announcement!  Is it coincidence that they have titled it the Ocean Climate Action Plan?  We think not!

  • The Biden-Harris Administration will develop and implement a first-ever, whole-of-government Ocean Climate Action Plan.  The Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Council on Environmental Quality, Co-Chairs of the Ocean Policy Committee, announced that the Committee will work in coordination with the White House Climate Policy Office to develop a whole-of-government Ocean Climate Action Plan that will guide significant ocean-based climate mitigation and adaptation actions, including green shipping, ocean-based renewable energy, blue carbon, and other ocean-related solutions. The Committee will also develop a National Sustainable Ocean Plan that will help guide sustainable economic development of U.S. ocean and coastal waters.”

Reading this White House announcement, on World Ocean Day 2022, and considering the three years of effort made to raise awareness about the connection between the oceans, Great Lakes, our rivers and estuaries to climate change—the Ocean Climate Action Coalition should be very proud!   We can and should take a moment to celebrate this victory!

An ocean behind the quote "climate crisis is an ocean crisis"

The following day, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis held a hearing entitled, “Turning the Tide for Ocean Climate Action: Unleashing the Climate Benefits of Our Blue Planet.”  

As of June 2022, the language of our Ocean Climate Action Plan has gained traction at every level of government, and the Ocean Climate Action Coalition had a significant role in building that momentum. 

Here is a brief timeline, to refresh our memories and call to mind how inspiring and effective this movement has been:

Looking back, it is remarkable how a small group of people grew into a national movement that is fulfilling it’s intended purpose:  strong local and federal ocean-climate policy signed into law as soon as possible. The climate emergency is an ocean emergency.  There is no time to waste.

 

During National Ocean Month, we celebrate the beauty and bounty of our ocean and reaffirm our commitment to protecting and conserving our marine environments for a sustainable future.
— President Joseph R. Biden

Call to Action:  $555 to Stay Alive—Billions Needed for Ocean Climate Action

There is renewed momentum for the Senate to use the budget reconciliation process to pass climate legislation.  Historic levels of funding for climate adaptation and mitigation are on the line—$555 billion (over 10 years) originally included in the Build Back Better framework. We urge all concerned citizens to contact their Senators and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer with two main points: 

  • Invest the full $555 billion originally included in the Build Back Better bill to address climate change and,
  • Advance strong ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes provisions in the final package.

Ocean-based climate solutions are key to solving the climate crisis, and there is no time to waste.  We may not have another chance like this for many years to come!

Please contact your Senators and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to urge ocean climate action now! 

You cannot protect the oceans without solving climate change, and you cannot solve climate change without protecting the oceans--John Kerry