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 (a down payment on clean ports and clean energy) and many OCAP recommendations are included in the Build Back Better bill being developed by Congress. Historic levels of funding for climate adaptation and mitigation are on the line (400+ billion as of November 2021 over ten years). Is climate change important to you? If so, now is the time to speak up. Not sure how to contact your Representatives? Our partners at Blue Frontier have made it easy for you!
THIS IS A ONCE-IN-A-GENERATION MOMENT! Policymakers are busy considering these blue economy investments:
- $6-10 Billion for Coastal Restoration to promote Living Shorelines (through NOAA) - state specific projects to which you can refer when you communicate with senators/senate staff:
- $10-20 Billion for a Ports Decarbonization Program to reduce cumulative pollution at ports and surrounding communities. This grant program will allow ports to develop climate action plans and assist with the purchase and installation of zero emission equipment and technology in the nation’s ports.
- $6-10 Billion for a bold, robust Civilian Climate Corps (CCC) (through EPA) that includes at least $2 Billion for the National Coastal Resilience Fund and Resiliency and Habitat Grant Program that will put young people to work building climate resilience across the nation, benefiting local communities.
Be Part of the Solution
- CONTACT your Legislators to demand Ocean Climate Action now!
- Put pressure on these key Senators to support the Build Back Better Bill!
- Urge passage of the Tax Fairness Plan to fully fund the Build Back Better Bill!
- Say thank you to Rep. Bonamici (D OR) and Rep. Young (R AK) for crafting this bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter urging Congress fund $10 billion for coastal restoration and resilience projects
- HOST a meeting with your representative, contact Lauren Townsend for help: 215-939-7621 email@example.com
- JOIN the Ocean Climate Action Mailing List to stay informed of developments and actions
- SIGN the original Ocean Climate Action Petition and stand with us! Sign the Youth 4 Ocean Climate Action Petition to stand with the youth!
- READ the Ocean Climate Action Plan (30 pages) to educate yourself on the specific policies to create change.
- SHARE our Twitter feed @CBE_MIIS and use the hashtag #OceanClimateAction to demand change.
- BE INSPIRED by, and help grow, the diverse list of Primary Signatory Supporters fighting with us (John Kerry, Jane Fonda, Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau, indigenous groups, industry leaders, environmental and business leaders).
Our Voices are Being Heard
Many Biden Administration policies already mirror the Ocean Climate Action Plan (OCAP) goals. For example, OCAP calls for 30GW of offshore wind by 2030 and this is exactly what President Biden has called for; OCAP calls for 30% of US federal waters to be in Marine Protected Areas by 2030 and Biden signed an Executive Order to this effect; and in the newly released Nationally Determined Contributions outlining US climate goals, the Biden administration commits to promoting living shorelines and decarbonizing the maritime sector, two more key OCAP goals.
“It’s time for boldness because there is so much to do!” - President Joseph R. Biden.
April 2021 Lobby Day + the Big Picture
The Ocean Climate Action (Virtual) Capitol Hill Lobby Day on April 14th was focused on a few key priorities, but into summer 2021 and beyond, we will continue to make sure federal agencies use their regulatory and budgetary power to support ocean and coastal environmental justice and climate action. Our coalition will continue to work to make sure all of our key recommendations are made a priority:
- Clean Ocean Energy: It’s time for expansion of federal leasing for offshore wind and federal investment into research and development of wave and tidal energy. We must address the rising temperatures on the planet affecting the oceans and all life on earth and move towards sustainable energy. The Ocean Climate Action Coalition supports 30GW of offshore wind by 2030.
- Job-Producing Shoreline Restoration to Promote Climate Resilience: Storm intensity is increasing, and sea levels are rising, making storm surges and flooding more intense. The Ocean Climate Action Coalition supports calls for $20 billion in federal funding through NOAA to create jobs building living shorelines and natural barriers for our coasts, ports, and along inland rivers and the Great Lakes (the Civilian Conservation Corps). Nature-based solutions will save lives, save taxpayer money, and create wildlife habitat. It’s time to move post-disaster funding into pre-disaster planning.
- Green Ports and Shipping: It’s time to rapidly accelerate the decarbonization of U.S. ports and the shipping industry, and in doing so, dramatically improve air and water quality in adjacent communities. The Ocean Climate Action Coalition supports calls for $20 billion in federal funding through EPA to modernize and green our ports.
- 30x30: It’s time to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas covering at least 30% of U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone waters to provide public benefit and increase climate resilience.
- Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture: It’s time to catalyze rapid growth and innovation in a climate resilient and sustainable seafood industry, which includes aquaculture, mariculture, and plant and cell-based seafood alternatives.
Follow us on Social Media
TWITTER @CBE_MIIS or @Blue_Frontier and FACEBOOK @CenterForTheBlueEconomy or @BlueFront.org and INSTAGRAM @OceanClimateAction
About the Ocean Climate Action Coalition
“The ocean is one of the most powerful tools we have to help head off the worst consequences of global climate change,” says Ocean Climate Action Plan signatory Mike Conathan in a recent Hill Article.
The non-partisan Ocean Climate Action Plan (OCAP) was developed over the last two years in collaboration with hundreds of organizations and individuals, including a Youth Advisory Council, with Blue Frontier and the Center for the Blue Economy acting as convenors. OCAP includes the best ideas from industry leaders, marine conservationists, academics, frontline communities, youth activists, and policymakers. It is a template for strong federal legislation, and indeed, many components have been adopted into HR 8632, the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act, but our work did not stop there. On April 13th, a small, core group of the Ocean Climate Action Coalition met with 11 key federal agencies including: EPA Office of Environmental Justice, Dept. of Energy, NOAA, FEMA, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Transportation, Marine Mammal Commission, EPA Office of Water, Department of Commerce, White House Council on Environmental Quality/Office of Science & Technology Policy, and the U.S. Coast Guard. On April 14th, 1000+ members of the public were mobilized and held meetings with 107 Members of the House of Representatives and their staff, and 33 Senators and staff. The broad coalition (many of whom had never lobbied their elected representatives before) sent a clear message to our national policymakers: you cannot solve the climate crisis without ocean health, and ocean health is key to solving the climate crisis. Our advocacy work continues with partner Blue Frontier taking the lead throughout the summer of 2021, pushing for our ocean climate priorities. We have no time to waste.
MEDIA KIT & MORE INFORMATION
Help us spread the word that solving the climate crisis is key to ocean health, and ocean health is key to solutions for the climate crisis. Ocean Climate Action 2021-Media Kit & Info
For questions and suggestions, please contact the Ocean Climate Action 2021 co-organizers:
OCAP Virtual Lobby Days Coordinator