Monterey Bay Aerial Shot
CBE and Blue Frontier Logos


On October 18, 2019, the Center for the Blue Economy and Blue Frontier hosted an invitation-only meeting of thought leaders from across industry, government, academia, and the conservation community of California with a goal of expanding and refining the Ocean Climate Action Plan (available here) into a more complete program that can form the basis for national legislation and policy. A larger follow-up national meeting of stakeholders is planned for spring 2020 in Washington D.C., during which the Ocean Climate Action Plan will be finalized, sent on to presidential candidates for endorsement or response, used to educate citizens, incorporated into climate legislation, and/or used as a stand-alone legislative package. 

The September 25th IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere added special urgency to the Ocean Climate Action Summit. The report offers a grim picture. We have simply waited too long to reduce emissions, and will be forced to grapple with impacts that can no longer be avoided. However, we can act now to lessen the impacts, and our meeting could not have been more timely.

Meeting Recap:

A summary of the meeting and photos from the day can be found here:  The Ocean Climate Action Summit: From California Consensus to a National "Blue New Deal"

The first draft of the Ocean Climate Action Plan will be available to meeting participants in January of 2020. After we receive their input, we will develop a second draft that we will bring to our D.C. meeting the week of April 27-May 1, 2020. The goal of this meeting will be to make sure that OCAP's goals are flexible and comprehensive enough to support the development of a truly national U.S. Blue Economy, and that the voices of indigenous leaders and environmental justice issues are fully internalized.

After the D.C. meeting, we will produce a final draft endorsed by the major ocean and coastal NGOs and industries in the US, which will be sent on to presidential candidates for endorsement or response, and the political parties for inclusion into their platforms. From there the framework will be translated into legislation that can be acted on at the federal level in the new Congress of 2021, as well as at the state level.

Meeting Agenda:

Click here for the final agenda. This meeting was intended to be a working meeting, with participants engaging in one of three discussion groups:

  • Infrastructure & Coastal Adaptation: Financing mechanisms for coastal adaptation, in the context of social justice, including FEMA flood insurance reform, planning/zoning issues and living shorelines.
  • Offshore energy: The challenges facing offshore clean energy and onshore links, including ocean zoning.
  • Fishing & Aquaculture: Climate adaptation solutions in fisheries and aquaculture, including adaptive MPAs.Ports &

Note:  Maritime Industries (Greening ports and shipping and decarbonizing other maritime industries) was folded into the other three groups.

Keynote Speakers:

The Honorable Betty T. Yee, California State Controller

Heirs to Our Oceans Youth Climate Activists

Breakout Sessions Signup Sheet: 

Click here for the Breakout Session Sign-up Sheet

Attendee List:

Click here for the attendee list.

Morse Building

Location and Parking

Our meeting will take place on the campus of the Middlebury Institute, in the Morse Building, Room B104, located at 426 Van Buren Street, Monterey, CA, 93940.   On our campus map, the Morse building is #4.  Parking is available with no fees or time limits in the neighborhoods above Van Buren Street.  There is a two-hour time limit on parking on Van Buren Street.   No parking will be available in our campus lots, but nearby city-owned lots are available with metered stalls.

Detailed Travel Itinerary:

We have put together a detailed travel itinerary, with driving directions and parking maps:   Participant Travel & Meeting Itinerary

Hotel List: 

Click here for a hotel list. Mention you are attending an event at the Middlebury Institute, and the participating hotels should honor our corporate rate.

WiFi on Campus:

To connect to wifi on campus, please follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your wireless device then select the MiddleburyGuest wireless network.
  2. Open a web browser; you should be welcomed by Middlebury's wireless portal page.
  3. Click Create Basic Guest Account.
  4. Please complete the form as directed:
    • Type your name, phone number, and email address.
    • Review the terms of use then check the box to accept the terms.
  5. Click Register to complete your account creation process. Your password will display on the screen; you will receive a text message and an e-mail with your password as well.
  6. Click Log In and enter your e-mail address and password to connect to the MiddleburyGuest wireless network using your new account.

Or download these MIIS Wireless Setup Instructions


Stanford Hopkins Marine Station
Stanford Hopkins Marine Station

Reception and Hospitality: 

Coffee, tea, and light snacks will be available during the Ocean Climate Action Summit. A hearty, healthy, vegetarian lunch will be served. Participants with food allergies or special dietary requests, please contact Rachel Christopherson at

A reception will follow the meeting from 5:30-7:30pm at the beautiful Harold A. Miller Marine Biology Library at the Stanford Hopkins Marine Station. Participants will enjoy views of the ocean, local wines and snacks. The library address is 120 Ocean View Blvd., Pacific Grove, CA 93950. 


Please feel free to contact any of the organizers with questions or requests:

Rachel Christopherson
Program Manager, Center for the Blue Economy

Jason Scorse
Director of the Center for the Blue Economy

David Helvarg
Author and Executive Director of Blue Frontier

Senator Bill Monning Letterhead

Support from Senator Monning

Senator William (Bill) Monning (CA-D17) wrote a statement "In Support of the Ocean Climate Summit."  Senator Monning writes to thank: "all of those gathered who seek to advance a strong Ocean Climate Policy as part of international efforts to combat climate change." Indeed, that is our goal. Thank you Senator Monning for your efforts and support.

The Hill logo

The Blue New Deal

Journalist Rebecca Beitsch wrote an article in The Hill Sept. 10, 2019 entitled: "Enthusiasm builds for 'Blue New Deal' after climate town hall."  Professor Jason Scorse is quoted as an early crafter of the Blue New Deal approach.

polar bears on thin ice
Courtesy of Alert Diver online magazine

Diving into an Ocean Climate Action Plan

by David Helvarg, November 19, 2019