Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2022:
Setting a Course Forward
By Matt Malinowski
Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2022 will acknowledge a historic past and look to
Sea: The Future, addressing threats like climate change and biodiversity loss in U.S. waters while offering hybrid attendance.
Capitol Hill Ocean Week, or CHOW, is an annual conference that brings together scientists, changemakers, politicians, students, and members of the public to discuss the sustainability of our blue planet. The 2022 session marks the 50th anniversary of historic legislation that helped to develop current U.S. marine, Great Lakes, and coastal protection and management plans. Bills introduced in 1972 including the amendments to the Clean Water Act, the Marine Mammal Act Protection Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act helped to chart a course to conservation. Now, CHOW 2022 will convene to Sea: The Future while setting new goals for policies aimed at reaching a more sustainable, equitable, and inclusive future.
The multi-day conference, hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, will focus the conversation on the effects of climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Impacts of climate change are already being analyzed within national marine sanctuaries, which act as living laboratories. Changing water chemistry, shifts in species ranges, heat waves, and altered weather patterns are just a few examples of how climate change is putting pressure on marine sanctuaries. However, CHOW’s website acknowledges that, “these challenges all share a common solution: people.”
“We welcome everyone back to Capitol Hill Ocean Week, both in Washington, D.C. and across the world,” said Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “While the challenges facing our ocean and Great Lakes are tremendous, solutions are within reach and they begin with people taking action to protect our blue planet. CHOW 2022 will explore actions we can take individually and collectively to set a new course forward."
In that spirit, Capitol Hill Ocean Week will be more accessible than ever before by offering the conference in a hybrid format. Guests can attend both in person in Washington D.C., and virtually, allowing admission across the globe to anyone with an internet connection.
CHOW 2022 Registration Now Open!Registration is free of charge. The event runs from June 7-9. A full list of agenda items and panels is up for review on the CHOW website.
Matt Malinowski is a Virtual Student Federal Service intern for NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries and a graduate student at Harvard University Extension School.