Announcing Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2023: The Climate-Ocean Connection

By Nina Brener
March 2023

CHOW 2023 promotional banner for CHOW The Climate-Ocean Connection

Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2023: "Ocean x Climate" will underscore the relationship between climate change and the world's ocean, addressing the importance of understanding how climate change is negatively impacting the health of ocean ecosystems and the coastal communities that rely on them.

Capitol Hill Ocean Week is an annual conference attended by scientists, policymakers, scholars, businesses, and members of the public to address pressing science, conservation, and management issues. This multi-day event is hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation which has just concluded celebrating 50 years of the legislation responsible for marine protections in the United States—the National Marine Sanctuaries Act. Although we are on the right path to better conservation, the sustainability of future generations, our ocean's biodiversity, and economic survival are dependent on ocean-climate action and putting marine management at the forefront of climate change policy.

Shannon Colbert, vice president for external affairs for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation said, “The ocean is critical to maintaining life on Earth,” said Shannon Colbert, vice president for external affairs for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation.. “ A thriving ocean in the future requires we address climate change head-on, and make ocean and coastal communities front and center in all national climate strategies. CHOW 2023 will dive into how this nexus will shape the future for our ocean, and our planet.”

A survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation reveals that an overwhelming majority of Americans of all backgrounds would like to see the government enact more positive changes in ocean policy. More than half of the poll participants recognize that climate change possesses the biggest threat to the health of our ocean. Two-thirds of Americans favor providing increased funding and community-based efforts to create more marine-protected areas. This includes national marine sanctuaries where monitoring and research take place to enhance our understanding of how natural and historical resources are changing.

The complexities we face to solve the climate crisis require the involvement of people across all disciplines and backgrounds. Inclusivity, equity, and accessibility are central to policy planning and the conditions of coastal communities. In this spirit, this conference will be accessible both in person at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., and virtually to anyone with an internet connection.

Register for CHOW

Speakers and panelists for Capitol Hill Ocean Week include tribal and Indigenous leaders, climate scientists, business and industry innovators, local community leaders, academic researchers, and policymakers.

The following representatives from NOAA will be speaking at the event:

NOAA Administrator Rick Spinrad, Ph.D.

Richard Spinrad

NOAA Deputy Administrator Jainey Bavishi

Jainey Bavishi

NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Janet Coit

Jainey Bavishi

The full list of session topics and speakers are available online.

CHOW 2023 will take place June 6-8. Registration is free of charge.

Register Now!


Nina Brener is a communications intern with NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries