This Year, Capitol Hill Ocean Week Moves Online

May 2020

Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), the premier ocean policy conference in the United States, brings together people from all over the world to discuss ocean and Great Lakes science, conservation, and management issues. This year, Capitol Hill Ocean Week is going virtual – the conference will take place online on Tuesday, June 9.

many small fish swimming in a kelp forest
Fish school in a kelp forest in Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. Photo: Robert Schwemmer/NOAA

As in past years, the virtual conference will feature engaging conversations with opinion leaders from across the country and around the world to examine pressing ocean issues. This year, the conference will focus on the global issue of protecting biodiversity. Several exciting discussions are planned, including “Global Action for Ocean, Climate and Biodiversity,” which features the leaders of several United Nations environmental agencies; “High Seas: Shared Stewardship for our Global Ocean”; and “A New Age of Exploration,” moderated by Deputy NOAA Administrator Rear Admiral Timothy Gallaudet. The full list of session topics and speakers are available online.

What started as a small, daylong gathering in 2001 has grown to become the nation's leading annual conference highlighting current marine, coastal, and Great Lakes policy and programs. The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation brings together policymakers, scientists, scholars, businesses, and conservation leaders to address science, conservation, and management issues. More than 900 attendees, 70 speakers, and 15 members of Congress participated in 2019, discussing the ocean and human health, sustainable fisheries, and wildlife conservation.

The virtual Capitol Hill Ocean Week conference will include a full day of activities, including plenaries and concurrent breakout sessions on how science and technology are advancing our understanding of the marine environment, the role of protected areas in conserving biodiversity, and how to engage people as stewards. Virtual spaces will support networking, and a virtual exhibit hall will showcase the work of conference partners.

Registration is free of charge. Register now at