Capitol Hill Oceans Week 2008

By Sheril Kirshenbaum

Day 2

The second day of Capitol Hill Oceans Week was packed with interesting sessions and incredible speakers.  The first panel was on coral reef conservation where panelists discussed challenges, opportunities, and innovative solutions.   One of the greatest challenges to managing reefs is coordinating management across levels of government.  Speaking on corals were

Rep. Brian BairdDr. C. Mark Eakin, Coordinator for NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch, Timothy R.E. Keeney, Deputy Assistant Secretary at NOAA, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Explorer in Residence with National Geographic Society, Dr. Lara Hansen, Chief Scientist and Executive Director of EcoAdapt, Dr. Rodney V. Salm, Director of Tropical Marine Conservation at The Nature Conservancy in Asia Pacifict, Nancy Knowlton, Sant Chair of Marine Science Smithsonian Institution, and Billy Causey, Regional Director of the Southeast Region for the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries.  Watch their powerpoints presentations here.  Perhaps the most inspiring moment occurred during the question and answer period when a 12 year old young lady stood up and asked panelists what they were actively doing and what she could do to save the reefs.  She got a variety of answers but no clear solution.

The next panel was on ocean and human health.  President and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, Lori Arguelles, introduced Senator John Kerry for his terrific keynote address.  He demonstrated an understanding of the issues and expressed our collective dependence on oceans.  Panelists included Mary M. Glackin, Deputy Undersecretary for Oceans & Atmosphere at NOAA,  Laura Burton Capps, Senior VP of Communication and Outreach at The Ocean Conservancy, and Lynn Scarlett, Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Interior.  Panelists discussed how human health and oceans will be impacted during times of climate change.  They emphasized the significance of robust coastal ecosystems.

Session three examined aquaculture, a hot topic on the Hill.  The panel explored the challenges of sustainability and the most environmentally responsible practices.  Panelists discussed how human health and oceans will be impacted during times of climate change.  They emphasized the significance of robust coastal ecosystems.  Session three examined aquaculture, a hot topic on the Hill.  The panel explored the challenges of sustainability and the most environmentally responsible practices.  Panelists included Dr. Michael Sutton, Vice President Monterey Bay Aquarium, José R. Villalón, Director of Aquaculture at World Wildlife Fund, Michael Rubino, manager of NOAA Aquaculture Program, Kenneth M. Leber, Director, Center for Fisheries Enhancement at Mote Marine Laboratory, Becky Goldburg, Senior Scientist at Environmental Defense Fund, Dr. Thierry Chopin, Professor of Marine Biology at the University of New Brunswick, and Neil Anthony Sims, President of Kona Blue.

The day ended with a reception at the Rayburn House Office Building to Celebrate the International Year of the Reef & Partnerships in Coral Reef Conservation

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