On August 16, 2014 the Center for Ocean Solutions organized a lunch and plenary discussion on Healthy Oceans: Why Healthy Oceans Matter for Everyone at the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators’ annual National Forum. The presentation and panel discussion provided over 120 state legislators from thirty-five states around the country with a foundation in ocean literacy, including why the global ocean is important to everyone, the fundamental services it provides and the opportunities available to foster its resilience through state and national-level decisions.
Organized and lead by Meg Caldwell, Center for Ocean Solutions executive director and Ashley Erickson, Center for Ocean Solutions policy and education manager, the panel comprised two invited speakers from the Center’s partner institutions. Jim Barry, PhD, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and Margaret Spring, Vice President of Conservation and Science at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, introduced state legislators to the complex ocean challenges of global climate change, fishing, habitat loss and food-web impacts. Meg Caldwell moderated the lively discussion between legislators and the panelists.
The presentation provided state-level policy makers with a valuable scientific foundation on ocean processes and impacts, allowing them to think critically about how this information impacts the environment and constituencies in their home states and their state’s role in fostering ocean resilience.
Margaret Spring, the Vice President of Conservation and Science at the Aquarium, addresses meeting participants.