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By David Helvarg & Jason Scorse Like millions of Americans, Delaware’s Vice President Joe Biden and his family love the coast. They spend their summers visiting their family beach house in a typical Delaware shore town with a boardwalk, small shops, bars, and restaurants. Its expansive beaches attract countless families, the adjacent state park is […]
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) calculated for the first time the value of commercial activities dependent on the nation’s oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes and found that they “floated” $373B of GDP in 2018 and that their growth was stronger than overall GDP growth that year.
Why This Matters: Ocean health matters but its impact on the economy is one of the biggest reasons – and now more than ever as we rebuild it.
By David Helvarg and Jason Scorse As we enter another hurricane season in the midst of a global pandemic, there are growing calls to respond to the climate emergency at the scale we’ve responded to COVID-19. Yet many climate solutions being proposed fail to address the 71 percent of the planet that’s blue. In early […]
Yesterday at the Our Ocean Conference in Norway, the U.S. government announced a series of 23 actions it will undertake to promote sustainable fisheries, combat marine debris, and support marine science, observation, and exploration — together they are valued at $1.21 billion dollars.
Why This Matters: The U.S. announcement certainly is big — but the projects were not clearly spelled out in the government’s press release — and the devil could be in the details since they were couched as enhancing the “blue economy.” We hope that when more details are available, these projects will put as much emphasis on sustainability as on development. And because accountability is a major component of the Our Ocean conference, the U.S. will have a hard time backing away from spending the dollars committed.
I just heard from a longtime friend on the Hill that “soon” Congress will introduce a “Blue New Deal” in both chambers with support from the President and all ocean agencies. Congress and the Administration are joining forces to create a strategic, cost-loaded plan that will address ocean science and technology needs nationwide, bringing together federal agencies with their partners in academia, industry, state and local government, and NGOs to work on key common goals.
Broadly speaking, the Green New Deal similarly envisions a “massive program of investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, meant to transform not just the energy sector, but the entire economy. It is meant both to decarbonize the economy and to make it fairer and more just.” The devil is always in the details, but in our view, this Blue Economy vision should not be overlooked in developing the Green New Deal. The key elements within the framework of the Green New Deal should ensure an overall more sustainable Blue Economy that supports a healthy ocean and thus healthy human communities – with an emphasis on the shipping, energy production, and fisheries sectors.
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