|Eric Schwaab of NOAA Fisheries giving a presentation|
|Artwork by Ryan Sobel|
The summit was comprised of numerous speaker sessions, movies, art work, social gatherings and a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill. Some of the exciting people who shared their passion for the oceans at the summit included Erika Bergman, a submersible pilot, Eric Schwaab of NOAA Fisheries, the artists Claudio Garzon and Wyland, Senator Whitehouse (RI), and Representatives Markey (MA) and Farr (CA). Many of the speakers focused on the importance of instilling a love of the ocean in youth and educating them about the importance of ocean conservation.
The Healthy Ocean Hill Day was an exciting part of the summit in which over a hundred impassioned marine conservationists from all walks of life stormed Capitol Hill for over 100 scheduled meetings with members of Congress and their staff. During these meetings the Congress members and their staff were educated about ocean issues including the National Ocean Policy, the National Endowment for the Oceans, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU)—piratefishing, and seafood fraud and the SAFE Seafood Act. As a result of all of the hard work, 56 Congress members signed onto a letter supporting the National Ocean Policy and numerous offices are thinking about cosponsoring either the pirate fishing bill or the SAFE Seafood Act or both.
|Senator Schatz (HI) greeting Hill Day participants|
Events like the Blue Vision Summit and efforts like the Healthy Ocean Hill Day show that the marine community can make an impact on the conservation of our living ocean. If you missed the Blue Vision Summit it isn’t too late to come out to Washington DC to show your support for the oceans. The annual Capitol Hill Oceans Week is coming up June 4-6 and is a free event open to all ocean enthusiasts.
Please join us in letting Capitol Hill know how important the oceans are to you! Send a note to your Senator or Representative telling him or her to keep our oceans clean and healthy for all the wonderful ocean wildlife we love.