Don’t Miss these Virtual CHOW Features!

Everyone who has attended Capitol Hill Ocean Week in the past knows that the top-flight experts speaking on interesting topics in the panels and plenaries are only half of the experience. There are side meetings with colleagues in a related field. There are exhibitors representing ocean and Great Lakes conservation groups and supporters showing off their latest work. And there are always connections being made: future collaborators meeting for the first time, or perhaps grad program classmates who haven’t seen each other in years.

That is why the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation endeavored to make the Virtual CHOW platform more than simply a broadcast of the plenaries and panel discussions, which could be easily done on YouTube. CHOW has become the center of a marine community, and the Foundation takes that seriously.

To maintain the robust, interactive CHOW experience alive in a virtual world, the Foundation got creative by adding more to the program beyond the panels. Find out what else is going on at #VirtualCHOW:


CHOW Expo Hall

The work of our wonderful partners will be on display at CHOW’s virtual expo hall. Ocean and Great Lakes organizations and supporters will highlight their projects and programs with videos, documents and conversations in their branded booths. Just as at an in-person exhibition hall, visitors may meander through the hall to “pick up” digital brochures, fact sheets, and reports. There are even opportunities to interact one-on-one with representatives staffing the booths to learn more, ask questions or see live presentations. Stop by to see the latest initiatives that are making waves for ocean and Great Lakes conservation.

The CHOW Expo Hall will be accessible from the #VirtualCHOW lobby.


CHOW Virtual Auction

Announcing the first ever CHOW Virtual Auction! Proceeds help us keep this event free and open to our global audience. Bid on incredible photography and unique art from all over the U.S. Proceeds benefit the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. Text OCEAN20 to 843.606.5995 or click the link below to start bidding! The virtual auction closes on June 9 at 6:15pm.

 You can bid now here


BlueTech Expo

This year, the BlueTech Expo, the annual trade show of the International Ocean Science & Technology Industry Association, will be “co-locating” with Capitol Hill Ocean Week for the first time. The BlueTech Expo showcases current and emerging “blue technologies” to stimulate innovation and encourage industry-to-government collaboration. CHOW attendees will be able to speak directly to cutting edge technology companies and innovative start-ups in the marine technology space to learn about their newest solutions.  

The BlueTech exhibitors will be found inside #VirtualCHOW’s Expo Hall.

To find out more about BlueTech Expo and preview this year’s exhibitors, please visit


Discover Wonder: Virtual Visits to Marine Sanctuaries and Monuments

The wonders that lie beneath our marine sanctuaries and monuments are hard for most people to see, but they’ve never been easier to visit virtually. The Discover Wonder booth will feature virtual tours, visits and dives of each of the 16 national marine sanctuaries and monuments as a way to bring the wonders of America’s protected waters to CHOW. Each one will highlight incredible species, innovative research, or even 360 degree virtual dives. Experience coral reefs flourishing with glowing life, shipwrecks and cultural resources that tell our histories, and organisms that explain life on earth. 

Stop by the Discover Wonder booth in the CHOW Expo Hall to dive into your national marine sanctuaries and monuments.  


Dive Bars (aka Virtual Happy Hours)

Personal connections and networking are a hallmark of Capitol Hill Ocean Week, and that remains true in the virtual world. After a productive day full of stimulating discussions, relax and converse in one of #VirtualCHOW’s virtual happy hour rooms to wind down. Meet friends old and new for themed activities and casual convos, or even break into one-on-one meetings.  Ocean origami, anyone? Marine trivia? Just shooting the (ocean) breeze?

End your day the relaxing way when the Dive Bar rooms open up at 5pm ET.


Chef’s Galley

Choosing sustainable seafood can make a big impact on your health and the health of the planet. Sustainable seafood is seafood that is caught or farmed in environmentally and socially responsible methods that ensures a supply for future generations and the well-being of the ocean. This year, CHOW is joined by several renowned chefs who will demonstrate their favorite sustainable seafood dishes that you can prepare at home. We’ll provide a list of ingredients as well as a recipe card to download so you can keep your eyes on the kitchen action.

Look for the Chef’s Galley booth inside the CHOW Expo Hall between sessions to whet your appetite.


Art Gallery

The biodiversity of the ocean and Great Lakes can inspire works of beautiful art, which in turn inspire us to take action to protect it. CHOW will highlight the beauty of our ocean and Great Lakes with a virtual art gallery. The gallery will feature winners from NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’s Get Into Your Sanctuary photo contest, as well as Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary’s Marine Art Contest for Grades K-12. 

Take time between sessions to be inspired. Find the Art Gallery booth in the CHOW Expo Hall.


Kids Corner

We know that many CHOW attendees may have children at home with them while they are taking in plenaries and panels. For that reason, CHOW is offering something to keep the kids occupied. The Kids Corner will link to a collection of activities suitable for the younger ocean explorers, including aquarium live feeds, downloadable activity pages and coloring pages, and story time videos and online children’s books For older kids, there will be educational videos on ocean topics, crafts, and at home science projects. 

Find the Kids Corner in the CHOW Expo Hall and keep the little ones engaged until they are ready to take part in CHOW on their own!