Leaders make waves at Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2024

For the past three years, Capitol Hill Ocean Week has focused on the most pressing issues facing our blue planet: systemic inequities, biodiversity loss, and climate change. This year, Capitol Ocean Week 2024 shone a spotlight on servant leaders from all walks of life working to confront these challenges and center people at the core of ocean solutions.  

Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2024 saw 2,000 participants registered to participate online and in-person in Washington, DC at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. We saw a swell of support for leaders of all ages and stages with one of the most diverse speaker lineups in the history of Capitol Hill Ocean Week. Plenary sessions featured topics including servant leadership, climate action, youth leadership and marine workforce development, community stewardship, advancements in blue technology, climate-ready fisheries, responsible offshore energy, and visionary leadership.  

As Chief Devon Parfait of the Grand Caillou/Dulac band of Biloxi Chitimacha Choctaw said during his closing remarks on Day One of Capitol Hill Ocean Week, “Leadership is not just a title, it’s a decision.” Leaders in local communities with historical relationships to the ocean are the frontline responders most impacted by a changing climate, pollution, and loss of species – and they will be the ones to turn policy into action and implement the solutions we need for a brighter, more sustainable, and more equitable future. 

Capitol Hill Ocean Week provides a stage for a wave of announcements of the latest and greatest successes for our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. These announcements align with broader U.S. ocean and climate goals and will ensure that national marine sanctuaries continue to benefit coastal communities and boost local economies. Some of the announcements this year included the designation of the newest national marine sanctuary, Lake Ontario National Marine Sanctuary; the announcement by the Biden-Harris Administration of a National Ocean Biodiversity Strategy, National Aquatic eDNA strategy, and U.S. National Strategy for a Sustainable Ocean Economy; Sylvia Earle’s announcement of the Florida Keys and Ten Thousand Islands as a Mission Blue Hope Spot; and the announcement of a new storytelling partnership between the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Emmy Award-winning wildlife biologist and TV host Jeff Corwin 

Check out the CHOW 2024 archive!