About Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2021

Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), hosted by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, gathers people together from across the U.S. and around the world to engage in a dialogue on how to sustain the health of our ocean and Great Lakes.  This year, the conference will focus on building a more racially equitable and just movement for ocean and Great Lakes conservation.

CHOW is open to the public and free to attendees. The Foundation relies on the generous support of sponsors to host CHOW.

Registration is now open!


Why is CHOW 2021 focusing on Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI)? Systemic racism impacts laws, policies, and institutions, resulting in inequitable outcomes for communities across this nation which are impossible to ignore. These inequities require each of us to take action. As an organization, the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation believes we need to confront these inequities and identify the steps we can take as a community to address racial equity and justice in ocean conservation, science, and policymaking.

The health, well-being and sustainability of our ocean and Great Lakes depend on the actions we take now to ensure transformative and durable effects. Achieving bold, lasting change in ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes policy will require the experience, expertise, perspectives and values of the communities most affected by environmental inequities. CHOW 2021 is an opportunity to examine how exclusionary practices and systemic racism negatively impact conservation, science, and policy. And, how strengthening justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion will improve the sustainability of our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes and the communities that depend on them.

The CHOW 2021 program will explore how people and communities vulnerable to climate change are advancing local, regional, and national resiliency efforts and identify potential strategies to address impact. It will examine the intersection of people and the environment and how we ensure that all communities have the same protection from environmental hazards; and equal access to opportunities to maintain a healthy environment to live, learn, and work. The CHOW 2021 program will also look at the intersection of social justice and ocean and Great Lakes resource management and conservation. Ultimately, we believe the conversations from CHOW 2021 will reveal a set of priorities that can emerge as the core of a policy agenda centered on justice and equity; and we believe participants in this event, led by the communities most impacted by these inequities, can lead efforts to shape and advocate for this ocean justice policy agenda in the weeks and months following CHOW 2021.

Be a part of the conversation on the future of our ocean and Great Lakes

Sponsorships for Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2021 and the Ocean Awards Gala are available now. Contact carol@marinesanctuary.org with any questions.

Click for details

For the second time in conference history, CHOW 2021 will be an all-virtual event. Our online platform will be inclusive and accessible to attendees all over the United States and the world.

For more about Capitol Hill Ocean Week, archives of CHOWs past, and other information, visit our CHOW main page.


If you have questions, please contact us at conference@marinesanctuary.org.

For information about sponsoring Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2021 or the Ocean Awards Gala, click here. Contact carol@marinesanctuary.org with any questions.

Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2021 Sponsors

CHOW Advisory Council

The Foundation is pleased to work with an advisory council, led by a team from the Meridian Institute, to help shape the agenda for Capitol Hill Ocean Week in 2021.

Kacky Andrews
Chief of Strategy
Ocean Conservancy

Kate Cell
Climate Campaign Manager
Union of Concerned Scientists

Raimundo Espinosa
Executive Director
Conservacion ConCencia

Jay Haigler
Lead Instructor and Safety Officer
Diving With a Purpose

Andres Jimenez
Executive Director
Green 2.0

Trisha Kehaulani Watson
Owner and Founder
Honua Consulting

Francisco “Paco” Ollervides
Executive Director
Green Leadership Trust

Queen Quet
Chieftess and Head-of-State
Gullah/Geeche Nation

David Riera
FEF McKnight Doctoral Fellow
Hispanic Access Foundation

Amanda Robinson
Fundraising and Operations Manager
Creation Justice Ministries

Jaylene Wheeler
Justice and Equity Director
Kawerak, Inc.


National Marine Sanctuary Foundation

Ben Charo
Policy Outreach Coordinator

Shannon Colbert
Policy and Conservation Director

Kris Sarri
President and CEO


Meridian Institute

Kevin Bryan

Jeana Holer
Senior Project Coordinator

Meghan Massaua
Senior Mediator and Program Manager

Liana Quiñones
Project Assistant

UPDATE: Ocean Awards Gala 2021

Our celebration of Ocean Champions is back!

We hope you will join us for a virtual program and party to close out Capitol Hill Ocean Week on June 10th, 2021. More details coming soon.