Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2022 to Celebrate 50 Years of Ocean and Coastal Conservation


“Sea: the Future” theme will mark 50 years of progress and set a course for the next 50 


Silver Spring, Md. – November 2, 2021 – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation announced the theme for Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) in 2022 will be “Sea: the Future,” looking back at 50 years of ocean and coastal protection and toward the next 50 years. 

Capitol Hill Ocean Week will take place June 7-9, 2022, in Washington, DC, and virtually. 

“The decisions that we make today have long-term impacts on the health of our blue planet,” said Kris Sarri, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “CHOW 2022 will celebrate the accomplishments of 5 decades of ocean and coastal conservation and set a course for the next 50.  We invite everyone to join the discussion.” 

In 1972, the United States enacted a wave of landmark legislation to protect and sustain the ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes, including the amendments to the Clean Water Act, the Marine Mammal Act Protection Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. These Acts fundamentally changed how the United States managed marine, Great Lakes, and coastal environments. 

In the last 50 years, the challenges impacting the health and sustainability of the planet and the communities that rely on them grew and became more complex. Climate change and climate-related impacts are fundamentally changing our ocean and Great Lakes. Coastal development places increased pressures on marine ecosystems. Multiple demands on marine and Great Lakes resources lead to challenging policy and regulatory questions for managing uses. And biodiversity loss weakens ecosystems and their ability to withstand stressors, adapt to climate change and help regulate our global climate. Capitol Hill Ocean Week will host conversations that address these challenges, as well as the common solution they all share: humanity.  

Convened by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation every June, CHOW brings together scientists, policymakers, scholars, businesses and conservation leaders to address pressing conservation, science, and management issues facing our oceans and Great Lakes. The conference is held in conjunction with the Foundation’s Ocean Awards Gala, which recognizes champions of marine and Great Lakes stewardship with Leadership, Lifetime Achievement, Conservation Innovation, and Sanctuary Wavemaker Awards. 

In 2021, CHOW centered on achieving justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in our ocean and Great Lakes. The conference offered an opportunity to examine how exclusionary practices and systemic racism negatively impact conservation, science, and policy. Panelists emphasized how anti-oppression and anti-racism work will improve the health and quality of life of people, as well as the sustainability of our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes and the communities that depend on them. The discussions of 2021 will carry into to CHOW 2022 and beyond. 

Sponsorship information is available for Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2022 here. 



The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, established in 2000, is the official non-profit partner of the National Marine Sanctuary System. The Foundation directly supports America’s national marine sanctuaries through our mission to protect species, conserve ecosystems and preserve cultural and maritime heritage. We accomplish our mission through community stewardship and engagement programs, on-the-water conservation projects, public education and outreach programs, and scientific research and exploration. The Foundation fosters innovative projects that are solution-oriented, scalable and transferable, and develop strategic partnerships that promote the conservation and recovery of species and their habitats. Learn more at 


Contact: Chip Weiskotten 

Director of Strategic Communications