Capitol Hill Ocean Week Speakers List Highlights Diversity of Ocean-Climate Voices

CHOW conference takes place in Washington, DC and virtually on June 7th and 8th  

Full agenda, session descriptions, and registration at  

Silver Spring, Md. – May 11, 2023 – The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation announced the list of confirmed speakers and panelists for Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), which will take place June 6-8, 2023, in Washington, DC, and virtually. The theme of CHOW 2023 is “Ocean x Climate.” 

The speakers include tribal and indigenous leaders, climate scientists, business and industry innovators, local community leaders, academic researchers, and policymakers confirmed across eight plenary sessions covering the two days of the conference. More will be added as the conference grows closer. The list is highlighted by Brenda Mallory, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Dr. Jane Lubchenco, deputy director for climate and environment at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, who will both give keynote speeches at the opening plenary of the conference.  

CHOW will also feature visionary speakers, thought leaders, and ocean climate activists including Queen Quet of the Gullah Geechee Nation, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere Dr. Rick Spinrad, Colette Pichon Battle of Taproot Earth, Dr. Peter B. de Menocal of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Dune Lankard of Native Conservancy, Jamie Goen of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, Shannon Cosentino-Roush of Finless Foods, Irela Bague of Miami-Dade County, and more. 

“The time is now for advancing ocean climate action as we look at local, state, national, and global climate strategies,” said Shannon Colbert, Vice President, External Affairs of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. “The diversity of voices and extraordinary roster of panelists, keynotes and presenters convening at CHOW 2023 underscores the importance of this year’s theme of climate and the ocean to our greater community, and the urgency we feel to address these issues head on.” 

Find the current list of CHOW speakers at 


About Capitol Hill Ocean Week 2023 

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. 

CHOW 2023: Ocean x Climate will focus on the connection between the ocean and climate change. The CHOW conference agenda with session descriptions for June 7 and 8 at the Ronald Reagan Building is now available on the registration website.  

Understanding global climate change and mitigating and adapting to its impacts is inextricably linked to our one ocean and its biodiversity. How we manage our global ocean to ensure it thrives for future generations is central to combatting climate change, protecting the health of coastal communities, and sustaining our economies. This extends to the role of national marine sanctuaries and protected areas in strengthening resilience, and communicating the need for more ocean-climate actions. 

The conference agenda is shaped by the members of the CHOW 2023 Advisory Committee, a diverse group of leaders in marine science and policy from around the country who will guide the development of CHOW’s conference program to focus on the most pressing issues facing the ocean and Great Lakes as they intersect with global climate issues. 

The Ocean Awards Gala will cap off Capitol Hill Ocean Week on the evening of June 8, 2023, World Ocean Day, in the Ronald Reagan Building atrium. The gala annually recognizes champions of marine and Great Lakes stewardship, including Presidents, Members of Congress, and world-renowned scientists and conservationists. This year, the Foundation will recognize Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva and Rep. Ed Case with the Leadership Award and Solomon Pili Kahoʻohalahala and William J. Ailā Jr. with the Sanctuary Wavemaker Award.  

The week will begin with CHOW Hill Day on June 6, 2023, during which members of the ocean and climate communities will speak with elected representatives about the policy issues relating to our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. 


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 America’s 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