A Look Forward for Our Ocean

Learn what the leaders at Ocean Conservancy are looking forward to in 2019 for our ocean

Many of you likely agree that 2018 was a tough year. Even with its many ups and downs, I’m hopeful that you all had a restful holiday season and begin this New Year with a renewed sense of hope and infinite possibilities for yourselves, your families and friends and, of course, our ocean. I know I do and so does the team here at Ocean Conservancy. Here is what our program leaders are looking forward to most this year.


“In the new year, I’m excited that the Deepwater Horizon Trustees will announce projects to restore sea turtles, fish, dolphins, whales and corals, thanks to $1 billion set aside in the BP settlement to restore the Gulf where the BP oil disaster began—offshore and in the deep ocean. Our hope is that these investments will create a healthy future for the Gulf that we can be thankful for, this year and every year.”

Alexis Baldera
Director, Gulf Restoration Program

“In the coming year, I’m looking forward to a new Coast Guard study of vessel traffic in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska’s northern and northwest coasts. A similar study in the Bering Sea and Bering Strait recently led to designation of new vessel routes and protective ‘areas to be avoided.’ I’m optimistic the new study in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas also will lead to the adoption of new management measures that will improve shipping safety, better protect the Arctic waters from impacts of vessel traffic and reduce conflicts between big ships and indigenous subsistence hunters in small boats.”

Andrew Hartsig
Director, Arctic Program

“As we begin 2019, I’m really looking forward to working on cross-sector solutions to lost and abandoned fishing gear in the ocean as the new lead partner of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative. And, of course, one of my favorite parts of our work every year is engaging millions of individuals to keep their beaches, waterways and our ocean trash free.”

Nick Mallos
Director, Trash Free Seas® Program

“2019 marks the 10th birthday of the 2009 Federal Ocean Acidification Research and Monitoring Act, or FOARAM for short. This is the act that started the U.S. federal scientific effort to research and monitor ocean acidification in a coordinated way. We’re looking forward to celebrating this milestone, and reviewing all the great information that has come to light as a result of this work. We’re also looking ahead to what the next 10 years of investment on ocean changes like acidification will bring! ”

Sarah Cooley
Director, Ocean Acidification Program

“I’m looking forward to the Pacific Fisheries Management Council addressing the impacts of climate change on fisheries. Having already taken initial steps, the Council is committed to protecting some of our nation’s most valuable fish stocks and the communities that depend on them. Using world-class science from NOAA and from the states, they are poised to show international leadership on one of the biggest threats facing our fisheries.”

Meredith Moore
Director, Fish Conservation Program

“I’m excited about taking the swell we saw building on oceans and climate in 2018, and working with ocean champions around the globe to turn it into a wave of action in 2019. Taking the ocean into account is critical for successfully addressing global climate change, and addressing climate change is critical for the future of our ocean. But until recently, climate policies have largely not effectively taken the ocean’s role into account.  This is the year to really start to tackle that ‘ocean-climate blind spot.’ Let’s go!”

Anne Merwin
Senior Director, Conservation Policy and Programs
Amy Trice

We are looking forward to the continued progress on gathering ocean data to better understand our ocean and the opportunities available with new technologies. With regions working to advance ocean management and create helpful tools like regional ocean data portals, we expect to see significant advancements in 2019.

Amy Trice
Director, Ocean Planning Program

“I’m looking forward to communicating more with ocean supporters, like YOU, on how we can work together to be a force for good for our ocean. All throughout 2019—we will be taking action, speaking up for marine wildlife and finding ways to help make a difference in our everyday lives for the ocean. If there is one thing you do today—please join Ocean Conservancy. Whether it’s online, on social or mobile (text ‘ocean’ to 91990)—we need you to help us in advocating for the ocean—and we can’t do our work without your support.”

Michelle Frey
Senior Director, Digital Outreach

Our work is focused on solving some of the greatest threats facing our ocean today. We bring people, science and policy together to champion innovative solutions and fight for a sustainable ocean.
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