Jon White – From the President’s Office: 07-02-2018

2018-07-02T17:12:00+00:00 July 2, 2018|

Jogging along the seemingly pristine beach of Monterey Bay last week, I could almost see the ocean that Admiral Watkins envisioned in the U.S. Ocean Commission report of 2004 – An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century:

“The oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes are clean, safe, prospering, and sustainably managed. They contribute significantly to the economy, supporting multiple, beneficial uses such as food production, development of energy and mineral resources, recreation and tourism, transportation of goods and people, and the discovery of novel medicines, while preserving a high level of biodiversity and a wide range of critical natural habitats.”

Like many communities taking steps toward ocean and coastal restoration, the Monterey Bay area has engaged in exemplary measures to clean up its beaches and waters, including reducing the amount of plastic and other harmful material entering the sea and waterways. The region is also home to amazing scientific research and technology development and implementation at several COL members I visited, including Liquid RoboticsMoss Landing Marine Laboratories, the Naval Postgraduate School, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The work at these organizations and institutions leaves me hopeful that members of our consortium will indeed inspire and lead change that will make Admiral Watkins’ vision a reality.

The dire need —  and real potential — for ocean science-based solutions to solve the myriad problems our planet faces is certainly not lost on leaders around Monterey Bay, as well as many back in D.C. at the national level. I had the honor of providing remarks at a Navy retirement ceremony for one of these transformational leaders and scientists who contributed significantly to ocean and atmospheric science during his Navy career, Commander (Ret.) John Marburger. His work included developing the Navy’s Arctic Roadmap and DOD’s Sea Level Rise Risk Management publication. I know that his contributions to ocean and atmospheric science won’t end with his retirement, and I eagerly anticipate much more from him in the days ahead.

I also gave a presentation on ocean science and security to several area leaders, including Congressman Jimmy Panetta, whose remarks following my presentation reflected his personal commitment to the ocean and science. I believe this commitment is growing throughout Congress and reflects true bipartisanship — and not a moment too soon. To this end, Senate appropriators advanced their version of the $675 billion Defense spending bill as the full House did the same with theirs. The Senate bill includes substantial increases for the primary programs that fund the majority of university defense basic research as well as report language highlighting the committee’s recognition that “basic research is the foundation for Department of Defense innovation and future technologies.” The Senate committee has now approved all 12 appropriations bills; you can find the status of both chambers’ activities on spending bills here.

-Jon
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.)
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership

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