Last week, I had the chance to take a behind-the-scenes tour of our nation’s Capitol. Staring up at the Apotheosis of Washington underneath the Capitol dome from the rotunda, I was struck by the six groups of figures surrounding the perimeter of the painting, representing the principle values of the U.S. as understood at the time it was painted (1860s). One of these is science, which should be an excellent reminder to the hundreds of legislators, staffers, and visitors who pass through each day, that science is one of the foundational principles of our country. Science is flanked by marine and war (or defense), which reinforced for me to consider the ocean in terms of science and security together. The phrase I’ve been using recently for that is “ocean security.” Ocean security relates the relevance of ocean science to national, homeland, food, and water security, as well as to economic prosperity and human health. I intend to use this term to elevate the national relevance of ocean science to these complex security needs in coming months and look forward to talking more about this concept at our upcoming COL Members Meeting on October 26 and at this week’s Navy Task Force Ocean Executive Steering Committee meeting we are hosting.
You may have heard of someone very familiar with that topic last week, Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet (Ret.), who just had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Commerce Committee for the role as NOAA’s deputy administrator. I have strongly endorsed his nomination, and I look forward to working with him on ocean security in the future. You can read more about his nomination hearing below.
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.)
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
A Tsunami’s Worth Of Sea Creatures Landed Along The Pacific Coast. Is This A Problem?
They’re a long way from home. Nearly 300 different species of fish, mussels, crabs and various other sea creatures drifted from the shores of Japan to the Pacific Coast of the United States on debris sent across the ocean by a tsunami in 2011. “When we first saw species from Japan arriving in Oregon, we were shocked,” John Chapman from Oregon State University told BBC News. “We never thought they could live that long, under such harsh conditions.” Chapman co-wrote a study published Thursday in the journal Science that explored the sea critters’ journey to the United States after the Tōhoku earthquake triggered the tsunami.