Last week, one of COL’s members, Monmouth University Urban Coast Institute, along with Rockefeller University, hosted the National Ocean Exploration Forum. This year’s theme, Beyond the Ships: 2020-2025 brought together experts from industry, academia, government, and nonprofits to discuss the future of ocean exploration using innovative technology and ideas. Much of the talk centered on integrating new technology into ocean exploration, including ROVS, AUVs, platforms, and installations. I was pleased to see many of our members at the event and to know that our membership is at the forefront of ocean exploration. Also last week, I participated in the panel discussion I teased earlier this month about Old Dominion University’s pilot project studying sea level rise and resiliency in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Check out our summary or news stories, such as this one, for more details.
This is a big week for COL, as we’ll be hosting our 2nd annual industry forum, Sound and the Sea, followed by our quarterly Board and Member meetings. We all know the importance of a healthy and productive ocean, and as we develop and adapt new technologies to utilize in the sea, we must consider the implications of our activities – based on good ocean science! Evidence indicates that anthropogenic sound in the ocean will continue to increase with more use and greater industrialization. While a recent report from the National Academy of Sciences addressed impacts of sound, combined with other stressors, on marine mammals, there’s a lot about sound in the sea that we don’t know enough about. We need to take steps to close this knowledge gap and come together across the ocean science and technology community to inform the best possible decisions and behaviors regarding ocean noise. The goal of this forum is to bring together stakeholders to discuss how we can work together to advance the science that guides decision-making in all sectors. I’m looking forward to engaging conversation with this diverse community on Wednesday.
RADM Jonathan W. White, USN (ret.); M.S.
President and CEO
Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Study Reveals Corals’ Influence On Reef Microbes
As they grow, corals are bathed in a sea of marine microbes, such as bacteria, algae, and viruses. While these extremely abundant and tiny microorganisms influence coral communities in a variety of ways, a new study by researchers at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (BIOS) and University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) reveals that corals also have an impact on the microbes in waters surrounding them.