2019 U.S. Ocean Policy: Past, Present, and Future 2020-02-21T12:55:41+00:00

March 13, 2019, 9:30 am-5:00 pm
Breakfast and Registration, 8:45 am-9:30 am
Reserve Officers Association Building
One Constitution Avenue NE, Washington D.C.
Directions to the Forum | Agenda

Congressional Reception 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Dirksen Senate Office Building Room G-11

Honorary Co-Hosts:
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Co-Chairs of the Senate Oceans Caucus

Summary Document

9:30 am – Welcome Remarks
Jaqueline Dixon, Ph.D., University of South Florida (Consortium for Ocean Leadership Board Chair)
Rear Admiral Jonathan White, USN (ret.), Consortium for Ocean Leadership

9:45 am – Opening Remarks
Vice Admiral Paul Gaffney II, USN (ret.)

10:15 am  – Congressman Jimmy Panetta (CA-20)

10:25 am – Past Panel

Pass or Fail: Have the U.S. Ocean Commission’s Recommendations Been Realized?

This panel explored the 2004 U.S. Ocean Commission Report, An Ocean Blueprint for the 21st Century. Which of the report’s recommendations have been achieved and which haven’t? Are there commonalities among those that have been fulfilled, or lessons learned, that will help ensure future success?


12:45 pm  – Mary Neumayr, White House Council on Environmental Quality

1:00 pm – Present Panel

U.S. Ocean Policy Today

Building off of the previous session, this panel analyzed the current state of U.S. ocean policy. This included understanding federal funding trends and the implications of missed opportunities for growth in the ocean sector and in our nation’s global leadership in ocean science. This also involved awareness of the wide range of existing legislative and executive efforts and included other ocean issues that have arisen since 2004.


  • Molly McCammon, Alaska Ocean Observing System (Moderator)
  • Deerin Babb-Brott, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Tony MacDonald, Monmouth University
  • Alan Mix, Ph.D., Oregon State University
  • Lora Snyder, House Natural Resources Committee

2:00 pm – Christopher Ekstrom, Ph.D., U.S. Navy

2:45 pm – Neil Jacobs, Ph.D., National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

3:00 pm – Future Panel

Securing the Future of U.S. Ocean Policy: Where Are We Going, and How do We Get There?

As we look towards the future – dramatic growth in the blue economy and maritime activity, the opening Arctic, threats to fisheries and ecosystem sustainability and ocean health, combined with growing ocean science and technology interests from industry and philanthropy – how do agencies and Congress come together to develop a future national ocean policy that addresses the rapid changes in ocean science and technology and fully realize the visions set forth in the U.S. Ocean Commission report? What role do private stakeholders, including the academic, industrial, and philanthropic communities, have to play in this and how can they most effectively be involved? Can the U.S. take on a unified international leadership role? Moving forward with ocean security as an overarching theme and mandate will help the community fulfill the report’s recommendations and achieve a brighter future for our blue planet.


4:00 pm – Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici

4:30 pm – Summary and Closing Remarks
Rick Spinrad, Ph.D., Oregon State University