Jon White – From the President’s Office: Making Ocean Magic (2-03-2020)

2020-02-10T15:36:50+00:00 February 4, 2020|

Credit: U.S. Navy photo released/Javier Chagoya

Imagine if in every coastal region in the country, stakeholders representing various ocean science and technology sectors—academia, industry, philanthropy, aquaria, state and local officials, and even congressional representatives— were able to sit down together and think seriously about ocean issues and how to solve them. Two weeks ago, that vision became a reality when COL convened the Monterey Ocean Science and Technology (MOST) Summit, hosted by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). It was a fantastic discussion by some of our nation’s premier ocean leaders, held in what I consider to be one of the most special coastal areas in the country. You can read more about the MOST Summit and its efforts to advance ocean science and technology through collaborative research and partnership efforts here.

We didn’t hold the MOST Summit in Monterey by accident. While there is exciting ocean research occurring around the country, the Monterey region has a special draw for those interested in the ocean. I was lucky enough to spend several years there getting my master’s degree in oceanography and meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School, where I first learned of the exceptional scientific and technological prowess that is captured among the many private and public institutions in the region – many of whom are members of COL. It was there that I coined the term “Monterey Ocean Magic” to describe the unique ocean draw of the region, which had a significant impact on my life and career choices. As more and more people begin to understand the importance of the ocean to the basics of life on our blue planet, here’s to hoping that Monterey Ocean Magic will become U.S. Ocean Magic—and even Global Ocean Magic—in the near future.

Member Highlight
Large ‘Herbivores Of The Sea Help Keep Coral Reefs Healthy
Selective fishing can disrupt the delicate balance maintained between corals and algae in embattled Caribbean coral reefs. Removing large parrotfish, which graze on algae like large land mammals graze on grasses, can allow the algae to overtake the corals, with potentially dire consequences for reef health. New experimental research suggests that maintaining a healthy size distribution of parrotfishes in a sea floor ecosystem through smart fishing practices could help maintain reefs that are already facing decline due to climate change. A paper describing the research by scientists at Penn State and the University of California, Santa Barbara appears online in the journal Ecological Monographs.

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