Changing Planet

Capitol Hill Ocean Day

This weekend’s Blue Vision Summit in Washington, D.C. wasn’t just about inspiration and idea generation. From the start, action was a top goal and priority, and today is when it really will come into play.

Freshly updated on the latest issues and stats about the need to protect the ocean, some two hundred volunteers are gathered at Capitol Hill to meet with members and staff of the U.S. Congress to spread that knowledge and inspiration.

Throughout the past three days, there has been much to learn.

NG Fellow Barton Seaver was there, discussing with others the question “how do we feed the world and protect the future of fish?” Barton’s new cookbook “For Cod and Country” addresses these issues while providing education and inspiration on how we can all make smarter choices at the grocery store and how we can do it deliciously.

Also getting her message out in person and in several film narrations was NG Explorer in Residence Sylvia Earle, a living legend in the ocean exploration and conservation communities. Dr. Earle was there talking about marine protected areas, and more specifically, Hope Spots.

There was also a panel on the aftermath of the BP Gulf Oil disaster featuring Dr. Jane Lubchenco of NOAA, Admiral That Allen formerly of the U.S. Coast Guard, and Don Boesch of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, and many other conversations around ocean and coastal restoration, plastics in the ocean and more.

While many great conversations were had, the true impact of the event will be measured by the actions of the participants coming out of it. Today’s meetings on Capitol Hill are a good start.




Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. He is currently beginning a new role as communications director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history.

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