The 123 million people who live near the U.S. coasts and the 3 million Americans who depend on the ocean for their livelihoods are front-row witnesses to dire and unprecedented change. Despite the strong U.S. fisheries management system, the legacy of past overfishing—combined with the effects of climate change and habitat destruction—leaves the nation’s fisheries and coastal ecosystems threatened. One of the most powerful and effective methods for protecting fisheries resources and ocean life is the marine protected area (MPA). MPAs can help restore and sustain fisheries, preserve areas of cultural significance, and increase resilience to climate change. While the United States is a leader in ocean protection and protects 26 percent of its federal waters, issues remain—including the extreme concentration of a few large MPAs in the remote Pacific and the limited size of others.
Please join the Center for American Progress during Capitol Hill Ocean Week for a discussion on the future of ocean conservation. CAP founder John Podesta will moderate a panel of experts who will discuss the current state of U.S. MPAs and the critical importance of increasing ocean protection in a warming world.
Jane Lubchenco, Distinguished Professor, Oregon State University; former Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, New England Aquarium
Kalani Quiocho, Native Hawaiian Program Specialist, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries’ Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
John Podesta, Founder, Center for American Progress