Advocacy Activities

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America: An Ocean Nation

The U.S. is an ocean nation, with more than 95% of the nation’s commerce traveling though American ports, more than $100 billion in annual seafood sales, and 1.7 million jobs in coastal tourism and recreation. Furthermore, over $8 trillion worth of oil and gas reserves lie below the oceans and above them are terawatts of untapped wind resources. Current and anticipated changes in ocean chemistry, productivity and sea level will have tremendous regional and national economic impacts. The academic research community is equipped to inform efficient and effective solutions to the following five priorities which will enhance our economy and maintain our status as the world’s leader in research and  innovation:

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that represents more than 100 of the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry; working to advance  research, education and sound ocean policy. Our mission is to shape the future of ocean science and technology through DISCOVERY, UNDERSTANDING and ACTION.

  • The ocean covers 71% of the Earth’s surface.
  • The ocean contains 97% of the planet’s water.
  • The ocean provides 99% of the Earth’s habitat.
  • More than 50% of the U.S. population lives in coastal counties.
  • The U.S. has more than 90,000 miles of shoreline, which supports a $60 billion recreation and tourism industry.
  • The international trade in coastal and marine fisheries contribute more than $100 billion annually to our nation’s economy.
  • 95% of the nation’s commerce travels through U.S. ports.
  • The ocean contains approximately $8 trillion in oil and gas reserves.
  • The Great Lakes are the largest source of freshwater in the world.
  • The ocean drives our weather and climate through the global transfer of heat and water.
  • Ocean organisms generate much of the oxygen we breathe.
  • The ocean contains the sedimentary archive of past planetary change.