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Our Oceans - US State Department

Ocean Recovery Alliance is pleased to be speaking at the "Our Ocean" conference, hosted by Sect. of State, John Kerry, and the U.S. State Department in Washington, D.C. on June 16th and 17th. The panel will be the 'Power of the Marketplace in Promoting Ocean Stewardship"

This session will feature best practices for using market forces to promote ocean stewardship. In an interactive discussion, corporation and non-governmental organization panelists will be paired to highlight some of the business sectors that are capitalizing on market incentives to change behavior and benefit the marine environment. Bold new public-private partnerships have integrated sustainability into supply chains and stimulated technological innovation to protect the oceans. Panelists and audience members will be encouraged to propose next steps to engage stakeholders and harness the power of the market place to support the health of our oceans.

Moderator: State Department Special Representative for Commercial and Business Affairs Scott Nathan

Consumer Marketing and Sustainable Supply Chains:

  • Top multinational companies are implementing sustainable supply chain management, including reducing the quantity of materials in their products and packaging to ultimately decrease waste which contributes to marine pollution. Practices such as closed-loop recycling and carbon-negative packaging are enabling companies to become zero-waste organizations within the next few years.

Panelists: Company – Dell Global Director of Consumer & Commercial Recycling Deborah Sanders and Ocean Recovery Alliance Co-Founder, Doug Woodring


  • Recognizing the relationship between the value of clean beaches and tourism industry, one major airline intends to improve the long-term health of the Caribbean’s oceans and beaches by connecting their revenue to the protection of the region’s natural resources.

Panelists: Company – JetBlue Airways Head of Sustainability Sophia Mendelsohn and The Oceans Foundation President, Mark J. Spalding with Sailors for the Sea President, R. Mark Davis

Sustainable Fisheries:

  • Major players in the seafood industry are working to ensure availability of fish by partnering with NGOs to certify products that are from sustainable and well-managed fisheries.

Panelists: Company – Bumble Bee Foods President and CEO Christopher Lischewski and Marine Stewardship Council CEO, Rupert Howes

Whether you live on the coast or hours from the closest beach, we all depend on the ocean. The ocean is critical to maintaining life on Earth, contributing to our livelihoods and our well-being. It regulates our climate and weather, it generates 50 percent of the oxygen we breathe, and it absorbs excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The ocean also plays a vital role in the global economy by providing food and a source of income for millions of people. More than one billion people worldwide rely on the ocean for their primary source of protein.

The ocean is just too important to ignore. Yet, the ocean is facing significant challenges, some stemming from a lack of awareness and some from a lack of will. Some of these challenges are well known – like unsustainable fishing practices and marine pollution - and some are new to us – like ocean acidification. The good news is that there are solutions – and we know where to find them.


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