Cantwell Hearing Examines Health of 'Blue Economy'
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator
The blue economy is comprised of economic activities that emerge from our ocean,
According to the National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP), which released a report on the Blue Economy yesterday, the ocean economy comprised over 2.3 million jobs and contributed over $138 billion to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the
The NOEP’s report, which includes a summary of the economic impacts of these industries on
Cantwell’s Opening Statement, As Prepared for Delivery:
“Good Morning. I’d like to thank my colleague Senator Snowe and all of our witnesses for participating in today’s hearing.
“Today, we will shine a spotlight on the Blue Economy and its contribution to our nation’s economic health and revitalization.
“The “Blue Economy” – the jobs and economic opportunities that emerge from our oceans, Great Lakes, and coastal resources – is one of the main tools to rebuilding the
“Americans from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Seattle, Washington and as far inland as Topeka, Kansas rely on our oceans for numerous goods and services from food to fuel to rain for crops and cures for cancer.
“Today, the ocean and coastal economies of the
“We also rely on our oceans for the trade in goods vital to our economy. Nearly 80 percent of
“In my home state of
“For example, there are 3,000 vessels in
“There is also great untapped wealth in our oceans that will lead to new jobs and businesses.
“Fungus living on seaweed, bacteria growing in the mud of the deep sea, and sea fans may hold the keys to curing cancer and other deadly disease.
“Aquaculture is a growing industry along our shorelines and in the deep blue waters.
“And concern with climate change is fueling interest in new blue jobs in renewable ocean energy.
“According to a report released yesterday by the National Ocean Economics Program, the strength of the Blue Economy is dependent on the health of our oceans and coasts. And today, our oceans are in peril.
“Climate changes, ocean acidification, pollution, overfishing, rising sea levels, and marine debris all have economic, social, and environmental costs to ocean and coastal economies.
“Protecting our oceans is an environmental and economic imperative. There are steps we need to take to maintain our Blue Economy.
“First, we must pass comprehensive climate change legislation to reduce our carbon emissions.
“Second, we must strengthen the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration by doubling its budget in the next four years and creating a strong mission for the agency through an organic act.
“Third, we must find new approaches to incorporate ecosystem-based management in oceans.
“Our Blue Economy faces an uncertain future.
“It has been a foundation of our economy for centuries in the past and it holds tremendous potential to be growing economic generator for our future.
“The challenge is to strike a balance between maintaining the economic and social benefits of our oceans and coasts while protecting vital marine ecosystem functions.”
Next Article Previous Article