New Partnership to Advance Ocean Science

In early January 2021, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced a partnership with The Ocean Foundation to cooperate on international and national scientific efforts to advance research, conservation and our understanding of the global ocean.

As the only community foundation for the ocean, The Ocean Foundation’s 501(c)(3) mission is to support, strengthen, and promote those organizations dedicated to reversing the trend of destruction of ocean environments around the world. They focus their collective expertise on emerging threats in order to generate cutting edge solutions and better strategies for implementation.

In a press release retired Navy rear admiral Tim Gallaudet, Ph.D., assistant secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and deputy NOAA administrator said “When it comes to advancing science, conservation and our understanding of the largely unknown ocean, NOAA is committed to building diverse and productive collaborations like the one with The Ocean Foundation. These partnerships help accelerate NOAA’s mission to predict changes in climate, weather, the ocean and coasts, share that knowledge with communities, strengthen the Blue Economy, and conserve and manage healthy coastal and marine ecosystems and resources.”

The new agreement highlights several priorities for cooperation including:

*understanding climate change and ocean acidification and their effects on oceans and coasts;
*increasing coastal resilience and strengthening capacity for climate and acidification adaptation and mitigation;
*protecting and managing natural and cultural heritage in special marine areas, including the National Marine Sanctuary system and the National Marine Monuments;
*fostering research in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System;
*and fostering the development of sustainable U.S. marine aquaculture to support healthy, productive coastal ecosystems and local economies.

“We know that a healthy ocean is the ‘life-support system’ for human wellbeing, planetary health and economic prosperity,” said Mark J. Spalding, President of The Ocean Foundation. “Our partnership with NOAA will allow both partners to continue our long-established international scientific relationships and research collaborations, including capacity building, that are the foundation for more formal international agreements — something we call science diplomacy — and build equitable bridges between communities, societies, and nations.”

Photo courtesy of NOAA

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