The Marine Mammal Center – the world’s largest marine mammal hospital in the world – has announced the launch of a webinar series that will focus on what needs to be done in 2021 and beyond in order to preserve the ocean and its inhabitants for generations to come. The Ocean Policy Webinar Series will start with four high-powered webinars, and will feature experts in ocean policy, advocacy, and conservation. The first webinar will be headlined by Governor Jay Inslee, Congressmember Karen Bass, and Congressmember Jared Huffman, and will take place on February 9 at 10 AM PST. Pre-registration is required, and details can be found at www.marinemammalcenter.org/get-involved/events/ocean-policy-webinar-series/.
The webinar series comes after a tumultuous year that saw ocean pollution rapidly increase and a growing focus on the fight against climate change, especially on the national stage in the 2020 presidential election.
“The significant focus on the environment this past year inspired us to launch this series focused on the health of our ocean and its inhabitants,” said Dr. Jeff Boehm, CEO of The Marine Mammal Center. “This series will convene the brightest minds in ocean policy and advocacy, and our goal is to spark a coast-to-coast commitment to global ocean conservation.”
The first webinar will focus on What the 2020 Election Means for Climate Change and Our Ocean. With the 2020 election cycle in the rearview mirror, the Center is looking forward to what the Biden/Harris administration and the new Congress will mean for the future of Federal policy on combatting climate change and helping the ocean’s health.
The series will kick off with Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee joining as panelist. Inslee has dedicated much of his public service to battling climate change, starting in his time in Congress. As Governor of Washington, Inslee has prioritized tackling climate change, advancing clean energy and protecting ocean health. Under Inslee’s leadership, Washington adopted groundbreaking climate policies and the first-ever comprehensive ocean acidification plan.
Congressmember Karen Bass, who has served the Los Angeles area in Congress since 2011, will join Inslee on the panel. Bass served as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus in 2019 and 2020, and has served on the Judiciary Committee since 2012. In April 2020, Bass cosponsored The Environmental Just For All Act, which seeks to restore, reaffirm, and reconcile environmental justice and civil rights.
Congressmember Jared Huffman rounds out the powerhouse panel of policymakers. Since 2013, Huffman has served as the U.S. Representative from California’s 2nd Congressional District, which includes The Marine Mammal Center’s headquarters in Sausalito. In October 2020, Huffman introduced the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act, which would provide a boost to the climate resiliency of marine wildlife and coastal communities.
“The next few years will prove to be crucial for our ocean and our climate as a whole, and the Biden-Harris Administration is committed to fighting the climate crisis to protect the future of our planet,” said Governor Inslee. “For the past four years, we have been in this fight without federal partners, and now that has changed. This series and conversations with both state and federal leaders are critical to identifying and accelerating solutions that will dramatically improve ocean health for generations to come.”
The next three webinars in the series are:
- March 9: Climate Change Through the Eyes of Marine Mammals
- April 13: Stop Ocean Plastic Pollution – Public and Private Strategies
- May 11: The Future of Ocean Policy on Marine Mammals
The panelists for these three webinars will be announced in the coming weeks.
The series will be moderated by award-winning journalist and former host of CNN Newsroom, Carol Costello. Her distinguished broadcasting career spans three decades, and has covered a broad variety of topics – from interviewing four US presidents to covering the world’s most significant news stories.
ABOUT THE MARINE MAMMAL CENTER:
Headquartered on the site of a former Cold War missile base, The Marine Mammal Center is a global leader in marine mammal health, science and conservation, and is the largest marine mammal hospital in the world. The Center’s teaching hospital and training programs operate globally, with its headquarters in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, part of the National Park Service. Expert teams from the Center travel around the world to work with emerging first responders and has itself rescued more than 24,000 marine mammals from 600 miles of its authorized rescue area of California coastline and the Big Island of Hawai‘i. The Center’s mission is to advance global ocean conservation through marine mammal rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education.