Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) 2011

Are you ready for CHOW 2012 June 5-8?

American Prosperity and Global Security: Ocean Solutions for the 21st Century June 7-9, 2011

June 6 Partner Sessions

CHOW Agenda Including Presentations

CHOW Sponsors

CHOW Leadership Awards Dinner

Past Years

Press Room

Video and Image Archive

As the premier ocean-focused conference held annually in Washington, DC, Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) brings together Members of Congress and Congressional staff; federal, state, and local government institutions; and experts from industry, academia, and the nonprofit community in an effort to shape marine policy discussions and incite lively conversation about current ocean and coastal issues. Held in conjunction with World Oceans Day and anchored by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation’s annual Leadership Awards Dinner, CHOW provides ocean policy professionals with unique opportunities to advance marine policy goals and interact with peers in the nation’s capital.


Our nation’s economy and way of life are inextricably linked to the health of the global ocean.

In the context of rapid global population growth, intensifying competition for marine resources, and the already-visible impacts of climate change and ocean acidification on our coastal and ocean communities and resources, CHOW 2011 will focus on how the United States can secure an adequate, affordable, and sustainable supply of ocean and coastal resources and services for the benefit of current and future generations. Throughout the week, panelists will provide accessible summaries of the variety of global safety, security, and sustainability impacts associated with our current ocean policies and explore those impacts' implications for our society both today and in the future.

The security, stability, and prosperity of our nation have always been dependent on our ocean.

America's marine policy choices in this century, including how the U.S. manages its ocean while leading other nations on the world stage, will determine whether the ocean promotes or precludes a steady and secure future for our planet. The U.S. has special rights to utilize marine resources within the world’s largest Exclusive Economic Zone and vital interests throughout the global ocean, underscoring the connections between ocean policies and national defense, food and energy supplies, and the economic sustainability of coastal families and communities. In a tightly interconnected world that shares a global ocean, U.S. ocean policies directly impact jobs and economic growth, national and homeland security, human health, resource sustainability, and social justice -- all defining elements of American prosperity that impact global security in the 21st century.

Key national and global ocean policy issues to be explored at CHOW 2011 may include:
  • Securing ports and reliable sea lanes for defense, commerce, and communication;
  • Guaranteeing access to affordable energy supplies;
  • Sustaining productive stocks of healthy seafood in capture and aquaculture fisheries;
  • Ensuring sustainable opportunities for coastal access and marine recreation; and
  • Preserving America’s maritime history and ocean traditions.

In addition to exploring how ocean choices can affect the security of American society, CHOW 2011 will also address the impact of U.S. security choices on the resilience and productivity of our marine species and ecosystems. By examining the interface between security and ocean issues, panels will explore policy and management options with the potential to minimize and mitigate a range of adverse impacts. Attendees will have the opportunity to hear diverse perspectives from a range of government, academic, industry, and non-governmental experts on each topic.

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