Smart Investments in the Future of Our Ocean


The true value of the ocean and coasts is only beginning to be understood and quantified after centuries of being underestimated and discounted. A 2015 study estimated a $24 Trillion asset value of the world’s ocean. Understanding the interconnectedness and the dependence of local, national, and global economies and communities to Earth’s natural capital, governments, businesses, citizens, and philanthropists have identified the need for smart investments in monitoring, protecting, and restoring the health of our ocean. This session will look at the ocean financial portfolio to ask what investment decisions would and should be made acting as smart stewards. It will address how smart investments in the future of the ocean need to include planning for long term impact over short term gains; managing risk while maximizing rewards; spurring, coordinating, and leveraging public resources and private capital; and re-investing in this natural capital to ensure the sustainability and longevity of the marine environment as the backbone of many communities and economies.


Barry D. Gold | Environment Program Director, Walton Family Foundation


The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse | U.S. Senate, Rhode Island and Co-Chair, Senate Oceans Caucus

Rob Brumbaugh, Ph.D. | Director of Ocean Mapping, Planning and Protection, The Nature Conservancy

Paul Holthus | CEO, World Ocean Council

Richard Spinrad, Ph.D., CMarSci | NOAA Chief Scientist, U.S. Department of Commerce

Kelly Wachowicz | Principal Advisor, Strengthening U.S. Fishing Communities Initiative

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