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U.S. Delegation Announced 6 Billion USD in Commitments to Address Threats to Our Ocean
March 3, 2023


U.S. Delegation Announced 6 Billion USD in Commitments to Address Threats to Our Ocean, Doubling Last Year’s Pledge at Eighth Our Ocean Conference


MARCH 3, 2023

The eighth Our Ocean Conference – hosted by the Government of Panama – convened governments, non-governmental organizations, and civil society to make concrete commitments to protect ocean health and security.  The United States made 77 announcements, from 8 agencies and offices, worth nearly USD 6 billion, more than twice as much as the United States pledged at last year’s conference.  These announcements spanned the issue areas of the conference, including climate change, sustainable fisheries, sustainable blue economies, marine protected areas, maritime security, and marine pollution.

Titles of announcements appear below by action area.  For more details on individual announcements – including descriptions, agency/department, and budget, if applicable – see the Our Ocean Conference Commitments Map Viewer .

Climate Change

At the eighth Our Ocean Conference, the United States highlighted the nexus between the world’s climate and ocean, including the role of ocean-based climate solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve global climate resilience.  The United States made 30 announcements totaling nearly USD 5 billion under the climate change area of action.  Under this issue area of the conference, the United States announced:

  • An intent to provide USD 5 million for the Resilience and Adaptation Fellowship Program for Rising Leaders, subject to Congressional notification
  • The adoption of a new policy under which the United States commits to preserving the legitimacy of maritime zones, and associated rights and entitlements, that have been established consistent with international law and that are not subsequently updated despite sea-level rise caused by climate change
  • USD 5.8 million for the Resilient Pacific Blue Economies Program to help Pacific Islands climate-proof their blue economies
  • USD .5 million to expand Diminishing Dengue – an Islander-led initiative developing climate-based early warning systems for dengue fever – across the Pacific Islands region, and to build connection and capacity through regional conferences and workshops
  • An intent to fund USD 1.5 million for the first phase of the Green Shipping Corridors Initiation Project (GSCIP), subject to Congressional notification
  • An intent to provide USD 15 million to expand early-warning systems in the Pacific SIDS, subject to the completion of domestic procedures
  • An intent to provide USD 2.5 million to support climate resilience and sustainable development in SIDS through Local2030 Islands Network, subject to Congressional notification
  • USD 2.7 million to expand early-warning systems in Caribbean SIDS
  • The launch of the Green Shipping Challenge, in collaboration with Norway
  • U.S. actions under the Green Shipping Challenge
  • Support for projects under the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance
  • Actions to help meet the U.S. offshore wind deployment goals
  • Joining the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification and committing to drafting its national ocean acidification action plan
  • USD 25 million from National Science Foundation (NSF) for the LEAP Center to reduce the uncertainties of climate projections
  • USD 7.5 million from NSF for the CLIMATE Justice initiative to support a diverse and culturally competent ocean and geoscience workforce
  • USD 6.5 million from NSF for ECO-CBET to support combating climate change and mitigating its impacts
  • USD 5 million from NSF for NCAR ocean modeling and observation to improve our understanding of climate change and better inform decision-makers
  • USD 4 million from NSF for research to understand dense water pathways that impact the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)
  • USD 3.5 million from NSF for research on ocean-located renewable energy development
  • USD 2.5 million from NSF to formalize interdisciplinary climate-training and professional development through the Climate Leaders Academy
  • USD 82 million from NSF for Coastlines and People Hubs to further understanding of complex coastal systems and hazards, and to improve coastal hazard prediction, responses, and mitigation efforts
  • An intent to spend USD 11 million for the NASA Biodiversity Survey of the Cape (BioSCape) Mission to better understand the distribution and abundance of biodiversity, the role of biodiversity in ecosystem function, and the impacts of biodiversity change on ecosystem services
  • USD 3 million for a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) coordinated multi-program effort to understand ecological changes and the resulting impacts on blue carbon ecosystems
  • An intent from Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to spend USD 1.7 billion to restore ecosystems, increase community and habitat resilience, and employ nature-based solutions to prevent and clean up nutrient and other pollution across some of the nation’s most essential, beloved, and populated watersheds
  • USD 20.5 million for regional ocean partnerships and coordinated management of ocean and coastal resources
  • USD 2.6 billion from Inflation Reduction Act funds to build lasting climate resilience of marine resources and coastal communities
  • USD 400 million from Inflation Reduction Act funds to improve ocean, weather, and climate change observations, modeling, and research
  • USD 30 million to expand understanding of marine carbon dioxide removal
  • An intent to provide USD 2.5 million to support the U.S.-Caribbean Partnership to Address the Climate Crisis 2030 (PACC 2030) through the Local2030 Energy Resilience Community of Practice, subject to Congressional notification
  • An intent to provide USD 1 million from the U.S. Department of State for the Climate Finance Access Network, to support their expansion into the Caribbean region, subject to Congressional notification

Sustainable Fisheries

The sustainable fisheries issue area of Our Ocean Conferences underscores the importance of biodiversity and long-term fish stock sustainability to protect food security and promote employment opportunities.  The United States made 7 announcements totaling more than 665 million USD under the sustainable fisheries area of action.  U.S. announcements included:

  • An intention to request from Congress funding to support a new ten-year Economic Assistance Agreement with the Pacific Island Forum Fisheries Agency in connection with the South Pacific Tuna Treaty
  • USD 11 million from NSF for research on marine diseases connected with climate change in commercially harvested marine species
  • The signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Coast Guard and nonprofit Global Fishing Watch, to further transparency in the fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing
  • USD 40 million to implement the Climate, Ecosystems and Fisheries Initiative (CEFI), which will increase the production and use of climate-related information for climate resilient fisheries and fishing communities
  • Over USD 8.7 million for Bersama Kelola Perikanan (Collaborative Fisheries Management) to protect marine biodiversity
  • Over USD 5.6 million for the PorLaPesca (ForFisheries) activity to reduce IUU fishing
  • USD .7 million for Tanggol Kalikasan to reduce IUU fishing and poaching, particularly in critical fish habitats in the Philippines

Sustainable Blue Economies

Sustainable blue economies advance ocean health alongside economic prosperity, providing sustainable food, power, and transportation.  This Our Ocean Conference issue area promotes sustainable and inclusive blue economic activities that create pathways to long-term blue economic development by addressing the range of stressors threatening ocean health.  The United States made 11 announcements totaling more than 73 million USD under the sustainable blue economies area of action. The United States announced:

  • USD 11.5 million from NSF for Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges in support of innovative “circular economy” approaches
  • USD 30 million from NSF to tackle challenges related to the blue economy through the Convergence Accelerator Program
  • The All-Atlantic Ocean Research and Innovation Alliance (AAORIA) in collaboration with Argentina, Brazil, Cabo Verde, Canada, the European Union, Morocco, and South Africa
  • USD 9.3 million to support ocean and climate technology innovation by small businesses
  • Over USD 3.4 million for the Conserving Coastal Ecosystems activity in Honduras to improve coastal ecosystem management
  • Over USD 13.7 million for Resilient Coastal Communities to improve the sustainable management of marine and coastal ecosystems in Mozambique
  • USD 726,820 for the Implementation Project Philippines to improve coastal sustainability
  • USD 5. million for the Coastal Resilience, Carbon, and Conservation Finance (C3F) activity through the Climate Finance for Development Accelerator, which will partner with the private sector on activities that support coastal resilience, blue carbon, and biodiversity conservation
  • An additional USD .5 million for United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Grants to Reduce Threats to Caribbean Biodiversity
  • An additional USD 2.2 million for the USAID’s Central America Regional Coastal Biodiversity Project to conserve biodiversity in targeted coastal-marine areas and associated upland ecosystems
  • An additional USD 1.4 million for the Women Shellfishers and Food Security activity

Marine Protected Areas

This issue area of Our Ocean Conferences focuses on the importance of well-designed and effectively managed marine protected areas (MPAs) as tools for biodiversity conservation and management, as well as their contributions to sustainable development writ large.  The United States made 5 announcements totaling nearly 11 million USD under the MPAs area of action. The United States announced:

  • The first cohort of endorsers of the Ocean Conservation Pledge to conserve or protect at least 30 percent of their jurisdictional ocean waters by 2030
  • USD 3 million in grants to enhance coral reef health and resilience
  • USD 1.9 million in grants and cooperative agreements to support coral reef conservation in the Caribbean, Mesoamerica, Micronesia, and Coral Triangle regions
  • The initiation of the designation process for the proposed Hudson Canyon National Marine Sanctuary
  • USD 6 million for Konservasi Laut Efektif (Effective Marine Conservation) to improve the management of national and provincial marine protected areas

Maritime Security

This area of action seeks to encourage international collaboration and create awareness among all stakeholders of the importance of creative and innovative solutions to help achieve a sustainable and secure maritime sector.  The United States made 14 announcements totaling more than 72 million USD under the maritime security area of action.  The United States announced:

  • A set of actions and collaborations, pursuant to a MOU signed last year at the Summit of the Americas with the Governments of Ecuador, Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, to strengthen the Eastern Tropical Pacific Marine Corridor (CMAR)
  • USD .1 million for a West Africa-focused Global Counterterrorism Forum Maritime Security Implementation Workshop
  • An intent to provide USD 1.5 million to support the Export Control and Border Security (EXBS) Yemen Coast Guard Interdiction Capacity Building Project, subject to Congressional notification
  • The release of a Five-Year National Strategy for Combatting IUU fishing
  • USD 2.8 million in new assistance to the Global Defense Reform Program to enhance maritime security
  • An intent to sign a new maritime law enforcement agreement with Papua New Guinea
  • In collaboration with the United Kingdom and Canada, the launching of an IUU Fishing Action Alliance aimed at increasing ambition and momentum in the fight against IUU fishing
  • USD 49 million from NSF for the National Deep Submergence Facility (2022-2026) to support the operations of deep submergence science vehicles
  • USD 5 million from NSF for the Near-Trench Community Geodetic Experiment to better understand and predict major hazards to maritime security
  • The release of a new National Security Memorandum on Combating IUU Fishing and Associated Labor Abuses
  • USD 8.9 million for the establishment of the United States Coast Guard Southeast Asia Training Team (SEATT) to enhance maritime law enforcement, security, and interoperability in the region
  • USD 3 million for partner capacity building in the Blue Pacific for maritime security and maritime law enforcement
  • USD 2.19 million in support for maritime law enforcement and maritime security capacity building efforts through United States Coast Guard mobile training teams
  • The signing of expanded operational procedures to complement the existing bilateral agreement with the Federated States of Micronesia to combat illicit transnational maritime activity

Marine Pollution

The marine pollution issue area of Our Ocean Conferences raises awareness of global efforts aimed at reducing marine pollution of all kinds and restoring and maintaining a clean ocean.  This area of action highlights the need for comprehensive approaches and a broad range of solutions.  The United States made 10 announcements totaling more than 200 million USD under the marine pollution area of action.  The United States announced:

  • An intent to provide USD .5 million to the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum’s Marine Debris Management and Innovation Subfund, subject to Congressional notification
  • USD 10 million for the United Nations Development Programme’s critical mission to address the FSO tanker
  • Over USD 1.1 million of funding previously provided as voluntary contributions to the International Atomic Energy Agency under the Peaceful Uses Initiative to the Agency’s NUTEC Plastics initiative, including support to a project with Indonesia on recycling plastic wastes before they can reach the ocean
  • USD .99 million from the Department of Energy to the International Atomic Energy Agency’s regional Latin America project on using radiation techniques to reduce the environmental impact of polymer wastes
  • USD 3.5 million from NSF for research into sea ice-ocean exchange of microplastic in the Arctic
  • An intent to award USD 140 million in improvements to recycling infrastructure to reduce land-based sources of plastic waste to the marine environment
  • Support for capacity building engagements with Taiwan, Guyana, Nigeria, and Mauritius to strengthen oil spill preparedness
  • Plans to participate in five international exercises to strengthen oil spill response preparedness
  • USD 3.4 million for hurricane-related marine debris removal
  • USD 40.5 million for the Save Our Seas Initiative with the goal to eliminate plastic leakage into the environment by 2040

Announcements at Our Ocean Conferences may include new announcements as well as announcements made since the previous Our Ocean Conference.

View the original fact sheet: https://www.state.gov/u-s-delegation-announced-6-billion-usd-in-commitments-to-address-threats-to-our-ocean-doubling-last-years-pledge-at-eighth-our-ocean-conference/