Happy New Year!
In 2021 ESP Advisors grew our revenue over 200 percent and from a team of three to a total team of 10. We started working with exciting new clients, expanded our offerings, and increased our community engagement through events, social media, and education campaigns.
Since our last newsletter in June, Congress wrote and passed the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the UN held their Climate Conference (COP 26), and COVID has continued to sow uncertainty in all of our personal and professional lives.
Despite these challenges, our clients have continued to grow and build success in big and exciting ways, and we were proud to partner with them on many outstanding in-person and virtual events, legislative efforts, and public relations growth.
It is hard to believe 2021 is already in the rearview mirror. It was a rollercoaster year for all of us, but we couldn’t be more thankful to be on the ride with you.
As always, thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve together over the next few months. All the best, Emily Patrolia
Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) 2022 dates and theme have been announced. CHOW will be from June 7-9th, and the theme is Sea: The Future. CHOW 2022 will be a hybrid event.
We are restarting our Ocean Blue Happy Hour virtual event series - stay tuned for the next event!
We are growing! Check out open positions, or join our resume bank at www.espadvisor.com/careers
ESP Advisors announced new executive staff promotions. Please join us in congratulating Martha Newell-Kinsman in her newly created role as Chief of Staff and Kat Montgomery as Policy Director.
Combined with our partners Ocean Caucus Foundation and Windward Strategies, we hosted a congressional holiday party in early December and enjoyed some festive snacks and refreshments with our friends on the Hill.
We started working with exciting new clients, including the Aspen Institute and the Environmental Defense Fund.
Our client Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) acquired Marine Advanced Robotics. The acquisition is a continuation of OPT’s long-term growth strategy to expand their market value proposition, specifically in the growing Maritime Domain Awareness sector.
A Tale of Two Bills: the BIF, the BBB, and what's in them for oceans"
An update on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Build Back Better Act
It's Infrastructure Week (finally!)
A July 2021 summary of the bipartisan infrastructure bill when it was first released.
House Moves to Vote on Funding Bills for FY 2022
(July 2021) What is the process, what’s in these funding bills, and what can we expect going forward?
Ms. Jainey Bavishi was nominated to be the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation advanced Ms. Bavishi to the full Senate for confirmation. Once confirmed, she will lead the “wet” side of the agency under Administrator Rick Spinrad, overseeing ocean service, fisheries, and ocean research and operations.
Kelly Kryc, Ph.D., was appointed as NOAA’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Fisheries.
Nicole LeBoeuf was officially appointed as the assistant administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management. In this capacity she is serving as director of the National Ocean Service.
Craig McLean, assistant administrator of NOAA Research, announced his plan to retire from the agency on April 1, 2022.
A new NOAA Climate Council was created. Composed of senior leaders from across the agency, the Council provides recommendations to the NOAA Administrator on the agency’s climate-related mission, resource, and policy priorities.
NOAA held a Virtual Public Listening Session on Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful. Public comments on the proposal can be submitted through the Federal Register portal.
NOAA requested public comments on the Alaska Coastal Mapping Strategy Implementation Plan.
NOAA released the 2021 Biennial Report to Congress on Improving International Fisheries Management, identifying 31 nations and entities responsible for IUU fishing activities and high seas bycatch.
Other Executive Branch News
The Biden-Harris administration restored protections for the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.
Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland announced plans for BOEM to hold up to seven new offshore wind lease sales by 2025 in the Gulf of Maine, New York Bight, Central Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico, as well as offshore of the Carolinas, California, and Oregon.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) completed or announced environmental reviews for offshore wind projects in NY, NJ, NC, SC, VA, and RI.
The White House announced several environmental and science nominations, including Chris Frey for EPA assistant administrator for research and development, and Kathy Sullivan, former NOAA Administrator under the Obama administration, as a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.
Monica Medina was confirmed as Assistant Secretary of State for oceans and international environmental and science affairs.
The White House reactivated the Arctic Executive Steering Committee and announced six new appointees to the US Arctic Research Commission, reflecting an emphasis on Alaska and Alaska Native representation.
The Senate Appropriations Committee released draft bill language for all of the FY 2022 annual appropriations bills.
Kevin Wheeler, former Trump appointee at NOAA, took over for Matt Womble on the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice, Science Subcommittee staff overseeing NOAA.
Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA), Chair of the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife, and Garret Graves (R-LA) launched a new bipartisan National Marine Sanctuary Caucus.
Nearly 130 members of the U.S. fishing industry sent a letter to Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Cliff Bentz (R-OR), expressing concerns about HR 3075, the Illegal Fishing and Forced Labor Prevention Act (H.R. 3075).
Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act (H.R. 4690)
Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act (H.R. 3764)
Offshore Wind American Manufacturing Act (S. 2766)
Advancing the Quality and Understanding of American Aquaculture (AQUAA) Act (S. 3100; H.R. 6258)
Alaska Offshore Parity Act (S. 2996)
Wildlife Conservation and Anti-Trafficking Act (H.R. 6059)
Maritime Administration Reauthorization Act (S. 3270)
Ocean Shipping Reform Act (H.R. 4996)
Innovation and Competition Act (S. 1260)
Driftnet Modernization and Bycatch Reduction Act (S. 273; H.R. 404)
Fishery Resource Disasters Improvement Act (S. 2923; H.R. 5453)
Signed into law
Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (H.R. 3684)
Select Relevant Hearings
House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Legislative Hearing on November 16, 2021
H.R. 59 (Rep. Don Young, R-AK), To amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act to provide flexibility for fishery managers and stability for fishermen, and for other purposes. Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act.
H.R. 4690 (Rep. Jared Huffman, D-CA), To reauthorize and amend the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, and for other purposes. Sustaining America’s Fisheries for the Future Act of 2021. Summary materials can be found on Rep. Huffman’s website.
H.R. 5770 (Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-MI), To improve the management of forage fish. Forage Fish Conservation Act of 2021.
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held a legislative hearing on July 29, 2021 on 15 bills including bills to address illegal fishing, fisheries management, and aquaculture.
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing on how to prepare the US Coast Guard for the future.
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy held a hearing to discuss the benefits of growing the US offshore wind industry.
The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife held an oversight hearing titled “Examining the President’s Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Proposal for the US Bureau of Reclamation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Geological Survey, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.”
Oceans and Climate News
A group of maritime shipping companies announced a first-of-its-kind maritime decarbonization target, committing to switch all ocean freight to vessels powered by zero-carbon fuels by 2040.
More than 200 chefs and restaurant owners sent a letter to Congress advocating for increased traceability of seafood imports and transparency at sea.
The UN Climate Conference (COP26) concluded in Glasgow with an official formal agreement. Ocean highlights include:
A recurring ocean-climate dialogue within the UNFCCC;
Text that encourages countries to integrate ocean-based solutions into their Nationally Determined Contributions, and national climate action, adaptation, and mitigation plans;
Funding and text that encourages countries to integrate nature-based solutions, including marine ecosystems, into their climate plans.