Welcome to our inaugural quarterly newsletter from ESP Advisors, summarizing recent news in ocean and environmental policy broadly as well as updates from our clients and team members. In the last three months, much of the country has started to reopen as the Biden Administration picked up speed. Dr. Rick Spinrad was nominated, confirmed by the Senate, and sworn in to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Janet Coit was tapped to lead NOAA Fisheries and is the acting #2 at the agency. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has been rolling out their offshore wind development strategy at breakneck speed, and, of course, the President submitted his budget proposal to Congress, which included big increases for many science and natural resource management agencies. Our clients and partners have also been growing their engagement in big and exciting ways, and we are proud to partner with them on Congressional events, legislative efforts, and public relations. Thank you for your support, and I look forward to seeing what we can achieve over the next few months. All the best, Emily Patrolia
Dr. Rick Spinrad was sworn in as NOAA Administrator on June 22, and Janet Coit was named as NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator.
NOAA released its Fiscal Year 2022 budget request and Blue Book. The agency asked for $7 billion, an increase of $1.5 billion over FY21.
The House Appropriations Committee is preparing their FY22 appropriations bills for floor consideration. The Commerce, Justice, Science bill will be considered by the full committee this week and includes significant increases for NOAA.
Committees held multiple hearings and mark-ups on ocean climate legislation (such as the Ocean-Based Climate Solutions Act, Regional Ocean Partnerships Act, etc.), NOAA’s role in bolstering climate resilience, budget requests for related agencies, and coastal and ocean information, technology and exploration legislation.
The Administration released its America The Beautiful plan to conserve 30 percent of the nation’s land and water by 2030 (30x30). NOAA was called on to expand the National Marine Sanctuaries System and National Estuarine Research Reserve System.
The Administration released the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2022. It reiterated commitments to the America the Beautiful plan, coastal resilience, offshore wind, data observations for climate change, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Some of our clients' World Ocean Day Announcements:
Force Blue held the screening of their “100 Yards of Hope” documentary in Miami. GEBCO’s Seabed 2030 was officially endorsed as an Action of the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. Finless Foods announced that they have developed a new plant-based tuna product.
ESP Advisors attended Capitol Hill Ocean Week and the awards gala. On June 16, Emily spoke at a National Fisheries Institute webinar about the importance of proactive strategic communications for the seafood industry.
On June 25th, ESP Advisors helped MARACOOS host an event to commemorate their new High Frequency Radar on Lewes Beach, DE. With speakers including US Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Director of the National Weather Service Dr. Louis Uccellini, and IOOS Program Director Carl Gouldman, it was a great way to highlight how marine technology and public-private partnerships ensure coastal resiliency. As US Senator Tom Carper said, “In the Navy when people do extraordinary things, we say two things: Bravo, Zulu, which means good going. Bravo, Zulu, MARACOOS!”
ESP Advisors hosted our first post-pandemic “fly-in” with Shannon Cosentino-Roush from Finless Foods. As great as Zoom can be, there is nothing quite like in person meetings.
On June 29th, ESP Advisors, the Ocean Caucus Foundation, and Windward Strategies hosted their “Sea to Shining Sea” Congressional Oceans Happy Hour at Tiki TNT in DC to celebrate World Ocean Month in person with Capitol Hill friends and colleagues.
On June 30th, ESP Advisors hosted a Happy Hour at the Old Ebbitt Grill in DC for Sea Grant Knauss Fellows and alumni.
IN THE NEWS: "Communications expert calls on seafood industry to use proactive storytelling..." Seafood Source article about Emily's communications presentation.
World Ocean Whirlwind
As always, the week surrounding World Ocean Day is a whirlwind of announcements. Here’s a brief summary of some of the major news from the biggest week in ocean policy, 2021.
Biden “Skinny” Budget: Insights for Environment, Science, and Oceans If enacted, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would get $6.9 billion, or an increase of more than $1.4 billion from the 2021 enacted level.
Biden's American Jobs Plan - What's in it for Oceans? The American Jobs Plan comes in at more than $2 trillion over eight years and is estimated to be paid off in 15 years when coupled with a corporate tax hike from 21 to 28 percent.
While there’s only one world ocean, National Geographic officially acknowledged the existence of a fifth named ocean. The Southern Ocean, which encircles Antarctica, has been recognized by ocean scientists and policymakers for a long time. (Photo courtesy of National Geographic)