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"Our Ocean, One Future" Summit Energizes Georgetown Students

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By Francoise Farrell (C'18) and Mary Troxel (C'18), Co-Presidents, Georgetown Sustainable Ocean's Alliance.

In Gaston Hall on September 16th, Susana Malcorra, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship of Argentina, captured succinctly and in her own words the reason for the existence of the Sustainable Ocean’s Alliance at Georgetown.The passion, energy and clear vision that youth have…should be used to put pressure on governments, civil society and the private sector to do what we have committed to do. Youth are impatient…and so are our oceans”.

Ms. Malcorra was speaking as part of a high-powered panel alongside foreign ministers from France, Sweden and Panama to draw attention to the key role that millennials can play in preserving our shared heritage, the Ocean. The Sustainable Oceans Alliance and the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service had the pleasure of co-hosting the “Our Ocean One Future Summit” with the United States Department of State as a special parallel conference to their larger “Our Ocean Conference.”

The “Our Ocean One Future Summit” was held specifically to engage the millennial generation. The event also set out to highlight the nexus of government and business in creating viable solutions for our oceans. Participants, who came from over 50 countries, represented entities with mission statements that targeted a variety of ocean related issues such as overfishing, plastic pollution, ocean acidification, and destruction of habitat and reefs.

Having the opportunity to engage with these incredible young ocean advocates and watch them interact with the summit speakers was truly powerful. At the Sustainable Oceans Alliance, we hope to inspire both current and future ocean advocates to work together in the across sectors to protect our oceans. As Co-Presidents of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance, it was exciting to have the opportunity to work closely with the State Department who played an integral part in securing outstanding speakers like Dr. Sylvia Earle, Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau, Adrian Grenier and Secretary John Kerry.

The Our Ocean Our Future Summit was an energizing way to kick off the academic year. O semesters, we will continue to highlight ocean issues on campus and push our message of millennial engagement in ocean sustainability around DC and beyond. Our year will culminate with our own summit, scheduled for April 2017.