Third Ocean Frontiers Film Highlights Ocean Management and the ‘Blue Economy’

The crew that brought us Ocean Frontiers: The Dawn of a New Era in Ocean Stewardship and Ocean Frontiers II: A New England Story for Sustaining the Sea is back with a third installment. This newest documentary showcases the progress of ocean management in the context of what it means to be responsible stewards of ocean resources as the ‘blue economy’ grows.

This spring, a number of venues will host screenings of Ocean Frontiers III: Leaders in Ocean Stewardship & the New Blue Economy to allow New Englanders to learn more about the recently approved Northeast Ocean Plan (and its Mid-Atlantic counterpart).

The film rides the waves of the plans’ final approval by the National Ocean Council late last year. It’s a powerful recap of the years-long effort to plan for a healthy, safe, and sustainable future.

According to Green Fire Productions, which produced the film, it “explores the intersection of national security, maritime commerce, fishing, and recreation, plus expanding industries such as offshore wind energy and aquaculture, coupled with scientific discovery. The film tells the story of how ocean planning helps us manage and balance all the uses of our ocean to keep it thriving for generations to come.”

While the first two installments focused largely on the concept of ocean management and how it applies in New England, the third film explores the effects of larger vessels and heavier maritime traffic coming through our port cities at a time when climate change is impacting the ocean’s ecosystems (and science is rushing to keep up). All of this, paired with new forays into offshore wind, aquaculture, and other emerging industries – and the activities of the armed forces charged with keeping our coasts safe – makes for an increasingly busy ocean.

In this context, coordinated ocean planning couldn’t have come at a better time. From Maine to Connecticut (and down to Virginia), an unprecedented collaboration of state and federal agencies and Native American tribes are working with new, publicly accessible ocean data and listening to the voices of local individuals and groups to keep national security strong, the economy growing, and to protect important ocean habitat.

The accessibility of the best available science and data is crucial, because it means that anyone can explore the intersection of various ocean uses and activities. (See for yourself at northeastoceandata.org how fishing, energy, recreational data and more can be layered to provide a basis for decision making.) This also means that local stakeholder voices play an important role in making sure the ocean plans are implemented in a way that honors our region’s storied and important ocean resources.

Screenings of the new film will take place throughout New England this spring. A March 9 screening is already sold out, so reserve your spot for another upcoming screening today: in Groton, Conn. (3/17 and 4/25), Belfast, Maine (3/21), Salem, Mass. (4/11), Chilmark, Mass. (4/20), Rockland, Maine (5/4), or Portland, Maine (5/18).

Ocean Frontiers celebrates the implementation of the Northeast Ocean Plan, and we encourage all New Englanders to attend a screening and to learn more about our region’s national leadership in smart ocean management.

Learn more about Conservation Law Foundation’s work in pioneering ocean planning here.

Check out the trailer here:

Historic Approval of Northeast Ocean Plan a Testament to Our Region’s Strength

In a historic moment, the White House announced today the official approval of the landmark Northeast Ocean Plan.

This approval by the National Ocean Council sets the Northeast Ocean Plan in motion and into the implementation stage – cementing New England’s legacy as a national leader for protecting and managing our oceans.

The plan is a game changer as our region has committed, on every level, to be smarter about how we collectively use our ocean’s resources. Based on the most comprehensive database of scientific and ocean use information ever compiled for New England’s ocean, as well as intensive stakeholder input, the Northeast Ocean Plan will effectively enable the region to capitalize on all the ocean has to offer – food, clean renewable energy, transportation, recreation, and jobs – all while ensuring that the ocean we all depend upon is healthy and thriving.

Ultimately, through a commitment to science and data-backed decision making, inclusivity, and better collaboration, the new ocean plan will result in increased economic success, fewer conflicts on the water, preservation of New England’s iconic ocean-based industries, and a healthier ocean for all.

A Plan for New England

With climate change upon us, smart ocean planning is more important than ever. The Gulf of Maine is now woefully in the spotlight, its waters heating faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans. As conservation leaders for half a century, we at Conservation Law Foundation have witnessed profound changes in our ocean.

We’ll continue to invest in the implementation of the Northeast Ocean Plan, which includes a commitment from the state, federal and tribal members of the regional planning body to identify important ecological areas. We’ll work to ensure decision makers are aware of these areas and push for their protection in planning projects, which will help restore the ocean’s health and build its resiliency to climate change.

This is New England’s plan. Largely crafted by New Englanders, advocated for by New Englanders, and ultimately implemented by many who call this region home – New England’s values are embedded within this plan. No matter the challenges that face us, our region knows how to come together and make things happen – and with this strength, CLF will work to ensure the plan is implemented widely for the benefit of our coastal communities, marine life, businesses, and for future generations.

Read CLF’s official statement on the release of the Northeast Ocean Plan here.