OpenChannels has a team of dedicated bloggers addressing targeted aspects of ocean planning and management, including communication, technology, ocean uses, and more. Our bloggers are experts in the field, drawing from their own knowledge and experience.

The OpenChannels community can also benefit from your knowledge and experience. We appreciate the diversity of perspectives in this field and welcome the use of OpenChannels for sharing these views. Do you have a perspective on ocean planning you would like to share? We'll help you do that right now: just click the button above and follow the prompts. If you are interested in blogging but have questions, please email Raye Evrard at raye [at] We look forward to your contribution!

The OpenChannels Team

Blog series logo

Part 4: Seven Principles for managing tipping points

The Ocean Tipping Points project is a collaboration of natural and social scientists, lawyers, environmental managers, and stakeholders working to understand what drives abrupt ecological shifts, and how they might be prevented or reversed. This is the fourth blog in a series highlighting the latest research and insights from our team of researchers.

Awareness is growing among scientists and environmental managers that human impacts can lead to dramatic, sometimes rapid, changes in the way that ecosystems look – for example, in the species and habitats that are dominant – and the way they work – such as how productive they are, how rapidly nutrients are cycled, or what benefits they provide to people.

Blogger picture
Posted on July 21, 2015 - 11:04am, by jfelt

By Jennifer Felt, Ocean Campaign Director, Conservation Law Foundation

Happy Birthday National Ocean Policy! This weekend the National Stewardship Policy for the Ocean, Our Coasts and Great Lakes (aka the National Ocean Policy, NOP) will have been around for half a decade. So, if you are at a backyard BBQ this Sunday, July 19 –the day the NOP officially turns five — don’t forget to raise a glass, bottle, or juice-box to commemorate our nation’s first comprehensive stewardship policy for the ocean, our coasts, and Great Lakes.

I was seven months pregnant and surviving the summer in Washington, D.C. when President Obama established the National Ocean Policy via Executive Order 13547. As I prepare to celebrate both my daughter’s and the NOP’s 5th birthday I cannot help but reflect on and rejoice over the journey of the past five years.

Blog series logo
Posted on June 30, 2015 - 4:47am, by PJSJones

The European Environment Agency provides independent scientific assessments and advice to the European Commission and European Parliament. It's recent European Environment — State and Outlook 2015 (SOER 2015) report highlights some worrying issues and trends, particularly for the marine environment (see briefing), e.g.

Blogger picture

When the average internet user seeks out information on a scientific topic, the first place she turns to isn’t the latest scientific literature or even a mainstream news publication, it’s Wikipedia. Google any scientific topic and the online encyclopedia will turn up as the first or second search result. Though many within the science community regard Wikipedia with a certain level of wariness, there’s no denying that for millions of people across the globe, it’s the first exposure many people have to issues they know little about. As such, it wields tremendous influence in shaping the way the general public understands and views a particular topic.


Miami - The legendary wisdom of anglers is changing with the times, according to groundbreaking new research published Thursday in the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering. The first study to use personal seafood budgets to reveal environmental orientation shows that South Florida’s recreational fishers have a newfound recognition of climate change and a strong will to open their wallets for high quality seafood.

Old timers remain stingier than newer generations, reveals researcher James W. Harper, who surveyed a selection of Florida’s more than one million registered marine fishers for the the scientific article The New Man and the Sea. But one of the study’s biggest surprises is that poorer people are not stingy when it comes to paying more for sustainable seafood. The online survey found middle to lower class households were just as willing as upper classes to pay a few dollars extra to purchase fish with a sustainability label on it. These residents living near the Florida Reef especially want local seafood, because 80 percent were in favor of higher costs to guarantee seafood caught nearby.

Blogger picture

Dispatch from the field, by Waitt Institute Science Manager Andy Estep

If you’re a geology nerd like me, hearing of Montserrat makes you think “the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, precariously perched on the Lesser Antilles Volcanic Arc along the eastern subduction zone of the Caribbean plate.” The incredible volcanology that has been forming and shaping Montserrat since the Pleistocene is fascinating. But as a geologist who has become a marine biologist, I can tell you Montserrat is also very alive and fascinating underwater.

Blogger picture

By Alyssa Newton Mann
Regional Research and Planning Specialist, USC Sea Grant 

Our climate is changing in unprecedented ways. Here in California, one effect of climate change—sea level rise—generates great concern for coastal cities. And the sea is already rising. Over the next century, sea level rise in the Los Angeles region is expected to match global projections with and increase of 0.1 – 0.6 m (5-24 inches) from 2000 to 2050 and 0.4 – 1.7 m (17-66 inches) from 2000 to 2100[1]. Rising seas, combined with the threat of other coastal impacts such coastal erosion, high tides and severe storms are driving coastal communities to begin planning for these challenges and identifying strategies to adapt.

Blogger picture
Posted on May 13, 2015 - 10:12am, by karen

World-Leading Marine Plans Signed in British Columbia

On April 27, 2015, after more than a decade of work, the BC Government and 18 First Nations announced world-leading marine plans for the northern coast of British Columbia. The Marine Planning Partnership (MaPP) brings nearly 40,000 square miles of coastal waters under ecosystem-based management — protecting the marine environment while sustaining vibrant coastal communities whose culture and commerce depend on a healthy ocean. It represents a significant step forward in the smart management of the Pacific coast of North America.

Blogger picture

Co-authored by Andy Estep, Science Manager of the Waitt Institute

For the first time in the history of Barbuda, law enforcement agents from four agencies gathered in the Codrington Fisheries Complex to collaborate on the enforcement of ocean laws in the island’s waters. This important step will ensure that the community reaps the benefits of new local regulations passed for coastal zoning and fisheries in August 2014.

Blog series logo

Through the New Wave blog series, we’ve heard from many new voices in the CMSP community, sharing information about their marine planning efforts. The goal of the New Wave series is to share lessons learned from a new leaders in marine planning to generate conversation among coastal professionals.  Reading examples from across the United States, we’ve seen that coastal and marine planning is not only possible in the Northeast; it is happening right now from the U.S. Pacific to the U.S. Caribbean.