Stakeholders focus on the crucial role of the ocean and ways to help protect it
[Port Hueneme, CA] — In celebration of World Oceans Day, the Port of Hueneme held a “Sustaining the Seas Summit” on Thursday, June 8 at the Channel Islands Maritime Museum in Oxnard. The event was an opportunity for the Port of Hueneme, maritime industry companies, environmentalists, and community organizations to gather to discuss partnerships focused on the sustainability of the world’s oceans.
“We are the only planet that has an ocean, and we must sustain it for generations to come,” said Jess Herrera, President of the Oxnard Harbor Commission. “The Port of Hueneme is committed to a clean and sustainable environment and ocean. That is why we are here today to learn more from leaders on efforts concerning ocean-based technology, advocacy, and management. Understanding the status and the change in our oceans is a complex issue.”
According to the United Nations, the purpose of World Oceans Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, to develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
“This event is something very important to me. I have a very long history with the ocean,” said Oxnard Harbor Commissioner, Jason Hodge. “Everything is interconnected. I am personally invested in this. We all are. Anyone that lives near a coast, or not near a coast, has to be concerned about our oceans.”
“The oceans cover 70 percent of our planet, and it needs our help,” said California State Treasurer, Fiona Ma, who was the event’s keynote speaker. “It’s great that there are so many communities and people around the world that are seeking to bring that balance back into our seas,” Treasurer Ma said. “We need to work creatively to make sure we are bringing back the oceans to abundance that it gives us.”
During the summit, the Port of Hueneme and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration gave their “Blue Whales Blue Skies” award to Wallenius Wilhelmsen, Hyundai Glovis, Maersk, K Line and NYK for participating in NOAA’s Vessel Speed Reduction program that provides incentives to companies for incorporating sustainable shipping practices across their global supply chains.
“Every breath we take and every drop we drink are small but mighty reminders of our connections to the ocean,” said Adam Vega, Community Outreach Specialist at the Port of Hueneme. “The Port of Hueneme convened decision makers, scientists, business executives, indigenous communities, and ocean activists making cutting edge innovations for the ‘Blue Economy’ right here in our own backyard.”
Giles Pettifor, Environmental Manager at the Port of Hueneme, stated: “This event was a great opportunity to acknowledge the history, learn about the present and get empowered to advocate for a more sustainable future.”
The summit also included panel discussions on the topics of “Technology for the Sea,” “Local Ocean and Whales,” and “Attracting Attention & Education.”
The Port of Hueneme is one of the most productive and efficient commercial trade gateways for niche cargo on the West Coast. Five locally elected Port Commissioners govern the Port. The Port consistently ranks among the top ten U.S. ports for automobiles and fresh produce. Port operations support the community by bringing $2.2 billion in economic activity and creating 20,032 trade-related jobs. Trade through the Port of Hueneme generates more than $173.2 million in direct and related state and local taxes, which fund vital community services. In 2017, the Port of Hueneme became the first port in California to become Green Marine certified and was voted the Greenest Port in the U.S. at the Green Shipping Summit. www.portofh.org.
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