Blue Vision Summit 2017


The Colorado Ocean Coalition has attended the biennial Blue Vision Summit since our inception in 2011, and in 2017 we attended as the newly formed Inland Ocean Coalition, with four of our Chapters making the trip to DC.


The 2017 Agenda aimed to strengthen the Blue Economy and address the challenges of a changing ocean and a changing climate. Its key areas were:

  • Putting an End to Offshore Drilling by 2030
  • Ridding the Ocean of Plastic and Other Forms of Pollution
  • Building Coastal Resiliency Through Smart Ecosystem-Based Planning


About the Inland Ocean Delegation 

Many who attend the Blue Vision Summit come together by the state they represent to form a delegation to speak with their congressional leaders. Colorado had the second largest delegation of any state at the 2013 and 2015 Blue Vision Summit. We surprised our Colorado representatives by showing the state’s increasing interest in the health of the ocean, even though we are land-locked.

With the Colorado Ocean Coalition's launch of the Ocean Ambassadors, Ocean Rangers, Blue the Dive, the Watershed Community Initiative, and increasing awareness of ocean and watershed issues throughout the west, we are set to bring a greater number of Inland Ocean Advocates to the 2019 Blue Vision Summit. This is a great opportunity to meet ocean experts and advocates from around the country and attend presentations regarding current ocean issues and solutions. 


  • Every two years, the Blue Vision Summit brings together diverse groups and individuals from the marine conservation community to Washington, D.C. to explore new avenues for solutions to the challenges facing our ocean.
  • Summits are attended by individuals and organizations that work towards improving ocean conservation efforts from a variety of approaches including education, restoration, science, business and policy.
  • The Summits provide a unique opportunity for community members to learn from one another and often result in new collaborations.
  • Summits attract and bridge the gaps between citizens, activists, organizations and elected officials.
  • Each Summit includes a visit to Capitol Hill where participants visit the offices of Congress members and convey their support for healthy oceans.
  • It’s critical that we come together as a movement and a growing constituency of marine conservationists, businesses, scientists, recreational users, youth and others to turn the tide for our ocean.


  • May 9-11, 2017: COCO had 13 representatives from the Inland States. Speakers included Dr. Sylvia Earle, Ralph Nader, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium. Read more about it here. 
  • May 2015: Over 500 people attended. COCO had over 20 people representing the Inland States. Read more about it here.
  • May 2013: 2013 was the most successful Healthy Ocean Hill Day to date. Delegations from 21 states attended over 100 meetings, not only with House and Senate staffers, but also direct meetings with seven Senators and 16 House members. Among our efforts, we advocated for passage of IUU Pirate Fishing Treaties in all our senate meetings. Months later the Senate voted unanimously to ratify them. Colorado came in behind California with the second largest state delegation at 21 individuals.
  • May 2011: Over 400 attendees from around the country came to Washington, D.C. and focused on enactment and enforcement of national ocean policy, addressing climate change impacts and Gulf coast restoration. COCO attended with the first Colorado Delegation.
  • March 2009: 400 people form 250 different organizations came to Washington, D.C. Speakers included Dr. Roger Payne (Keynote Speaker), Dr. Sylvia Earle, Nancy Sutley (CEQ Director), Representative Sam Farr, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Mike Chrisman (CA Secretary of Resources), Marine Artist Wyland, Bill McKibben, Jim Toomey, David Helvarg, David Guggenheim, Thomas Lovejoy, Carl Safina, and Philippe Cousteau.
  • July 2004: 250 marine advocates from 23 states came to Washington, D.C.  Speakers included ocean advocates Peter Benchley, Philippe Cousteau, Representative Sam Farr, and Ralph Nader.