March 1st, 2024 | By Camille Jasinski

Fostering Collaborative Ocean Science and Partnerships in the Ocean Decade: Reflections from Ocean Sciences 2024

Last week, members of the DCC-NEP staff attended the Ocean Sciences 2024 meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Ocean Sciences 2024 meeting was an endorsed action of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science and Sustainable Development (the Ocean Decade). The meeting brought together over 6000 attendees from around the world to share and collaborate on critical ocean science.

Fostering Collaborative Ocean Science and Partnerships in the Ocean Decade: Reflections from Ocean Sciences 2024
Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the Northeast Pacific Executive Director Dr. Rebecca Martone moderating a panel at Ocean Sciences 2024

Our executive director Dr. Rebecca Martone moderated a panel discussion on Fostering Partnerships by Building on the Framework of the Ocean Decade, organized by NOAA. The five panelists represented various Ocean Decade actions and working groups and discussed the opportunities and challenges of working within the framework of the Ocean Decade and the importance of collaboration. Below are some key takeaways from the discussion:


  • The need to change the culture of data sharing was addressed, with an emphasis on the need for an inclusive open data ecosystem and the need to translate data strategy into strategic implementation plans, as well as the need to make privately owned ocean data public. 

  • Ocean industries use data for sole project purposes which can result in missed opportunities - these data should be collected and made accessible. The Ocean Decade Corporate Data Working Group is working closely with members of industry to transform the coordination of and access to global ocean science data owned by the private sector.


  • There are so many variables that have to be measured in order for the ocean community to work together. We need to understand each other’s challenges, find common goals for ocean stewardship, and identify barriers and pathways to solutions. Trust and collaborations take time. 

  • Partners in the Ocean Decade should continue  to matchmake between Decade Actions, knowledge holders, and end users to grow and continue to mobilize the global ocean community.


  • There is an abundance of scientific and technical expertise, but a general lack of resources, which is another reason for collaboration and co-design using the Ocean Decade as a framework and making the right connections. 

  • There is a strong need to encourage policymakers and making the case for the demand for resources in the ocean community. This can also help wake up the global community and give hope to global programs that can mobilize and generate beyond the Decade. The global community is poised and ready, but resources are essential.

The DCC-NEP team also attended the Ocean Vision 2030 town hall. The Vision 2030 town hall centered on discussions of refreshing humanity’s relationship with the ocean, and using challenges as points of entry for action. Resilience in the face of these challenges was defined both as the adaptive capacities of societies as well as developing the knowledge and infrastructure to bounce back. Discussions also focused on the linkages between challenges, and using science for ecosystem based management.

Fostering Collaborative Ocean Science and Partnerships in the Ocean Decade: Reflections from Ocean Sciences 2024
Left to Right: Liliana Bastian, Ocean Visions-UN Decade Collaborative Center for Ocean-Climate Solutions; Dr. Rebecca Martone, Executive Director, Ocean Decade Collaborative Center for the NE Pacific; Alison Clausen, Ocean Decade Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, UNESCO; Julian Barbière, Ocean Decade IOC/UNESCO; Courtney McGeachy, Ocean Visions-UN Decade Collaborative Center for Ocean-Climate Solutions

The Ocean Decade Vision 2030 process is currently being implemented around the globe to identify priority gaps and needs that the Decade can work to fill. A series of 10 White Papers corresponding to the 10 Decade Challenges are being prepared by Expert Working Groups. The Ocean Vision 2030 White Paper public review process recently closed, and working group members will be busy preparing to present the White Papers at the Ocean Decade 2024 Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

List of Panelists from Fostering Partnerships by Building on the Framework of the Ocean Decade:

  • David Millar - Director, Fugro Government Accounts for the Americas

  • Jan-Bart Calewaert - Bio-engineer and Marine Environment Manager and co-chair, UN Decade Data Coordination Group

  • Dr. Liliana Bastian - Marine Social Scientist and Ocean Visions Program Officer

  • Dr. Maila Guilhon - Oceanographer and part-time fellow, Nippon Foundation - University of Edinburgh Ocean Voices Program

  • Dr. Meghan Cronin - NOAA Oceanographer and co-chair, UN Decade Observing Air-Sea Interaction Strategy (OASIS)

Ready to dive in? There’s a place for everyone in the Ocean Decade—stay connected to help ensure a thriving, resilient, sustainable and productive Northeast Pacific Ocean. Sign up for our newsletter.