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Promoting the Blue Economy

The role of maritime technology clusters

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Water covers 72 percent of the Earth’s surface (oceans occupy 65.7 percent), so in reality we live on “Planet Ocean.”

With the combination of burgeoning world population, a growing middle class around the world, as much as 80 percent of the world population living near the coast, and rising ocean levels; arguably, the only way to provide enough food, water and “coastal” real estate (and some would add medicines and renewable power) is to develop sustainable usage of the oceans.

It is an essential part of our past, critically important (if not yet widely recognized) in the present, and both a frontier and economic and social imperative for the future.

On June 9, 2009, the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard held a one day hearing called: “The Blue Economy: The Role of the Oceans in our Nation’s Economic Future.” The Opening Statement from the Hon. Maria Cantwell, U.S. senator from Washington state, set the stage:

“Today, we are trying to shine a spotlight on the Blue Economy. … The Blue Economy, the jobs and economic opportunities that emerge from our oceans, Great Lakes, and coastal resources, is one of the main tools to rebuilding the U.S. economy. We also rely on our oceans for trade in goods vital to our economy…. There is great untapped wealth in our oceans, and that will lead to new jobs and new business opportunities … Our Blue Economy has been the foundation of our economy for centuries in the past, and it holds tremendous potential to growing economic opportunities for future generations.

The Mission of The Maritime Alliance is: “Promoting Blue Tech and Blue Jobs." The intent of this article is to put forth the case for the importance of maritime technology development and to argue that the Blue Economy and Blue Jobs are critical for the future of the United States and for society as a whole.

-An excerpt from the maritime technology issue of the Mains’l Haul, published by the Maritime Museum.

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