Secretary Kerry’s State Department Ocean Conference Results in $1.8 Billion in Pledges

Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced today that the State Department’s first “Our Ocean” Conference resulted in commitments from government and private sources valued at more than $800 million to conserve the ocean and its resources for future generations. In addition, Norway announced it will allocate $1 billion to climate change mitigation and adaptation assistance. President Obama announced that the Obama Administration will immediately begin planning to expand protections for ocean habitats and deter illegal fishing.

The two-day conference drew Heads of State, Foreign Ministers, policy makers, environmentalists, scientists and entrepreneurs from nearly 90 countries to the State Department for a session intended to develop strategies for protecting oceans from marine pollution, acidification and overfishing. In closing remarks today, Secretary Kerry outlined an action plan of policy goals, best practices, and benchmarks aimed at translating the initiatives developed at the conference into a unified global ocean policy.

In addition, participants announced commitments for the protection of more than 3 million square kilometers of the ocean — an area slightly larger than India.

In a video presentation, President Obama announced that his Administration will immediately consider ways to expand protections near the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific Ocean. The President also outlined a new comprehensive program aimed at deterring illegal fishing, addressing seafood fraud and preventing illegally caught fish from entering the U.S. marketplace.

You can view the entire package of conference announcements (Our Ocean Action Plan here; Our Ocean Initiatives here) and the White House Fact Sheet here, and more at