Cape Coastal Conference Tackles Blue Economy Initiative

HYANNIS – For the first time, the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce’s Blue Economy initiative was featured at the annual Cape Coastal Conference in Hyannis.

The 4th annual conference kicked off Tuesday at the Resort and Conference Center.

The conference brings together representatives from state and local environmental agencies, local officials, businesses and the community to discuss water resources, fisheries, marine technology, coastal ecosystem health and restoration, climate change, sea level rise, storm preparation and more.

The Blue Economy initiative aims to promote and sustain a maritime focused economy in Cape Cod. Chamber CEO Wendy Northcross says the area’s water will drive future economic activity across the Cape.

“Your science, your research, your recreation, your enjoyment of water will drive the next types of business activity,” said Northcross.

The Chamber believes the business activity resulting from Blue Economy push will help solve area issues, including wastewater and overfishing and allow for the growth of more shellfish.

Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve Coastal Training Program Coordinator Tonna-Marie Rogers said this year’s conference focused on the link between the environment and the economy and what that means for Cape Cod moving forward.

“It’s important to talk about the science and what is happening there, but it is really critically important to bring difference groups together that are working on this because these issues are interconnected,” Rogers said. “The science that’s happening needs to inform decisions or inform solutions.”

Day one topics also included the Cape’s fisheries, water quality issues and emerging threats like ocean acidification.

Another new session added this year was the exploration of marine technologies and what that means for Cape Cod and how that cluster can be grown.

The conference continues Wednesday through midday. Day two topics include dealing with natural, political and municipal boundaries, along with sea level rise impacts.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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