School of Marine Sciences contingent at The Ocean Conference – A. Strong

A University of Maine assistant professor of marine policy in the School of Marine Sciences and three UMaine graduate students are taking part in The Ocean Conference this week at the United Nations in New York.

Participants are slated to discuss solutions to a range of threats to marine ecosystems, including reducing plastic pollution, expanding marine reserves, strengthening sustainable fisheries, protecting coral reefs and addressing the effects of climate change.

The global conference, co-hosted by the governments of Fiji and Sweden, coincides with World Oceans Day on June 8.

Aaron Strong, who also is a cooperating faculty member with the Climate Change Institute, is attending the conference with graduate students Emily Nocito, Anama Solofa and Anna McGinn.

Nocito and Solofa are pursuing master’s degrees in marine policy in the School of Marine Sciences and McGinn is pursuing a dual master’s degree in global policy with the School of Policy and International Affairs and in quaternary and climate studies with the Climate Change Institute.

This marks the first time the School of Marine Sciences has received special accreditation from the United Nations to send a delegation of observers to the meeting.

The UMaine contingent will be among the heads of state, researchers, experts and ocean leaders exploring how to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14, which seeks to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

Strong and the students are conducting research at the solutions-focused conference, which strives “to reverse the decline in ocean health for people, the planet and prosperity.”