This summer, I decided to embark on two ambitious fellowships! I’m splitting my time between the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Oceans team and Pacific Ocean Energy Trust (POET). For WWF, I’m working with Vishwanie Maharaj, Director of the Multilateral Fisheries/Tuna Project to conduct an analysis of how the upcoming Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty can be adapted to better protect tuna stocks and fishing communities, in addition to providing policy development support for other multilateral fisheries discussions at the diplomatic level. This involves working with representatives from several foreign governments’ fisheries departments and NOAA International Affairs to better ascertain current policy gaps in multilateral fisheries discussions.
For POET, I’m working with Executive Director Jason Busch and Policy Director Shannon Souza to build a white paper and model legislation to advance the development of floating offshore wind turbines on the Pacific Coast, with a specific focus on establishing model legislation to be adopted by the California and Oregon legislatures to expedite the planning/approval process of floating wind turbines in Southern Oregon/Northern California. Additionally, I’m working with POET to expand stakeholder outreach to coastal communities to increase grassroots support for offshore wind projects that can provide electricity to the western power grid and generate liquid hydrogen for the Pacific shipping fleet.
So far, as part of my WWF project, I’ve been able to analyze and read technical reports on Fish Aggregating Device regulations from the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission and the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas. I’ll be compiling a report for WWF and its partner governments on these proposals and later identifying links between them and the upcoming BBNJ negotiations, with a goal of helping to influence the outcomes of the BBNJ treaty.
For POET, I’ve been been establishing relationships with members of the offshore wind industry and its regulators both at home and abroad, with a particular eye towards identifying marine spatial planning and offshore wind development tax credits established in the EU and figuring out how to best apply them to the American system. Additionally, I’ve been working on identifying pathways for the United States Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to adapt its nascent offshore wind lease area sales and regulatory programs to better meet the unique needs faced by Pacific coastal communities and floating offshore wind farms operating in deeper water than the current East Coast wind farms.
I highly encourage everyone to learn more about the WWF Oceans program and the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust! I’ve included links to their websites below.