The Healthy Ocean Coalition’s (HOC) goal is to serve as a conduit for our members, amplifying the conservation community’s voice by bringing it straight to our decision makers and positioning ourselves to positively affect conservation policy as it relates to our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes.
We support, connect, activate, and empower our members to be confident and vocal advocates for conservation policy at a national, regional, and local level. By doing so, our coalition serves as a multiplier and amplifier of voices to defend the nine priority objectives outlined in the National Ocean Policy (NOP) and help set the stage for strong defense of our current policies and future progress. Our main services include:
We educate conservationists, ocean users, scientists, decision makers and concerned citizens about important federal ocean and coastal policies. Our education initiatives include:
- Workshops: Understanding that the ocean policy world is complex, multifaceted, and, at times, difficult to navigate, we offer comprehensive workshops for members of the conservation community to assist them in becoming more well-versed in federal ocean policy. This introductory-style workshop is an effective platform for raising awareness about the NOP and relevant policies for our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes.
- Trainings: Attending an HOC training is a great way to add a valuable tool to our members' conservation toolboxes. In order to help our members become confident and vocal advocates, we developed a day-and-a-half training that serves as a safe space to practice and hone advocacy skills, which we put to use following the training by sponsoring attendees to engage in advocacy activities.
- Webinars: Informational webinars are a valued educational tool for HOC members. Due to our widespread, national nature, it is not always practical for us to convene in person for meetings. We occasionally host webinars to share relevant information on the NOP, ocean, coast, and Great Lakes policy, upcoming opportunities for engagement, and bring in outside speakers to discuss best practices in advocacy and outreach.
We communicate and serve as a conduit between local, state, and regional conservation efforts and the federal agenda. Our communication initiatives include:
- Monthly phone calls: Featuring updates from ocean managers around the country and rotating special guest speakers, this monthly call is one of the most valued benefits of joining the HOC. Members are able to share successes, challenges, upcoming engagement opportunities, and more with their colleagues.
- Email updates: Email updates are one of our most frequently used forms of communication with our members. Again, because our membership is widespread, email serves as a quick and effective way to spread breaking news, action alerts, sign on letters, toolkits, and other opportunities for engagement.
- Social media: Our social media presence serves as a trusted and consistent source of news, information, and engagement opportunities relevant to ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes conservation.
- Blogs: Our Healthy Oceans Blog hosts relevant news, case studies, member features, and more. This is a great platform for people to stay up-to-date on all recent and relevant ocean policy news.
We activate local, state, and regional conservation organizations and concerned citizens to engage in the policy and decision-making process. Some of the ways we activate our members are:
- Comment letters: We pride ourselves on making advocacy as efficient and as straightforward as possible for our members. One way we do this is by drafting and circulating comprehensive sign-on letters for our members to review and sign on to during public comment periods for federal ocean, coast, and Great Lakes policy. By doing this, we provide opportunities for our members submit input on issues that they care about, even if they lack the capacity to draft their own individual letters.
- Action alerts: By circulating action alerts, we are able to direct our growing membership from both coastal and inland states and their extended networks of thousands to rally behind policies and ocean issues that are coming under attack. Visit our Take Action page to learn more.
- Toolkits: Like comment letters, toolkits are another avenue for efficient and streamlined advocacy on specific issues. We develop toolkits around events such as World Oceans Day, the NOP anniversary, Capitol Hill Ocean Week, and policymaker meetings. Our toolkits get shared far and wide and are a coveted product of the HOC by the greater conservation advocacy community.
We advocate for smart federal ocean and coastal policies that take into consideration efforts at the local, state and regional level. Our advocacy initiatives include:
- Meetings with decision makers: The impact of face time with policymakers and decision makers is lasting and influential. We provide numerous opportunities throughout the year for our members to attend in-person meetings with legislators, federal agency leads, and other decision makers. HOC members weave a narrative thread through federal policies and their on-the-ground implications, painting a vibrant picture of the connection between ocean policy, ocean managers, the fishing community, students, and other ocean users.
- Speaking at conferences and events: HOC managers and members speak at conferences and events around the country - and occasionally internationally - which is a great opportunity to share our work and raise awareness about ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes policy related issues with the greater conservation community.