Ocean & Coastal Policy Program

Millions of people depend upon the world’s oceans for food and economic livelihood. The ability of oceans and coasts to meet these needs has been compromised.

Living resources are consistently overused; development, pollution and climate change threaten productivity and resilience of their delicate ecosystems. The Ocean and Coastal Policy Program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions focuses on finding ways to better manage the oceans and their resources for the benefit of mankind.

With partners across the world, the Program is identifying opportunities to lessen the impact of ocean acidification on society. It assists policy makers in finding new opportunities for success in ocean and coastal management as well as ways to safely plan policies for the management of deep sea mineral resources.

In the area of coastal policy, research focuses on identifying how preserving habitats such as mangroves and salt marshes could be an important step to curbing climate change. The Fisheries Leadership & Sustainability Forum, a partnership that includes the Program, facilitates the exchange of ideas and solutions between federal-level decision makers charged with managing sustainable fisheries in a changing world.

Focus areas include: ocean acidification; coastal management; marine ecosystem services; deep sea minerals and conservation planning; carbon sequestration in coastal habitats, known as blue carbon; and strategies and policies for monitoring coral reefs.