What We Do
The “Blue Economy” is a widely used term meaning the overall economic contribution of the oceans and coasts to the national economy and the need to address the sustainability of these natural assets. The Center for the Blue Economy provides leadership in research, education, and analytics to promote a sustainable Blue Economy. Through this work, we demonstrate the importance of ocean and coastal resources for regional economies, and help improve policy and business decisions in this era of accelerating coastal climate change impacts. Below is an outline of our major programs.
The National Ocean Economics Program is the primary research arm of the Center for the Blue Economy. Founded in 1999 by Dr. Judith Kildow, the National Ocean Economics Program is the premier source for ocean and coastal economic data and analysis in the United States, and has expanded to include international datasets and new data on the Arctic, mariculture, and offshore renewable energy. Major research initiatives are under way on various new coastal marketplace strategies to assist communities with coastal climate change adaptation, better measure economic vulnerability, and plan for a changing economic landscape under climate change. In addition, the Center for the Blue Economy is partnering with our international partners to forge consensus on a global system for valuing our oceans and coasts, and providing businesses and policymakers with the key information to develop a truly sustainable Blue Economy.
In 2015 the Center for the Blue Economy launched the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics. The Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics is a peer-reviewed, open access online journal that publishes research on the theory and practice of economics as applied to ocean and coastal resources, and the role these resources play in regional and national economies.
The Center for the Blue Economy is housed within the International Environmental Policy Program of the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. The International Environmental Policy program has approximately ~50 full-time master’s students at any given time, of which roughly ~20 choose to pursue a 16-credit/4 course concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. The Center for the Blue Economy supports the Ocean and Coastal Resource Management concentration through the development of curriculum, hiring of faculty, research assistant positions, a fall lecture series, and paid summer fellowships. The Center for the Blue Economy seeks to educate the next generation of marine leaders, equipping them with essential interdisciplinary skills to synthesize complex information, manage diverse teams, produce original research, and help shape and direct the agenda for global marine policy and management.
The Center for the Blue Economy cannot accomplish its mission alone. The center partners with many U.S. and international organizations to achieve its objectives, including NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, Stanford's Center for Ocean Solutions, The Nature Conservancy, the Korean Maritime Institute, and the Chinese National Marine Data and Information Service, and OneReef to name a few. In addition, the Center for the Blue Economy hosts visiting scholars for residency of 3-12 months, who contribute greatly to the original research pursued by the center. Generous donors partner with and support the Center for the Blue Economy so that our public access databases can provide free information to thousands of users a year.