What I Meant to Say at Our Ocean Greece 2024

I spoke at Our Ocean Greece 2024 yesterday.  I think it went well. I had prepared remarks, but none of the other panelists were reading or using notes, so I figured neither would I.  In the preceding week, I spent a good amount of time preparing for what was supposed to be a 3 minute speech followed by a panel discussion, but every panelist went well beyond their allotted time, and we never actually got to the discussion part.  I spoke last -- as the least distinguished speaker -- and was thrown for a bit of a loop when the moderator asked me what was supposed to be my follow up question.  Earlier in the day I was talking with my friend Sheila about our recently deceased friend Cinta Kaipat , so I started my story with her.  Everything else just poured out as I thought of my friend. There were a couple of other things I wanted to say, so I'm posting my remarks here for no other reason than I spent a lot of time on them.  I had wanted to get in a talking point about 50x50 and I want

America the Beautiful for All Coalition Ocean Policy Agenda

America the Beautiful for All Coalition members in Washington, DC  The America the Beautiful For All Coalition comprises people representing hundreds of organizations, missions, cultures, and identities. The Coalition developed the 2024 Policy Agenda to achieve the most ambitious conservation goal of the century,  conserving 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030 .   You can download the full  2024 American the Beautiful for All Coalition policy agenda  on their website. I lead the ocean work group, and share our ocean policy agenda items below: Ocean Justice for Coastal and Island Communities Important progress was made for the ocean in 2023. The administration developed the first ever Ocean Climate Action Plan, which sets three goals to (1) create a carbon neutral future, (2) accelerate solutions that tap natural coastal and ocean systems to absorb greenhouse gases, and (3) enhance community resilience to ocean change. The administration also launched the Ocean Justice Strategy, wh

How much of the US ocean is protected? It depends who you ask.

Photo credit: Angelo Villagomez The end of the year is a good time to reflect on the progress we've made towards delivering equitable ocean conservation outcomes, and pondering the strengths and weaknesses of the 30x30 movement. This year we've cautioned the ocean conservation community to not get too caught up arguing over “ what counts, ” but rather to focus on “ what comes next? ”  The great strength of 30x30 is that it sets out a framework wherein there is agreement that our shared use of public lands and waters fall along a spectrum, ranging from sacred places to wise use.  The highest levels of government in the U.S. and around the world are building conservation initiatives around this shared foundation.  And we have tools like The MPA Guide , Blue Parks , the IUCN Green List, and the Ocean Justice Strategy to help design conservation actions that are more effective and equitable. Most Pacific cultures have some version of "you have to know where you came from

Angelo's Rules for Lottery Pools

These rules apply for both Powerball and Mega Millions. 1. It's $10 to buy into the pool. Tickets are $2 each, so I will purchase 5 tickets with your money.  By sending me money, you agree to all of these rules. 2. You can buy in at multiples of $10.  Each $10 will count as one share.  Make sure you send me your email address so I can send you confirmation. 3. Deadline to purchase tickets is 6 PM the day of the drawing, unless I say it is sooner.  I will not accept money to play after the deadline.  If you send me money after the deadline, I will not purchase you tickets and will return the money as soon as is convenient for me, which may be after the drawing. 4. I will purchase the tickets, photograph them, and send them to all of the players ahead of the drawing, along with a list of names of all of the players.  You don't need to receive the email to be confirmed to play, but it serves as a receipt should we win. 5. Your play is confirmed when I email you the list of players

Upwell: A Wave of Ocean Justice

On June 7, 2023, the Center for American Progress, Azul, and Urban Ocean Lab, with the support of Earthjustice, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ocean Defense Initiative, and Green 2.0, hosted an online symposium on the rising tide of justice and equity in ocean policy. I gave brief remarks, welcoming our guests to our office. I'm posting them here for posterity. The video of the event is embedded above and linked  here . Hello and welcome to Upwell: A New Wave of Ocean Leadership.  I’m Angelo Villagomez, a proud Chamorro from the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands.  I’m a senior fellow here at the Center of American Progress – and on behalf of my colleagues here at CAP, Azul Urban Ocean Lab, Earthjustice, NRDC, Ocean Defense Initiative, and Green 2.0,  I’m delighted to welcome you to our offices today to celebrate the ocean and its vital role in our lives. And I also welcome all of you watching online. Before I introduce our symposium, I want to acknowledge tha

NEW VIDEO: To Conserve the Ocean, Start With the People Who Live There

The Center for American Progress published a new video today calling attention to one of the America the Beautiful For All Coalition’s policy recommendations: Ensure marine protected area management and implementation. Protected areas that lack staffing, funding, and management plans have been shown to do a poor job of protecting nature. The Biden Administration must adequately fund and implement national marine sanctuaries and marine monuments so that they can accomplish the goals laid out in their respective decrees, legislation, and management plans. Where management plans are incomplete, they must be completed. We call attention the need for better management of protected areas through the stories of the US Pacific Territories and Hawaii – home to 96% of the marine protected area coverage in the United States.  The video lays out the history of the how and the why the U.S. colonized their first islands in the Western-Central Pacific and tells how the Pacific territories aren&

Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Sanctuary Comments

The Pacific Remote Islands are Micronesian Islands   Scoping Comments for the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Sanctuary Prepared by Angelo Villagomez Submitted May 23, 2023 My name is Angelo Villagomez and I am currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and an Indigenous Chamorro ocean advocate from the Northern Mariana Islands.  For the last 15 years I have advocated for the designation and active management of marine protected areas in the United States and across the globe, including the Mariana Trench, Pacific Remote Islands, and Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monuments.  I founded the Friends of the Mariana Trench and wrote the nomination for the proposed Mariana Trench National Marine Sanctuary; I am also the conservation chair for the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument community group and co-lead the Ocean Workgroup for the America the Beautiful for All Coalition.  I offer the followi