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Andreas Merkl is the President and CEO of Ocean Conservancy, which educates and empowers citizens to take action on behalf of the ocean. From the Arctic to the Gulf of Mexico to the halls of Congress, Andreas leads the organization’s efforts to tackle the ocean’s biggest challenges with science-based solutions.

With a background in environmental science, resource economics and business, Andreas is particularly interested in determining the ocean’s rightful role in answering the central question of our time: how to meet the enormous resource demands of a rapidly growing global population without destroying the natural systems that sustain us.

We Did Something Bold

Today, Ocean Conservancy took a bold step. I am proud to let you know my friend and colleague Janis Searles Jones has stepped into the role of Ocean Conservancy’s CEO as I assume the role of President. This mutual decision was unanimously endorsed by Ocean Conservancy’s Board of Directors. Yes, this is unusual. But we…

America’s coastal communities need a strong EPA leader, not Pruitt

It’s really quite simple. As the ocean absorbs more carbon emissions from the atmosphere, our ocean becomes more acidic. And the impacts are far-reaching. Just ask the shellfish growers and coastal businesses in the Pacific Northwest and across our country. Yet Scott Pruitt, the Trump administration nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, avoids acknowledging…

An Ocean Perspective for a Planet at the Crossroads

A conversation between Ocean Conservancy’s CEO Andreas Merkl and Nainoa Thompson, president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and navigator of the iconic Hōkūle‘a, as Hawaiʻi hosts the IUCN World Conservation Congress. With a shared passion for our ocean, Merkl (@AndreasMerkl) and Thompson spoke about experiencing unparalleled beauty on the water, the plague of plastic pollution…

On World Oceans Day, A View from the Top

A conversation with Bertrand Piccard, the scientist-adventurer currently on the American leg of his global solar flight on the Solar Impulse 2, on the view from 28,000 feet, how we nearly turned our ocean into a dump for nuclear waste and win-win solutions for a healthy planet. We spoke on the eve of World Oceans Day.…

Our Ocean’s Future In An Era of Change

Imagine you live on the East Coast.  NOAA—the federal agency that tracks hurricanes—has spotted a tropical storm brewing in the mid-Atlantic. Over the next few days, the storm develops into a Category 5 monster.  NOAA’s best available forecasts show a possible landfall across over 600 miles of US coastline – and your town has a…

Gulf Restoration Plan Is Step Forward for Recovery, but More Work Remains

If we hope to meet the future resource demands of a growing global population without destroying the natural systems that sustain us, we must put the ocean at the center of what we do. The ocean provides us with food, energy, transportation, carbon storage and more—it is truly our greatest natural resource. Nowhere is this…

Happy Anniversary to Vital Ocean Policy

It was just three years ago that President Obama signed the Executive Order establishing the National Ocean Policy. We’ve come a long way so far, and we are starting to realize the policy’s considerable promise. As I’ve written about before, the National Ocean Policy and the subsequent Implementation Plan are historically significant. President Obama recognized…

The Fish We Need to Feed 9 Billion People

Smart fisheries management is a great place to start a conversation about putting the ocean at the center of the world’s biggest challenges.  This is because the most profitable type of fishing is sustainable fishing – better management helps fishermen and the ocean at the same time. Sustainable fishing means keeping enough fish in the…

National Ocean Policy Calls for Smart Choices

I recently joined Ocean Conservancy as its new CEO because I believe in one simple but very ambitious premise: the ocean must be at the very center of the key challenge of our time. That challenge is how to meet the enormous resource demands of a rapidly growing global population without destroying the natural systems…