11. Human Health Effects of the Impact of Climate Change on Our Oceans
Coordinators: Rita Colwell, Distinguished Professor, University of Maryland, College Park and Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health; Paul Sandifer, Senior Science Advisor to the NOAA Administrator; Kimberly Thigpen Tart, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Moderators: Paul Sandifer, NOAA; Kimberly Thigpen Tart, NIEHS
Christopher Portier, Director, National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, CDC
Lora Fleming, Co-Director, OHH Center, University of Miami; European Center for Environment and Human Health, Peninsula Medical School
Interagency oceans and human health research implementation plan: a prescription for the future. Interagency Working Group on Harmful Algal Blooms, Hypoxia and Human Health of the Joint Subcommittee on Ocean Science and Technology. Washington, DC. 92. pp. http://www.eol.ucar.edu/projects/ohhi/
These studies have articulated how “changes in ocean acidity, temperature, and salinity are affecting the balance of risks and benefits from the sea” and how NOAA, CDC, NIEHS and other federal agencies need to respond.
The goal of this session is to advance the work done by such studies by connecting the scientific community to important elements of the decision-making communities with the ability to expand research and connect it to important policy-making related to human health and the expanding role that the oceans will play in human health and well-being.
The session will engage participants from the across the research-policy spectrum to review:
the state of the science,
the implications of the science to human health over the coming decades;
the needs of policy makers for strong and understandable science-based information; and,
the actions required by scientists and policymakers to enable each community to fulfill its part in protecting the health of the public from changes in world’s ocean caused by climate change and its drivers.
Speakers with diverse backgrounds and perspectives will briefly set the stage for the discussion. The session participants will then develop action-oriented recommendations for how they and their communities can work together to recognize and respond to climate change related health threats from the world’s ocean.
Recommendations on how a broad coalition of scientists, science and environmental advocates, federal, state and local decision-makers, educators, and others could work together more effectively to recognize and respond to climate-change related health threats from the world’s ocean and enhance communication about such threats with the public health community, policy-makers, and the public at large.
DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS – Prepared by breakout groups and subject to review. These recommendations are the result of group processes and do not necessarily represent that positions of NCSE, which served as the enabler of the process that generated the recommendations.
Task 1. Establish a Community of Practice in the Office of Human Health including expertise, best practices, education and networking.
Task 2: Utilize existing nongovernmental organizations to create a network to advocate on behalf of science education programs about climate, ocean and human health.
Task 3: The National Ocean Council (NOC) should make health more central in the implementation of the national ocean policy, including coastal marine spatial planning.
Task 4: Require funding agencies for oceans, environment and public health to have interagency, multidisciplinary teams funding both science and infrastructure, using the National Contingency Plan as a model.
Task 5: Require planners and the business community to involve stakeholders in the ocean and health decisions and to incorporate economic and business data.
Task 6: Require economic data collection and application.
Task 7. Use social media and emerging communication and data technologies.
Task 8: Create, integrate, share, and evaluate monitoring and surveillance ocean data that are relevant to human health, and that can be used to inform modeling and risk and economic assessments.
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