FAMU Professor Named to Capitol Hill Ocean Week Advisory Committee

May 25, 2022
Professor Mila Turner
FAMU Professor Named to Capitol Hill Ocean Week Advisory Committee

Professor Mila Turner

Florida A&M University (FAMU) Assistant Professor Mila Turner, Ph.D.,has been named to the Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW) Advisory Committee as a leader in marine science and policy.

The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation announced the Advisory Committee for this year’s Capitol Hill Ocean Week , which will take place June 7-9 in Washington, D.C., and virtually. The Advisory Committee, comprised of leaders in marine science and policy from around the country, will guide the development of CHOW’s conference program to focus on the most pressing issues facing the ocean and Great Lakes.

Turner, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, is a social science lead for FAMU’s Center for Coastal and Marine Ecosystems $30 million National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grant. She is an environmental sociologist whose work explores the relationships between humans and their environments in an effort to achieve environmental and climate justice.

“It is a joy to serve on the 2022 CHOW Advisory Committee since having this seat at the table means I get to amplify the concerns of coastal communities as well as elevate the contributions of Black scholars and activists to this national stage,” Turner said. “This year, we’ll be having very important conversations about sustainability, the future of our food from the sea, blue (renewable) energy, and protecting biodiversity- all with equity in mind as we strive for environmental justice.”

The Advisory Committee brings together a diverse group of individuals to advance the CHOW theme “SEA: The Future.” The Advisory Committee’s breadth of knowledge and experiences will help guide the topics and structure of CHOW as the marine policy community looks to the future of our ocean and Great Lakes, organizers said in an announcement.

In addition to Turner, Committee members include representatives from law schools, nonprofits, indigenous communities, and environmental experts from  the continental U.S., Hawaii and Alaska.  

“Meaningful participation is a necessary component of justice, so there are opportunities for everyone – including students- to share their ideas, wisdom, and priorities on significant issues that impact our oceans,” Turner said.

The conference convenes policymakers, scientists, managers, business leaders, conservationists, educators, students, and members of the public to engage in dialogue and debate on significant issues that impact our ocean and Great Lakes and to propose innovative policies and partnerships to address these issues.  

In 1972, the U.S. enacted a wave of legislation to protect and sustain our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. These landmark bills included the amendments to the Clean Water Act, the Marine Mammal Act Protection Act, the Coastal Zone Management Act, and the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act. The conference’s theme, “Sea: The Future,” will celebrate the 50 years of progress achieved in ocean and coastal conservation and set a course for the new policies and actions necessary to sustain oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes and transform the future. 

The CHOW conference agenda is now available on the registration website: CapitolHillOceanWeek.org.