Ocean summit set for next weekend

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Marine activists, scientists and others are coming together May 20-23 for a Blue Vision Summit in Washington, D.C.

The expected 500 ocean leaders will examine ways of restoring the Gulf of Mexico a year after the oil spill, highlight the links between a healthy ocean and a healthy economy and address how to connect President Barack Obama's national ocean policy to common-sense solutions being implemented around the nation.

In 2004, the first Blue Vision meeting highlighted the work of two ocean commissions, one chaired by Leon Panetta, the other appointed by President George W. Bush. In 2009, the second Blue Vision Summit helped launch a process of citizen-endorsed reforms that led to Obama signing an executive order in July 2010.

The summit will also feature the fourth annual Peter Benchely Ocean Awards on May 21. Recipients will include Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla; Steve Palumbi; retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen; Greg Stone; Washington Postreporter Juliet Eilperin; Rudy Sanchez; and People for Puget Sound's Kathy Fletcher.

On May 23, summit leaders will stage Capitol Hill Ocean Day, which aims to persuade lawmakers to protect the ocean.

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