Policy expert joins the Institute team, bringing experience in management and planning for sustainable use of marine resources
San Diego, CA, April 16, 2021 – Planning and policy expert John Weber has joined the Waitt Institute team as its new Marine Spatial Planning Director. Weber has over 15 years of experience developing innovative solutions to further ocean conservation and spatial planning for communities. Weber has led and developed comprehensive ocean plans in the Northeast United States, working to ensure the efforts were transparent, inclusive of all stakeholders, and based on the best available science and data.
“Our blue planet is sending us a clear message that we need to act now to ensure that we continue to receive the many benefits of a healthy ocean,” said Weber. “Through hard work, focusing on the science and information, and most importantly, engaging those communities who directly rely on a healthy ocean, we can ensure that we create inclusive solutions to complex ocean issues. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Waitt Institute’s fantastic team that are already leading the way in this all-important work.“
Marine Spatial Planning is a stakeholder-led, public process that uses spatial information about natural resources and human uses to develop a comprehensive management system for an ocean space. By joining the team of science, legal, fisheries, blue economy, communications, and programmatic experts, Weber will help develop spatial planning processes for the nine Waitt Institute sites across the globe.
“John is one of the world’s experts in marine spatial planning from concept to design to implementation, and we are so fortunate to have him on our team. With the addition of John, we are strengthening our ability to deliver the technical support nations need to achieve comprehensive marine spatial plans that lead to 100% of their oceans sustainably managed,“ said Executive Director, Dr Kathryn Mengerink.
Weber previously served as the director for the U.S. Northeast Regional Ocean Council, a partnership of New England states, federal agencies, and Native American tribes that collaborated on the 2016 Northeast Ocean Management Plan to advance management of ocean activities and protect marine habitats. He was the Ocean Program Manager for the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management, where he managed the day-to-day development and implementation of the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan, completed in late 2009. John has a B.S. in Coastal Geology from Long Island University and an M.S. in Marine Resource Management from Oregon State University.
The Waitt Institute creates and implements sustainable ocean plans in partnership with committed governments and local stakeholders. They currently have partnerships with the governments of the Azores, Barbuda, Bermuda, Curaçao, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Maldives, Samoa, and Tonga. The Waitt Institute is a founding member and the organizing body of the Blue Prosperity Coalition, a network of NGO’s, academic institutions, foundations, and other organizations working together to assist committed governments to protect the environment and improve the economy at the same time. Founding members include the Waitt Institute, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, Oceans 5, Ocean Unite, Dynamic Planet and the Waitt Foundation.
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