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Economic Development
Oct 22, 2021

Insight Article: Painting The Town -- Blue

Sponsored Content provided by Heather McWhorter - Interim Director, UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Countdown to All Blue Week! The first week in November is coming up fast and it’s our region’s first-ever celebration of All Things Blue – the ocean, river, wetlands, coastline and more.

Get ready to explore and celebrate our marine and coastal history, abundant natural resources, North Carolina seafood, university research, and the future of innovation and entrepreneurship in the Blue Economy. We’ll be “painting the town blue” with insightful keynotes, topical panel discussions, recreational opportunities, and of course, fresh local seafood.

It’s not a conference – it’s a week jam-packed with information and opportunities for everyone.

Families can head downtown to Cape Fear Community College on Monday, November 1, for a session on wooden boat building and to learn about the MarineTech program. Or consider visiting the Cape Fear Museum during the week for H2O Today and dive into what it means to live on a planet where 71 percent of the surface is covered in water and only 3 percent is drinkable.

Citizen scientists and students of all ages will want to tune into the UNCW Planet Ocean Seminar on Tuesday evening to meet Monica Jain, founder of Fish 2.0, and leading expert on the future of fish. Hear what you’ll be having for dinner in 2030!

On Wednesday, Ms. Jain will track the funding and technology trends in sustainable fisheries and aquaculture – in a keynote presentation, panel discussion with investors, and a trip to the Blockade Runner for a pitch event featuring new ventures in the Blue Economy. Stick with us for the oyster shucking contest, reception and boat tours.

Other family-friendly outings include the annual Open House at the UNCW Center for Marine Science on Saturday, November 6, where tours of the Shellfish Oyster Hatchery and research vessel have been known to inspire many future marine scientists. Or consider the walking tour at Carolina Beach State Park to learn about its unique flora and fauna (there’s an app for that!). Next stops, Ft. Fisher Aquarium and a ferry ride to Southport to visit the North Carolina Maritime Museum.

Ready for a deep dive into the future of our region? Don’t miss Tuesday’s keynote with internationally recognized futurist, Deborah Westphal, author of “Convergence: Technology, Business and the Human-Centric Future”. We’ll also be hearing from key thought leaders including Rear Admiral Laura M. Dickey, Senator Michael Lee, and John Waterston. Tuesday afternoon features a strategic discussion on crafting the world’s next great BlueTech Innovation Hub.
 
A Wilmington native, Rear Admiral Laura M. Dickey commands the Fifth Coast Guard District and is the operational commander for all U.S. Coast Guard missions from the North Carolina/South Carolina border to New Jersey. This area spans 1.4 million square miles of oceans, bays, and rivers, several mid-Atlantic ports, the largest U.S. Naval Base in the world, and our National Capital Region.
 
Senator Michael Lee represents District 9, New Hanover County, and is the former Chairman of the North Carolina Port Authority Board of Directors. 
 
John Waterston, a former submarine captain, will be joining us from Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Defense with a singular and enduring mission: to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. 
 
Other highlights of the week include events and sessions hosted by North Carolina Coastal Federation, Marine Quest, UNCW Center for Marine Science, and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the North Carolina Beach, Inlet & Waterway Association’s 24th Annual Conference, and the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce Annual Oyster Roast. There’s more…so check out www.allbluenc.org or All Blue’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/allbluenc
 


Article contributed by Diane Durance, prior UNCW CIE Director. Diane is supporting UNCW with coordinating All Blue Week, which will be November 2-6, 2021.
 

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