When the U.S. Gulf Coast is mentioned to most, what comes to mind are sandy beaches, sunny days, fresh seafood, and Southern charm.  What they most likely do not consider is the hi-tech industry that drives the economy of the area.  While coastal tourism remains a solid piece of the Blue Economy puzzle in the area, it is the increasing opportunity in the area for growth in the Blue Economy’s technology sectors that makes the OCEANS 2023 so exciting – we look forward to showing attendees what is happening in our region!

The conference committee has selected 10 local area topics, in addition to the 10 traditional OCEANS topics, to highlight the aspects of the Blue Economy that power the region’s expanding industry.  The Uncrewed and Autonomous Systems in Shipbuilding technical track takes the long-time Gulf Coast economic engine of shipbuilding to a new level as the traditional meets the future as new systems are integrated into legacy vessels.  New opportunities are available in Offshore Renewable Energy with the identification of locations in the Gulf of Mexico dedicated to the wind- and water-based energy.

Initiatives such as the State of Mississippi declaring the Blue Economy as a key sector for growth and focusing on bringing new opportunities and new companies to the area abound.  Traditional economic drivers in the area, federal agencies, and programs continue to thrive and expand, making it an attractive area for those businesses looking to address existing and future mission needs.  We highlight the Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command and NOAA’s National Data Buoy Center as Honorary Co-Chairs for the conference.  We feature their work in the Operational Oceanography technical track, as well as Gulf of Mexico Initiatives.

OCEANS 2023 will also offer more opportunities for public involvement than ever.  We feature a Citizen Science Data and Results technical track, which will entice more lay scientists to the event.  Additionally, we are holding a Beach Trash Art Contest and Outreach Challenge for K-12 and community college students.

Come join us at OCEANS 2023 – learn about all the exciting growth in the Blue Economy on the Gulf Coast – and tell us your story!