Lauren Cook was selected as a 2021 Con Edison Waterfront Scholar

May 12, 2021

Congrats to Lauren! Their answer to the 2nd question: Why is the maritime sector significant to our nation’s COVID-19 recovery efforts, and what do you envision a ‘green-economy’ looks like? 

“Tourism, recreation, commercial shipping, the coast guard, and the fisheries and aquaculture industry are all part of the maritime sector, and each of these sectors play a significant role in our nation’s COVID-19 recovery efforts. Tourism and recreation directly influence coastal economies and improve public health, emotional wellbeing, and are the backbone of coastal community culture. This will be much needed after over a year of mental and emotional stress for many. Commercial shipping is crucial in delivering supplies that keeps our nation afloat, and the coast guard plays a vital role in offering vaccination information and resources to this essential portion of our economy. The fisheries and aquaculture industry has kept nutritious food on the table for millions of Americans. As restaurants begin to reopen, the seafood supply from this sector will support the economy on land.

In the great task of rebuilding the economy, the pandemic gives us an opportunity to reevaluate our long-term goals. The US has primarily focused on short-term, rescue-based measures like industry bailouts and stimulus packages. While these are helpful, they do not offer long-term economic stability. An ideal green economy would shift our primary reliance off fossil fuels and nonrenewable materials to renewable ones, while incorporating three core principles: resource efficiency, ecosystem-based decisions, and socioeconomic equality. This multidisciplinary approach would act like a triple-braided cord. Resource efficiency increases profits, ecosystem-based decisions ensure resources persist, and emphasizing socioeconomic equality creates a stronger, more inclusive base that holds the other two pillars in place.”