It is with great pleasure that I welcome you on behalf of the City of Norfolk -- the business, financial, educational, cultural and medical hub of Hampton Roads, a thriving region of 1.6 million people.  Rich in history and tradition, our old seaport town is undergoing an exciting renaissance that has produced a new downtown, new neighborhoods and a new mode of public transit – The Tide Light Rail line.

Harnessing the Power of the Ocean is the theme for this international technical conference, and several of the topics to be addressed are key issues for Norfolk and Hampton Roads.  They include Improving Predictions of Sea Level Rise/Coastal Inundation, and Improving National and Homeland Security.  With one of the most beautiful and vibrant downtown waterfronts on the East Coast, Norfolk is home to the world’s largest naval base, Old Dominion University, Norfolk State University, Eastern Virginia Medical School and a world class medical center.  Norfolk is one of the busiest international ports on the East Coast so we are very interested in the Oceans ’12 topic of Improving the Safety and Efficiency of Marine Operations

During this conference, you will have an opportunity to visit Norfolk’s waterfront and one of her treasures, Nauticus, as well as tour one of the largest and last battleships ever built by the United States Navy – USS Wisconsin. Our downtown is pedestrian friendly and I invite you to explore its historic buildings, homes, and churches and its numerous restaurants and shopping opportunities.

Best wishes to you all during this important conference. We look forward to working together to solve some of the regions biggest challenges. Please enjoy your visit!


Paul D. Fraim

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