Ocean Champions is the only political voice for ocean health. We take a non-partisan approach in working with
the U.S. Congress to ensure ocean health through electoral and legislative action.

Legislation

Ocean Champions is currently working with members of Congress to move forward on several pieces of legislation that will improve the health of our oceans. Click on an issue or scroll down for more information.

OCEANS-21 (HR21)

Introduced by Rep. Sam Farr

OCEANS-21 (HR 21: Ocean Conservation, Education, & National Strategy for the 21st Century Act) was introduced by one of our Ocean Champions in Congress, Rep. Sam Farr (D-Ca, 17th) and the bill would be the first comprehensive national oceans policy if passed.

The purpose of OCEANS-21 is to implement the highest priority recommendations of the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and Pew Oceans Commission by enacting legislation that seeks to protect, maintain, and restore the health and sustainability of our coasts, oceans, and Great Lakes for current and future generations.

What the Bill Will Do:

To help us pass OCEANS-21

to learn more about OCEANS-21 (HR21)

HABS (Harmful Algal Blooms) and the 'Save Our Shores Act'

Introduced by Rep. Connie Mack

Harmful algal blooms like red tide cause respiratory distress among seniors and children. Additionally they contaminate shellfish and have a negative effect on coastal states’ economic lifeblood: tourism. It has been estimated that harmful algal blooms like red tide cost communities in the United States nearly $100 million every year.

For those reasons Ocean Champion Rep. Connie Mack introduced the Save Our Shores Act in February 2007 to increase funding for scientific research to combat red tide and its effects. Once again, one of our Ocean Champions has introduced a bill that is vitally important to improving ocean health and has the bipartisan support of many coastal political leaders. We’re working with members of Congress to build the political support needed for this bill to become law. The more political leaders understand how important this bill is to ensuring the health of our coasts, the more likely it will be to pass.

To take action against red tide and other harmful algal blooms (HABs)

to learn more about Rep. Mack’s red tide bill (HR1091)

 

Offshore Oil & Gas Exploration

Richard Pombo served
as Ocean Enemy #1 in
Congress for years.
In 2006, Ocean Champions
played a key role in
fighting back his attempts
to end the moratorium on
new offshore oil drilling
& booting him out of office.

When then-President Bush lifted the moratorium on offshore oil drilling last summer, the threat of new rigs blighting our coasts seemed imminent. Gas prices were well over $4, and the tide of public opinion had seemingly swung in favor of new drilling. By the time Congress let the moratorium end in the fall, many efforts had shifted to minimizing the impact of any new drilling by restricting locations and methods. For example, Chairman Rahall has the Natural Resources Committee in the House evaluating how and where we should and shouldn't drill, while some conservationists including Ocean Champions are working to secure a dedicated revenue stream for ocean health projects from any lease activity.

Today, the political landscape is still challenging, but there are reasons for hope. The Obama administration and leaders in Congress are stressing the development of alternative, clean energies, including solar, wind and wave power, public consciousness about global warming is rising, and gas prices are more modest. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar placed a six-month hold on the Bush Administration's plan for new oil drilling, and is using that time to gather input from experts and concerned stakeholders.

Click here to learn more about the public hearings held by Secretary Ken Salazar.


Magnuson-Stevens Act

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is the primary Federal statute governing how we manage our Nation’s fisheries and plays a vital role in our Nation’s ability to control overfishing, rebuild depleted fish populations and achieve sustainable fisheries management.

This bill reauthorizes the Magnuson-Stevens Act and takes steps to improve the act both by making it more effective and responsive to the needs of our fishing communities here at home and by taking important steps toward exporting our successful management approaches internationally. Ocean Champions worked with members of Congress to pass the MSA reauthorization we were victorious when it passed with no sigificant rollbacks.

Although the passing the reauthorization in the fall of 2006 is an enormous victory for fisheries management, we must continue working with Congress to see that law is implemented responsibly.

for the latest news on the oceans.

5