Ocean Champions, a 501(c)(4) organization, with a connected political action committee Ocean Champions PAC, is the first national organization of its kind focused solely on oceans and ocean wildlife. Our goal is to develop a broad, bipartisan base of supporters from which to cultivate political champions for ocean conservation in the U.S. Congress and in key states. Ultimately, the aim is to create a political environment where protecting and restoring the oceans is a priority of federal and state governments.
For years, the oceans have enjoyed far too little attention politically and far too few champions in Congress. Much of this has to do with the fact that ocean conservationists have not adequately participated in the political process through effective lobbying and electoral work. The challenges facing America’s oceans have never been greater. Those who care about the oceans are advancing important solutions, yet these efforts will fail without greater political support. Our mission is to change that situation and create a political environment where protecting our oceans is a priority of federal and state governments.
Our oceans are in peril. Reports published by the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy and the independent Pew Oceans Commission provide compelling evidence that our oceans and their wildlife are in crisis and that immediate political attention is necessary to reverse this situation. The release of these reports, as well as new scientific evidence on the dramatic decline of large ocean fishes and other ocean wildlife, presents an unequaled moment in time to pursue a bold ocean conservation agenda in the halls of Congress. Ocean Champions, by working to cultivate pro-ocean conservation leaders, will help move that agenda forward.
The philosophy of Ocean Champions is that ocean users, in concert with traditional ocean conservation organizations, are the key to saving the oceans. We believe that fishermen, divers, surfers, sailors, kayakers, boaters, beachgoers, environmentalists and others who have a direct and passionate connection to the oceans make up a huge constituency that has the power to persuade Congress and state legislatures to take action to protect our oceans. We actively seek to work with all of these groups, as well as traditional ocean conservation organizations, to advance progressive solutions to safeguard our oceans.
Ocean Champions is creating a circle of accountability that will lead to increasing political clout for the ocean conservation community and its legislative initiatives. Because we know that the health of the oceans is neither a “right” nor a “left” issue, Ocean Champions is working aggressively to forge a bipartisan “blue” movement that will move beyond traditional “green” politics and reach out to all individuals who have a stake in healthy oceans.