Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Ocean Champions Winning the Trenches
Here is their newsletter verbatim about their recent wins:
Lots of good things come in threes. Three in a row of anything seems like a big achievement. There’s the Triple Crown in horse racing (and, more importantly, in pro surfing), and of course, the Hanson brothers from the movie Slapshot. Today, we wanted to update you on three important ocean wins your support has helped make happen.
One: For months, a nasty campaign has been carried out to block the “catch shares” framework from being used in any more U.S. fisheries – including those that are choosing to adopt it. The “Jones Amendment” (named for its original sponsor, Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC)) would have been very bad for fish conservation, because quite simply, catch shares help fisheries recover and traditional approaches often do not. Ocean Champions played a lead role in a small coalition that killed the Jones Amendment by preventing it from being included in the just-passed “Minibus” Appropriations bill at every step in the process.
Two: There was an effort afoot to attack the National Ocean Policy, and to stop NOAA from carrying out a range of related activities including marine and ocean planning in a number of coastal states through another bad amendment to the “Minibus” Appropriations bill. Working closely with our champions as part of a coalition of ocean organizations, we helped prevent this amendment from coming up for a vote.
Three: The Senate Commerce Committee recently passed our Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia bill, making it ready for floor action in both the House and Senate. Last year it passed the House and barely missed in the Senate, but this time around we believe it can pass both houses of Congress – stay tuned!
These wins demonstrate two important ideas. First, the ocean community may be small, but when we work together we can get things done! Second, Ocean Champions (with our unique relationships on Capitol Hill) is able to apply political power for the oceans to get results. Our ability to do so comes from your support, and we are grateful!
WE are grateful. Nice work.
Posted by Mike Misner at 9:41 AM