We help elect members of congress who will fight to protect our oceans, and, we defeat candidates and members who don’t. That, in essence, is what Ocean Champions is all about.
In 2006, Ocean Champions played a significant role in reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (M-S Act). The M-S Act is the primary Federal statute governing how we manage our Nation’s fisheries and its ability to control overfishing, rebuild depleted fish populations and achieve sustainable fisheries management.
Ocean Acidification occurs when atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by the ocean. As the CO2 is dissolved, a chemical process occurs that causes the ocean to become more acidic. Unlike climate change, acidification is easy to prove. It is simple water chemistry that is easy to measure; it is observable, and it is clearly happening. Over the past 200 years, CO2 absorption has caused the ocean’s pH to decline by .1 (30%).
Harmful Algal Blooms
The Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2011 was introduced in the Senate by two of our Ocean Champions in Congress, Senators Olympia Snowe (R, ME) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) on October 12, 2011. The House version was introduced in July and has already been passed out of the Natural Resources Committee and is ready for floor action.
Trash Free Seas
As you know, marine debris (plastic and other garbage in our oceans) is a huge and growing problem. Marine debris is estimated to kill millions of seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. In all, 270 ocean species are affected by entanglement or ingestion by the roughly 14 billion pounds of trash that flow into our oceans each year.
National Ocean Policy
The ocean is vital to the health of the planet and to human survival. It provides critical habitat for marine species, helps regulate climate, and provides half the oxygen we breathe. It provides food, energy, shipping lanes and of course, incredible recreation.