Taking back Congress for our oceans requires strength in numbers, influential members on the right committees, and supporters in leadership. Today, we’re proud to endorse two Democratic party leaders who’ve proven their ocean chops time and time again: Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL).
The Ranking Member on the House Budget Committee, and recent Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Congressman Van Hollen has focused his leadership on Chesapeake Bay conservation and clean energy. He has worked to secure appropriations and to pass legislation directed at restoring the Bay, most recently introducing a bill to help farmers plan, implement, and maintain projects to reduce nutrient and sediment impacts on Bay health. He has also sponsored several measures to create incentives for clean energy development. Van Hollen Co-Chairs the Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Task Force, is a member of the International Conservation Caucus and is a founding member of the bipartisan Congressional Chesapeake Bay Watershed Caucus.
The current head of the Democratic National Committee, Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz has been outspoken about the dangers of offshore oil drilling and the need to invest in alternative energy solutions. She’s highlighted the damage BP’s oil spill did to coral reefs, mangrove forests and sea grasses, and pointed out that these habitats are critical for healthy commercial and recreational fisheries in the Gulf. In response, the Congresswoman has cosponsored a number of bills aimed at preventing future spills, and bills to preserve and restore coral reefs. Wasserman Schultz has also led efforts to protect Florida’s Everglades.
Both champions are influential thought leaders who consistently support important ocean legislation, and we’re pleased to call them ocean champions.
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