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Ocean Champions: Political Champions for Ocean Conservation

Dear Friend,

In recent years, the New Jersey shoreline has endured more than its share of injury (Superstorm Sandy) and insult (thanks to MTV’s Jersey Shore). But in November voters in the state’s 3rd district will have the chance to rebuild their once great legacy of ocean leadership by electing Aimee Belgard to replace the retiring Rep. John Runyan (R-NJ).

For the past four years this swing district has been represented by Congressman Runyan, an outspoken opponent of the National Ocean Policy who repeatedly attempted to weaken provisions of the law aimed at ending overfishing. Such behavior caused Ocean Champions’ members to vote him the second worst Member of Congress on ocean issues in 2012.

New Jersey's 3rd is a key coastal district and with Rep. Runyan’s announcement that he would not seek reelection to a third term, we have an opportunity to take this seat out of the hands of an "Ocean Enemy" and turn it over to a future ocean champion. Aimee Belgard’s background and commitment to environmental issues makes her the right person for the job.

Ms. Belgard, an environmental attorney by training, has a long career in local politics where she has prioritized environmental issues at all levels of state and local government. She aims to continue that record in Congress by working to expand alternative energy sources, curb pollution, and keep the Jersey coast clean for generations to come.
 
Ocean Champions has a long history of involvement in this district. We worked closely with former ocean champion Rep. Jim Saxton (R-NJ) until his retirement from Congress in 2008.  Congressman Saxton supported strong ocean conservation policies and was the lead sponsor of the 2000 Oceans Act that created the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. Following his retierment, we helped elect Congressman John Adler, another ocean champion.

It’s time the citizens of New Jersey’s 3rd district had a Representative who can reclaim Jim Saxton's and John Adler's legacies of acknowledging the value of healthy oceans and coasts. Aimee Belgard has a passion for her district and for the issues that matter to ocean advocatesn, and we’re proud to add her to our roll of future ocean champions.

For the oceans,

David Wilmot, Ph.D.
President and Co-Founder

P.S.  We’re working harder than ever to win the fight to build an ocean majority in Congress.  Tell your friends to join our email list and to consider a contribution today so that they’ll know how to “vote the ocean” too!


 
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Ocean Champions
202 San Jose Avenue
Capitola, CA 95010

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