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June 30, 2006

Dear Friend,

As we told you in our last update, the 2006 election season is fast approaching, and that means it's time for Ocean Champions to begin rolling out our endorsements for this fall's Congressional elections.

At its meeting last week, the Ocean Champions Board of Directors began making the tough decisions about who should get to claim the title "Ocean Champion."

In making these decisions, Ocean Champions considers a number of factors, including a candidate's past voting record on ocean issues, future leadership potential, committee assignments, candidate interviews, and responses to our questionnaire.

Our first endorsements include a mix of Republicans and Democrats, established leaders and rising stars. More are on the way, but we don't want to overwhelm you, so here are 5 that we'd like to showcase this week:

Rep. Sam FarrRep. Sam Farr
District: California 17th
Key Coastal Communities: Monterey & Santa Cruz
Party: Democratic
Terms: 7th
Key Committees: Appropriations
Caucuses: Co-Chair & Founder, House Oceans Caucus
Leadership: Co-author of H.R. 4900, the Oceans Conservation, Education, and National Strategy for the 21st Century Act ("OCEANS 21″), implementing key recommendations of the Pew Oceans Commission and U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy.


Rep. Jim SaxtonRep. Jim Saxton
District
: New Jersey 3rd
Key Coastal Communities: Ocean County (Long Beach Island)
Party: Republican
Terms: 11th
Key Committees: Resources (Fisheries & Oceans Subcommittee)
Caucuses: Co-Chair, House Oceans Caucus; House Coastal Caucus
Leadership: Lead sponsor of the Oceans Act of 2000, which created the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy. Consistent opponent of efforts to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling. Leader on fisheries conservation issues.


Rep. Frank PalloneRep. Frank Pallone, Jr.
District
: New Jersey 6th
Key Coastal Communities: Long Branch
Party: Democratic
Terms: 9th
Key Committees: Resources (Ranking Member, Fisheries & Oceans Subcommittee)
Caucuses: Co-Chair & Founder, House Coastal Caucus; House Oceans Caucus
Leadership: Ran for Congress on a platform of "Stop Ocean Dumping." As the ranking Democrat on Fisheries Conservation, Wildlife and Oceans Subcommittee of the House Resources Committee, Pallone has played a key role in some of the most important oceans legislation of the last ten years.
Rep. Connie Mack IVRep. Connie Mack IV
District
: Florida 14th
Key Coastal Communities: Naples & Ft. Meyers
Party: Republican
Terms: 1st
Key Committees: Budget; Transportation (Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation and Water Resources & Environment subcommitttees)
Caucuses: House Oceans Caucus; House Coastal Caucus
Leadership: Hit the ground running as a freshmen member, and has been a vocal champion against lifting the moratorium on offshore drilling. Also an early co-sponsor of the Fisheries Science and Management Enhancement Act of 2005.
Hon. Kathy CastorHon. Kathy Castor
District
: Florida 11th
Key Coastal Communities: Tampa
Party: Democratic
Terms: Running for open seat of Rep. Jim Davis (D), who is running for governor.
Key Committees: Strong interest in being on the Resources Committee, which has no Florida representation. In a statement, she says she "believes this would be a strong position from which to work tirelessly against offshore drilling."
Caucuses: N/A
Leadership: As a member of the Hillsborough County Commission, she has worked tirelessly to protect endangered coastal wetlands. Outspoken opponent of efforts to lift the moratorium on offshore drilling.

Watch for additional endorsements in the coming weeks. We will highlight incumbents in the House and Senate who have shown real leadership on the oceans, including a few who are in tight races and need our help to return to Congress. Plus, we will profile more challengers who we intend to help get elected.

And remember, Ocean Champions is the only national political organization for the oceans. Our unique structure allows us to make sure that great candidates like this can return to Congress, or get elected for the very first time.

By supporting Ocean Champions, you ensure that we can continue to build the leadership we need to protect our oceans, so please contribute today:

http://www.oceanchampions.org/contribute.htm

For the oceans,

Jack K. Sterne, Esq.
Executive Director
jack@oceanchampions.org


David Wilmot, Ph.D.
President
dave@oceanchampions.org



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