August 29, 2006
We hate to be the ones to say it, but summer is rapidly drawing to a close. We hope you've gotten to spend some time enjoying the ocean and all its life-affirming energy. If not, we certainly hope you'll be able to get out there over the Labor Day weekend.
When we're down in the trenches battling to make sure that Congress does the right thing to safeguard our ocean resources, it's easy to lose sight of what this is all about: the ocean is where life started, and it exerts a fundamental pull on all of us. It's a wonderful gift we've been given, and it's a gift that should be used and enjoyed. At the same time, we need to make sure we do everything in our power to take care of it.
That's why today we're announcing our fourth and final round of endorsements for the summer. All of these candidates have a solid track record of working to protect our oceans, and will make a real difference is re-elected.
Rep. Tom Allen
District:: Maine 1st
Key Coastal Communities: Portland
Key Committees: Energy and Commerce
Caucuses: Co-Chair, House Oceans Caucus & House Coastal Caucus
Leadership: While Rep. Allen has always had an interest in oceans, he has really stepped up to the plate and played a major role this year in pushing for a strong reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act. He has done so despite significant political opposition the overfishing restrictions of the act in New England.
Rep. Chris Shays
District: Connecticut 4th
Key Coastal Communities: Bridgeport
Key Committees: Government Reform (Vice-Chair)
Caucuses: House Oceans Caucus & House Coastal Caucus
Leadership: Rep. Shays has been one of the most consistent voices in Congress for protecting the environment generally and the oceans in particular. He was the lead Republican sponsor of the Clean Cruise Ships Act of 2004, and has been an original cosponsors of two bills to reauthorize and reform the Magnuson-Stevens Act, as well as an original cosponsor of the Ocean Conservation, Education and National Strategy Act for the 21st Century (“OCEANS 21”).
Websites: www.house.gov/shays, http://www.shaysforcongress.org/
Sen. Maria Cantwell
Key Committees: Commerce, Science & Transportation; Energy & Natural Resources
Leadership: Sen. Cantwell is one of the most outspoken defenders of the environment in Congress, and she has consistently voted in favor of protections for the oceans. Most recently, she carried on a high-profile and successful battle with Sen. Stevens over a proposal to allow new oil tanker traffic in Puget Sound.
Websites: cantwell.senate.gov, http://www.cantwell.com/
Sen. Olympia Snowe
Key Committees: Commerce, Science & Transportation (Chair, Fisheries & the Coast Guard Subcommittee)
Leadership: As Chair of the Fisheries & the Coast Guard Subcommittee, Sen. Snowe holds one of the most important positions for passage of fisheries legislation, and she has used that assignment this year to help shepherd through the Senate a strong reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act.
Websites: snowe.senate.gov, http://www.olympiasnowe.com/
Please check out these candidates and do what you can to support them. We'll give you more information on how to do that over the next two months.
As we move into the heart of the campaign season, here's what we have in store. We will be making a few more endorsement decisions, as we move towards our goal of 25 candidates. We'll also be giving you an opportunity to weigh in on that next round of endorsements -- to tell us about any champions you think we've overlooked, or about candidates you're really excited about. We need you to make this work, and this is one of your opportunities.
We'll also be asking you to make a financial commitment to our important work. There's never been a more important time to support Ocean Champions, so please contribute today, and consider what you can do over the next two months:
Finally, we'll continue to keep you updated on two critical issues -- reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens fisheries act and the attempt to undo the moratorium on new offshore oil & gas drilling -- as they move through Congress.
It's going to be a busy fall, and we're excited about every bit of it. We hope you are too.
For the oceans,
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