I have great news.
Late this afternoon, the Natural Resources Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Oceans in the U.S. House voted 11-3 in favor of OCEANS-21 and opposed all amendments that would weaken the bill. This is the very first vote on OCEANS-21 and I wanted to be the first to let you know and to say thanks.
You supported our mission and commitment to this visionary legislation AND sent nearly 10,000 letters to your member of Congress over the past two years. Your willingness to join us in fighting for healthy oceans, and to make sure you were heard has made a difference. This is every bit as much your victory as it ours. THANK YOU!
I am proud of our work with key members of Congress and the role we played in ensuring a successful subcommittee vote. I am also proud of the excellent (and growing) coalition that is working together to pass this legislation; the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Pew Environment Group, Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, World Wildlife Fund and other groups are doing excellent work - and we are right there with them.
How did our "ocean champions" perform? Our champions have authored, introduced, encouraged colleagues to support, twisted arms for, and ultimately forcefully spoke out in favor of, and voted for this groundbreaking legislation. This is exactly the type of leadership we envision when we endorse and support members of Congress.
In particular, I want to thank California Congressman Sam Farr, the lead author of OCEANS-21, for his vision and leadership. This bill simply couldn't have passed without his tireless commitment to OCEANS-21. Many others members of Congress deserve credit and you will hear more about them and their role in OCEANS-21 in the coming weeks as we begin to announce our candidate endorsements for the upcoming election.
Our victory today is only the first step in a multi-step process to turn OCEANS-21 into law and we have much hard work ahead. The health of our oceans depends upon our success and I'm confident that together we will rise to the challenge. Today, however, I hope you simply feel good about your role in this victory and the work we are doing together.
For the Oceans,
David Wilmot, Ph.D.