We take the job of throwing a party for our champions in Congress and our supporters in the ocean community very seriously. When the event arrives, however, it's always great fun, and this year was no different.
There was a frenzied energy as all-night House procedural votes and a mandatory Senate dinner meant that our congressional champions were literally running from the Hill, staying as long as they could, then running to vote again. Their efforts spoke volumes about their feelings for the ocean and for Ocean Champions.
We were truly honored that ten Members - Senator Jack Reed, Cong. Bart Gordon (Chair, Science & Technology Committee), Nick Rahall II (Chair, Natural Resources Committee), Brian Baird (Chair, Subcommittee on Environment & Energy), Sam Farr, Kathy Castor, Lois Capps, Frank Pallone, Jr., Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Kratovil - were willing to battle their schedules to show their support for the ocean. Many made passionate speeches, and all took the time to chat with the ocean activists who attended. Congressman Baird may have delivered the quote of the night when he said, "No one should mention climate change without discussing ocean acidification!"
We were grateful for the many ocean activists who came and celebrated. Many old friends stopped by, and new friendships were made. Everyone had a great time, and we can't wait to do it again next year!
For the Oceans,
The Ocean Champions Team
P.S. Check out the 2009 DC Reception photo gallery for more great pics!