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Ocean Champions: Political Champions for Ocean Conservation

Dear Friend,

Some of you may wonder how it is that we report regularly on successes and steadfast progress in our quest to protect the ocean, while at the same time there is constant lamenting over our “do nothing congress.” Why do we see success while others do not?

The simple answer is this: Our ocean champions.

While they may not be able to conquer Capitol Hill in a single bound, our champions are doing heroic work through persistence, bold bipartisanship and steadfast leadership. Fighting the good fight like Senator Mark Begich (D-AK).

Six years ago we endorsed and supported Begich in his first bid for the Senate because we believed he could be a strong ocean champion. Since then, he has exceeded our expectations.

In just a single term he has risen to assume the Chairmanship of the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over virtually all ocean activities. In that role, together with the Senate Ocean Caucus, he led the way to Senate ratification of four international fishing treaties, to combat the scourge of illegal pirate fishing which damages ecosystems, depletes fish stocks, and steals money out of the pockets of U.S. fishermen. He is also the lead sponsor of implementing legislation for the treaties: the International Fisheries Stewardship and Enforcement Act (S. 269) and the Pirate Fishing Elimination Act (S. 267).

While he has spent much time swimming in the foreign waters of Washington, DC, his mind is never off the needs of his constituents and the importance of preserving Alaska’s ocean heritage—particularly its fishing industry. After careful consideration of scientific data, Senator Begich took a strong stance opposing open pit mining in the Bristol Bay watershed out of concern for the damage it could cause to Alaska’s priceless salmon stocks.

As he ramps up his campaign for his second term we are proud to endorse him once more, and lend our support as he faces a tough reelection campaign in a typically red state. With the battle for control of the Senate in full swing, Ocean Champions are already fighting hard to ensure our ocean champions can continue their work in Congress.  

Senator Begich is fighting a tough group of opponents both on and off the ballot. Facing a tenacious group of Republicans, he has also attracted the negative attention of those oil-loving billionaire brothers, the Kochs, and their hyper-partisan political action committee. We need every dollar we can get to win the battle against this two-headed Goliath, and we’d love your support to keep our heroes on the Hill where they’re most needed.

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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