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Dear Friend,

Last week was incredible for our oceans in Washington, D.C. At the top of the list — the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards Thursday evening. Congratulations to Wendy Benchley on an inspiring evening and to all of the Benchley award winners!

Congressman Sam Farr, Sally Christine-Rodgers, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Amy Berg

Wendy Benchley & former Senator Mark Begich

Senator Brian Schatz

Former Senator Mark Begich and Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii joined many colleagues, close friends, and supporters of Ocean Champions at the Peter Benchley Ocean Awards VIP reception, awards ceremony and dinner.

Former Senator Mark Begich, Mike Sutton, Ocean Champions' Board Director; Dan Plummer & Shari Sant Plummer

Roger Sant, Senator Tom Udall & former Senator Mark Begich 

We had a wonderful evening earlier in the week at the Ocean Champions PAC fundraiser for Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii. Thanks to you, the event was a huge success. Thank you, for supporting one of the strongest champions in the Senate today.  In the words of Senator Schatz: “I want to thank Ocean Champions for what you do for the oceans generally, and, I want to thank you for supporting me in the last election. It is meaningful to me that Ocean Champions is the first to endorse in this election. A lot of you understand that, yes- the ocean sustains us economically, yes- they're critical ecologically, but it’s more than that for all of us. It’s a personal passion for the oceans. It’s how we connect with family, it’s how we connect with community, it’s how we recenter ourselves.

David Wilmot, Ocean Champions' President; Senator Brian Schatz & Samantha Campbell, Ocean Champions' Chairman Senator Brian Schatz, Samantha Campbell, Ocean Champions' Chairman & former Senator Mark Begich

We took time out of Ocean Champions Board Meeting on Wednesday to honor Jack Sterne for his founding spirit and dedication to building Ocean Champions.

Ocean Champions' Founders: Jack Sterne, Ocean Champions' Director & David Wilmot, Ocean Champions' President Samantha Campbell, Ocean Champions' Chairman; Jack Sterne, Ocean Champions' Director & David Wilmot, Ocean Champions' President

We enjoyed a long strategy meeting last week with ocean champion Congressman Raúl Grijalva, the senior Democrat on the House Natural Resources Committee. The key topic: the best strategy for maintaining broad opposition to HR1335, the Republican-led proposal to re-authorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act. This strategy includes urging House Democratic Leadership to whip against the bill, engaging ocean-oriented Democrats to speak on the Floor, and urging all of our Congressional Champions to oppose any erosion of the existing MSA standards. As part of this effort, Ocean Champions will be reaching out to many of our Champions both on and off the Committee, and we look forward to working closely with Congressman Grijalva to protect our oceans and fisheries and defeat legislation that would do them harm.

David Wilmot, Oean Champions' President & ocean champion Congressman Raúl Grijalva Serge Dedina of Wildcoast, Adena Leibman of Ocean Conservancy, Marcus Eriksen of 5 Gyres, Patrick Collins & David Wilmot of Ocean Champions

Last but not least, the Blue Vision Summit was not to be missed. Congratulations to David Helvarg and his team on an incredibly successful summit! From the informative and engaging panels to the lobby day on Capitol Hill and everything in between, we were proud to sponsor and participate once again. There is much work to be done for our oceans, and we’re ready and poised to work with you — our friends in the ocean community and beyond — to achieve our mission, “To build the political power necessary to ensure thriving oceans and coasts."

For the oceans,

David, Chris and the entire Ocean Champions team

P.S. Check out our Facebook page for more event pics!


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