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Ocean Champions: Political Champions for Ocean Conservation

Dear Friend,

Controlling and preventing harmful algal blooms is an Ocean Champions priority. These toxic tides devastate marine environments and wildlife, and are extremely harmful to human health and coastal economies. We're excited that a good bill we've been pushing to address toxic tides has passed the House and has good prospects in the Senate. But this bill wouldn't be where it is without Congressman Connie Mack IV (R-FL) and Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL). For this and many other reasons, we're proud to be endorsing these fine champions once again.

In the 110th Congress, Representatives Mack and Castor teamed up to introduce the original toxic tides bill, known then as the "Save Our Shores" Act. In 2009, they came on as co-sponsors to the current Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Prevention and Control bill, and played important roles in its passage. When the bill fell seven votes short of the two thirds majority needed the first time it came to the House Floor, Congresswoman Castor was influential in getting it back for a second vote. Both she and Congressman Mack gave passionate Floor speeches, and Congressman Mack helped lead a sizeable group of Republicans to vote for the bill. Congress stayed in session an extra day just to vote on HABs, and it passed with an overwhelming majority!

Both champions have deep roots on Florida's Gulf coast, and their work to protect the ocean goes well beyond the Harmful Algal Blooms bill. Congressman Mack was an early co-sponsor for the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which governs the management of U.S. Fisheries. Congresswoman Castor has also been a strong supporter of marine wildlife conservation, and in 2009 compiled a perfect score from the League of Conservation Voters. In addition, she has been an aggressive voice for preventing new drilling off Florida's coasts and for holding BP, Transocean and Halliburton accountable for the damage their spill is causing.

Though Representatives Castor and Mack come from different sides of the aisle, they agree on the importance of healthy oceans and coasts, and are strong ocean advocates. They're great candidates for their respective districts, and great candidates for the oceans.

For the oceans,

The Ocean Champions Team

P.S. Help us help great champions on both sides of the aisle like Congressman Mack and Congresswoman Castor by supporting Ocean Champions today!

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