As you all know, good planning is absolutely necessary for the survival of ocean systems and species and people, and they are all affected by fossil fuels and climate change. The US has never had an integrated ocean policy, especially one based on ecosystem science, and now we have a chance! We need to make this step forward to more integrated thinking and action if we want to be good guardians of the oceans and prevent or alleviate some of suffering of the poor harmed by poor guardianship.
We want to ask the House of Representatives to pass the National Ocean Policy Act--but without the Flores Rider, which would weaken it. Act today to have your name added to an Ocean Conservancy petition in support of an integrated National Ocean Policy. Contact Adam Mistler <firstname.lastname@example.org>, by May 5. Members of the Ocean Conservancy will personally walk this petition around the House over and over. You can make a difference!
The other key spring ocean bill is the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, which is extremely needed to rebuild our fisheries. Many recreational game species that have not been scientifically managed, and major commercial species are being overfished here and around the world. This Act has been a model for the world, mentioned at the UN as a success story. It needs expansion, not weakening. The House needs to appropriate funding for research-based fisheries management. There are efforts to revise the Act, such as the Hastings Rider (which some call the "Empty Oceans Act") that would undermine Magnuson-Stevens’ effectiveness. Please ask your Congressman to reject the House Hastings bill and any other attempts to weaken catch limits.
For more information, you can read the Ocean Conservancy's blog about the issue.
The Ocean Conservancy has also produced a wonderful explanatory piece on why the Magnuson-Stevens bill is important without weakening and the community success stories that have already come from this important legislation.
Please draft your own personal or organizational letter in support of a strong Magnuson-Stevens bill, addressing it to your Congressman, or, if your organization represents regional or national interests, to the House Appropriations Committee.
AND PLEASE PASS THE WORD AND URGE OTHERS TO ACT too!
Thank you all for your work for caring for God's peoples, species, and systems, especially in terms today of the oceans.
Blessings and gratitude,