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House Oceans Caucus Co-Chairs Bonamici and Young Mark World Oceans Day

June 8, 2018
Press Release


WASHINGTON, DC [06/08/18] – Today House Oceans Caucus Co-Chairs Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Congressman Don Young (R-AK) recognized World Oceans Day with a resolution calling for action to protect, conserve, maintain, and rebuild our oceans and ocean resources.


The blue economy supports more than three million jobs in the United States, and contributes at least $352 billion in economic activity annually. Changes in ocean chemistry pose a real threat to marine resources, industries, and jobs. These changes affect the people who work on the ocean or in coastal communities, but also consumers, grocery stores, and the restaurant industry across the country because they need stable supplies of seafood and shellfish.


“Every minute … the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic will be dumped into the oceans. That’s about eight million metric tons a year, endangering marine life,” said Bonamici in a speech on the House floor. “The health of our oceans reflects the health of our planet. We have work to do. Oceans absorb CO2 produced by human activity, and increasing carbon emissions are stressing the oceans and threatening the livelihood of coastal communities. … We must invest in research to better understand the challenges to ocean health, like ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, marine debris, and overfishing. The ocean is resilient, but we cannot afford to wait…. The time to take action is now.”


“Emerging research from Alaska indicates that ocean acidification could have devastating effects on commercially valuable red king crab and Tanner crab populations,” said Young. “Across the country consumers, grocery stores, and the restaurant industry will be affected by the changes in ocean chemistry when stable supplies of seafood and shellfish are threatened. As the co-chairs of the bipartisan Oceans Caucus, we are fighting to protect the health and future of our oceans.”


House Oceans Caucus Co-Chairs Bonamici and Young introduced a bipartisan resolution recognizing World Oceans Day. You can read a copy of the resolution here. Additionally the Co-chairs wrote an op-ed about the topic, published today in The Hill.


The House Oceans Caucus is a bipartisan group of House members committed to taking action to protect the health and future of our oceans. The Caucus led the introduction of the Save Our Seas Act to assist local communities and states in removing garbage and debris from oceans and shores. In addition to marine debris, the Caucus focuses on: efforts to address illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; ocean acidification; and weather and natural disaster hazards that threaten coastal communities and wildlife.