Last week I had the privilege of testifying before members of the US House of Representatives subcommittee that directs funds to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). What an honor and a challenge.
The NOAA ocean conservation programs that we care about are suffering. As the federal budget continues to get squeezed, it is our job to remind our leaders of the importance of our oceans and the federal programs charged with managing and protecting them.
Not only are the oceans the main source of the air we breathe and the water we drink, but are also major contributors to our national economy. The US ocean economy contributes more than $258 billion to our nation's GDP through fisheries and seafood production, tourism, recreation, construction, and transportation. Additionally, over 2.7 million jobs depend on the marine environment. Investing in our oceans is investing in our economy and our future.
So, take a look at my testimony and take a moment of your day to tell your elected officials that you care about the oceans and the agency that protects and manages them. Hurry, they need to hear from you by April 10th!