Washington, DC – With our oceans and coastal resources, and the economies and jobs they support, facing constant and increasingly direct pressure from a variety of sources, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin joined a bipartisan group of senators today to announce the formation of a new Senate Oceans Caucus. The Caucus will work to increase awareness and find common ground in responding to issues facing the oceans and coasts, which support millions of jobs in America and contribute more to the country’s GDP than the entire farm sector, grossing more than $230 billion in 2004.
“Marylanders understand the essential role that water and our oceans have in a healthy economy and healthy environment. I’m proud to be a part of this bipartisan effort to prioritize good science-based stewardship of American waters so that they can sustain native fish, wildlife and our coastal economies for generations,” said Senator Ben Cardin, Chairman of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Water and Wildlife Subcommittee.
Following today’s inaugural meeting, the members announced that U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) will serve as Caucus Co-Chairs. Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), as Chair and Ranking Member of the Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard, will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the Senate Oceans Caucus to promote effective coordination with the subcommittee.
In addition to Cardin, other Caucus members are Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Scott Brown (R-MA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Daniel Inouye (D-HI), John Kerry (D-MA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).