[MARMAM] U.S. Marine Mammal Commission

Broadwaterco broadwaterco at gmail.com
Thu Jun 1 13:52:04 PDT 2017


MARMAM Subscribers:

The U.S. Congress passed the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972 (MMPA) to conserve whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea lions, manatees, sea otters, polar bears, and walruses. The MMPA established the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission (Commission) and charged it with oversight of marine mammal science, management, and conservation.
            President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 eliminates the Commission with potentially severe, irreversible effects on marine mammals and ecosystems.
            Despite its small annual budget — roughly 1¢ per person in the U.S. — the Commission has worked effectively to —
·   improve marine mammal science, management, and conservation in U.S. and international waters;
·   integrate science into policy to promote better decision-making;
·   engage all facets of society affected by actions taken pursuant to the MMPA;
·   minimize the social and economic costs of marine mammal protection;
·   maintain a focus on the health and stability of the marine ecosystem — the primary objective of the MMPA; and
·   ensure that it provides the U.S. government and public a net economic benefit.
            Among other things, the Commission has helped other agencies to reduce fishery-marine mammal conflicts, recover endangered species (e.g., Hawaiian monk seal, vaquita), investigate the effects of various human activities (e.g., production of sound) on marine mammals, respond to oil spills, reduce the effects of debris and pollution on marine mammals and marine ecosystems, and evaluate the effects of global warming.
            At its core, the Commission is a non-partisan broker that promotes effective, fair-minded solutions to conservation problems through better science and more informed decision-making. It emphasizes cost-effective conservation by minimizing management errors that provide more protection than is needed or, conversely, less protection. It is recognized nationally and internationally for its contributions and leadership. And it is widely respected by the American public, which values marine mammal conservation.
            The U.S. Congress has the final word on this matter. If you are a U.S. citizen and share my concern regarding the defunding of the Marine Mammal Commission, please consider sending your state’''s Congressional delegation an email supporting continued funding of the Commission at least at its current level ($3.431M). Please also consider contacting the four members of Congress listed below, who are responsible for the Commission’s budget. If you are not a U.S. citizen but share this concern, you also can contact the offices of the four members of Congress listed below. Contact them first by email, then follow up with a phone call to make sure the message is received. You can generally find phone numbers and a link to send email on each of the individual members' websites. The key Congressional contacts are:

Senator Richard Shelby, Chair
Senate Appropriations Committee 
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
https://www.shelby.senate.gov/public/
 
Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Ranking Member 
Senate Appropriations Committee 
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
https://www.shaheen.senate.gov/
 
Representative John Culberson, Chair
House Appropriations Committee
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
https://culberson.house.gov/
 
Representative José Serrano, Ranking Member
House Appropriations Committee
Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies
https://serrano.house.gov/

Thank you for any support you can provide,
Tim Ragen  





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