By Katelyn Lang and Lydia Tressel

The philosophy of Ocean Champions is that ocean users, in concert with traditional ocean conservation organizations, are the key to saving the oceans. We believe that fishermen, divers, surfers, sailors, kayakers, boaters, beachgoers, environmentalists and others who have a direct and passionate connection to the oceans make up a huge constituency that has the power to persuade Congress and state legislatures to take action to protect our oceans. By joining Ocean Champions, you help us deliver the message to politicians that our oceans and their wildlife matter.

Intro:

Our goal is to create a political environment where protecting and restoring the oceans is a priority of federal and state governments.

We function by working together with one another. We believe that ocean users along with ocean conservation organizations can work together to save the ocean. The people who connect with the ocean are the ones that will make the bigger impact on Congress. By joining Ocean Champions you become part of delivering the message to politicians that our ocean and its wildlife matter.

The major issues we deal with are helping to get members of congress elected who will help fight for oceans, ending overfishing, ocean acidification, and trash free seas.

Overfishing: In 2006, Ocean Champions played a significant role in reauthorizing the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (M-S Act). The M-S Act is the primary federal statute governing management of our Nation’s fisheries. By keeping this Act apart of our fishing laws we keeps a safe and healthy relationship with the sea and all that is in it.

Ocean Acidification is the chemical process that occurs as carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater causing reductions in the pH levels of the ocean’s surface waters. The ocean absorbsapproximately one quarter of the CO2 released into the atmosphere each year. A relatively stable pH level in the ocean has been maintained for tens of millions of years, however the pH level has dropped 30% since the Industrial Revolution, becoming much more acidic. This is due to the fact that since the Industrial Revolution, the anthropogenic release of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels has increased at an alarming rate from 280 ppm to the current level of 400 ppm. With the help of moving to renewable resources we can change ocean acidification along with many other environmental problems.

Trash Free Seas: Marine debris (plastic and other garbage in our oceans) is a huge and growing problem. Marine debris is estimated to kill millions of seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals each year. In all, 270 ocean species are affected by entanglement or ingestion by the roughly 14 billion pounds of trash that flow into our oceans each year. By getting rid of this trash along with the trash that goes into the ocean from people just throwing their waste in it can save a lot of money and time for longtime ocean users.

President Obama signed legislation on June 30, 2013 to combat the serious problem of toxic algal blooms affecting our oceans, beaches, rivers and lakes.This effort has long been a top priority of Ocean Champions, who has worked closely with many Congressional allies, including Senator Bill Nelson (FL), Senator Rob Portman (OH), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (OR) and others to pass this legislation.

Ocean Champions spent 60 percent of its nearly $500,000 budget to support Gwen Graham’s successful campaign to defeat Steve Southerland in Florida’s 2nd district.“We targeted Southerland because of his terrible record on ocean issues,” said David Wilmot, the president and co-founder of Ocean Champions. “Our ability to play such an important role in defeating an incumbent member of Congress sends a message to all in Congress. Neglect and abuse the oceans and their wildlife at your own political peril.”

Ocean Champions, and its attached political action committee, also endorsed 58 additional pro-ocean candidates for national office, and saw 54 of them successfully win their races.

Ocean Champions reaches out to all Americans who are capable and willing to join us in our mission. We strive to get our message out to politicians, spreading our passion and love for the ocean and its creatures!

Your support of Ocean Champions helps ensure that we can keep working to build political champions for the oceans, so we can all enjoy pristine beaches, clean ocean waters, and abundant fish and wildlife for generations to come.

You can help by becoming a member, donating, following, advocating, and keeping our beaches and oceans clean!

Benefits:Exclusive Membership to our online community. Share ideas and observations with other like-minded ocean enthusiasts. Get real-time info. from regions around the world involved in interesting ocean conservation work. Join in a rich community of people and organizations who share your values.Receive ‘sneak peeks’ for upcoming promotions, news and events revolving around ocean health and conservation.You’ll be invited to VIP Ocean Champions Events where you will ‘hob-knob’ with the ‘conscious’ political leadership of our country.Become part of an ‘insider community’ that helps shape messaging and build awareness among other conservationists.Help spotlight really exceptional eco-leaders making a difference in ocean conservation, in your community. You will get free Ocean Champions stickers and decals for your surfboards, kayaks and car windows.

You can get the satisfaction of knowing that you helped "Save the cute Sea Animals"!

Take a load off and listen to some calming ocean waves knowing that you just helped save numerous sea creatures!!

Go ahead, feel like an amazing person.

Find us on: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and our blog www.oceanchampions.org

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