With our oceans and coastal ecosystems, and the economies and jobs they support, facing constant and increasingly grave threats from a variety of sources, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators will meet next week to form a new Senate Oceans Caucus. The Caucus will work to increase awareness and find common ground in responding to issues facing the oceans, 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.
Founding members will meet next Tuesday for the caucus’s first meeting, during which chairmen will be selected and a founding charter will be approved. Following the meeting, the Senators will hold a press conference to announce the formation of the caucus and discuss their vision and priorities. They’ll be joined at the press conference by representatives from ocean and coastal organizations supporting their efforts, including the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the Ocean Conservancy, the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA), the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), and Ocean Champions.