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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

August 23, 2016

Ocean Leaders to Nominees: What will you do as President for the Blue in our Red, White and Blue?

The White House.

This past week SEA President Peg Brandon joined 114 other ocean leaders in sending a letter to campaign representatives for Secretary Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald Trump seeking clarification on what they will do if elected President to protect our public seas, ocean economy and maritime security (see letter that follows).  The aim is to get a response by early September on how the next President will act on key coastal and ocean issues.  These include the fight against illegal pirate fishing, establishment of marine protected areas – like National Parks in the sea - and coastal adaptation to sea level rise and other climate challenges. 

The letter also calls for appropriate levels of funding for frontline agencies involved in exploration, conservation and maritime law-enforcement including the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Ocean leaders who’ve signed this letter include CEOs of seafood and other businesses, directors of major science labs, aquariums and diver organizations, well known ocean explorers, authors, artists, marine conservationists, members of Congress and former heads of EPA and NOAA.

The following letter was sent to the candidates:

Dear Secretary Clinton / Dear Mr. Trump,

As citizens we call on the next President of the United States to support our nation’s marine and coastal economy and assure the sound stewardship of our coasts and ocean.  Our nation’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), stretching 200 miles out from our shores, is the largest in the world: a blue frontier more extensive than our continental landmass. With increased scientific knowledge and understanding of this great frontier comes both an opportunity and a responsibility to protect, preserve and restore the blue in our red, white and blue.

Recognizing that the protection of coastal communities, ocean-dependent jobs and businesses, the marine environment and America’s maritime heritage has long been a nonpartisan goal, we ask you as one of the two leading candidates for President of the United States, to respond and commit to the following principles and actions:

I.  International Arena

Support initiatives to protect our global commons on the high seas and the polar seas through agreements to restore fish and other marine wildlife, reduce marine pollution, encourage scientific collaboration and protect vital habitats including seamounts, coral reefs and coastal mangroves.  An excellent example of this kind of commitment was the broad bipartisan support that led to the IUU (Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported) Fishing Enforcement Act of 2015.
Based on the early work of Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush who established the highest level of protection for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument of Hawaii, and Presidents Bush and Barack Obama in establishing and expanding the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, we call for similar support for global efforts to create additional marine reserves based on the best-available science.  We expect the next president to support the continued protection of unique ocean habitats similar to the United States’ National Parks system.  These areas can act as a world repository of marine biodiversity for our own and future generations.

II.  United States

Continue to expand a national ocean policy that coordinates federal efforts to eliminate agency conflicts and redundancy while working with traditional and emerging users of our public seas, coasts and Great Lakes. This policy should embrace local, state, tribal and regional initiatives to ensure healthy and productive seas.  The next administration should also continue to promote best fisheries and aquaculture management practices to sustain our living resources and the jobs that go with them including market transparency and traceability. You should address emerging challenges from a changing climate including protecting coastal populations at risk, providing resources such as new Coast Guard icebreakers for the Arctic and research tools for science.  You should address the impacts of sea-level rise, ocean acidification, ocean warming as well as new ocean uses including offshore wind and hydrokinetic energy sources.

Recognizing that our EEZ frontier waters and our national economy depend on healthy seas, new discoveries and maritime enforcement, the next President should commit to fully fund the marine stewardship, exploration and law-enforcement missions carried out by the frontline agencies on America’s blue frontier including the United States Coast Guard and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

We believe a commitment to these four action areas by the next President of the United States will help turn the tide in restoring a vital element of the American economy, our heritage and our security from sea to shining sea.

We look forward to your response that we hope to receive by Sept. 7 and to hearing more on your plans.

With regards and respect,

Katherine Abbot
President and CEO
Boston Harbor Now

Glenn A. Arthur
New Jersey Council of Diving Clubs

Dana Beach
Executive Director
South Carolina Coastal Conservation League

Wendy Benchley
Peter Benchley Ocean Awards

Jeff Benoit
Restore America’s Estuaries

Dr. Scott G. Borgeson
CargoMetrics Technologies

Angel Braestrup
Executive Director
The Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation

Peg Brandon
Sea Education Association/SEA Semester

Graham Casden
Chief Visionary Officer
Ocean First

Susan Casey

Gary Cherr, PhD
Professor Environmental Toxicology & Nutrition
Director, University of California Davis Bodega Marine Laboratory

Reverend Dr. Richard Cizik
New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good

Representative Curt Clawson (R- 19th)
Naples, Florida

Dianna Cohen
CEO co-founder
Plastic Pollution Coalition

Philippe Cousteau
Executive Director
EarthEcho International

Dr. Michael Crosby
President & CEO
Mote Marine Laboratory

Mary T. Crowley
Executive Director
Ocean Voyages Institute
Project Kaisei

Anna Cummins
The 5 Gyres Institute

Jim Cummings
Executive Director
Acoustic Ecology Institute

R. Mark Davis
Sailors for the Sea

Richard Delaney
President and CEO
Center for Coastal Studies

Jacqueline Dixon
University of South Florida
College of Marine Science

Dr. Sylvia Earle
National Geographic Explorer in Residence

Representative Sam Farr (D-20th)
Monterey, California

Daniella V. Fernandez
Founder & Chair
Sustainable Oceans Alliance

Alexandra S. Garcia
Executive Director
International League of Conservation Photographers

Sherri Goodman
Former CEO, Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security)
Member, Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council

Gary Griggs
Distinguished Professor & Director
Institute of Marine Sciences
University of California Santa Cruz

Marce Gutierrez-Graudins

William E. Hawkins
Professor Emeritus
Director, Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (Retired)
University of Southern Mississippi

Randy Hayes
Executive Director
Foundation Earth

David Helvarg
Executive Director
Blue Frontier

Wolcott Henry
The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation

Dr. Nigella Hillgarth
President and Chief Executive Officer
New England Aquarium

Elizabeth Lacey Hoover
Herbert W. Hoover Foundation

Joseph Ierna Jr.
Founder and Executive Director
Ocean CREST Alliance

Jeremy Jackson
Professor of Oceanography Emeritus
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Phillip Johnson
Executive Director
Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition

Susan Jordon
Executive Director
California Coastal Protection Network

Les Kaufman
Professor of Biology
Boston University Marine Program

Kiho Kim, PhD
Professor & Chair
Department of Environmental Science
American University

Isabeella Kirkland

Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.
Professor of Practice of Policy and Engineering
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy

Vice Admiral Conrad Lautenbacher (U.S. Navy, Ret)
CEO and Director, GeoOptics, Inc.
Former Under Secretary of Commerce/NOAA Administrator (2001-2008)
Member, Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council

Margaret Leinen, Ph.D.
Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
UC San Diego Vice Chancellor for Marine Sciences
Dean of the School of Marine Science

Wayne Levin
Fine Art Photographer

Roland Lewis
President and CEO
Waterfront Alliance

Kurt Lieber
Executive Director / Founder
Ocean Defenders Alliance (ODA)

Kimball Livingston
St. Francis Yacht Club

Pam Longobardi
Distinguished University Professor
Professor of Art
GSU / Atlanta

Tami Lunsford
National Marine Educators Association

David McGuire, MEH
Shark Stewards

Sunshine Menezes, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting
University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography

Andreas Merkl
Chief Executive Officer
Ocean Conservancy

Ali Miller
Colorado Scuba Retailers Association (CSRA)
Partner, Denver Divers

Todd Miller
Executive Director
North Carolina Coastal Federation

Kevin Mills
President and CEO
South Carolina Aquarium

Ambassador John Norton Moore
Director, The Center for Oceans Law & Policy
The University of Virginia

Bill Mott
The Ocean Project

Peter Neill
World Ocean Observatory

Chad Nelsen
Surfrider Foundation

Wallace J. Nichols PhD
Blue Mind Fund

Vicki Nichols Goldstein
Founder and Director
Colorado Ocean Coalition

Timothy O’Shea
CEO & Co-Founder

Dave Oakes, Ed.D.
Center for Ecological Living and Learning

Chris Palmer
Center for Environmental Filmmaking
American University

Stephen Palumbi
Director, Hopkins Marine Station
Stanford University

Daniel Pingaro
Executive Director
Laguna Beach Community Foundation

Ellen Prager, PhD
Earth2Ocean, Inc

Louie Psihoyos
Executive Director
Oceanic Preservation Society

DeeVon Quirolo
Nature Coast Conservation, Inc.

Nancy Rabalais, PhD.
Executive Director and Professor
Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

John Racanelli
President/ Chief Executive Officer
National Aquarium

Drew Richardson
President and Chief Executive Officer
PADI Worldwide

Jim Ries
One More Generation

David Rockefeller, Jr.
Sailors for the Sea

William D. Ruckelshaus
Former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Agency (1970-’73, 1983-’85)
Member, Joint Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council

Sean Russell
Youth Ocean Conservation Summit

Daniella Russo
Chief Executive Officer
Think Beyond Plastic™ Innovation Accelerator

Karen Sack
Managing Director
Ocean Unite

Carl Safina
Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity
Stony Brook University

Miyoko Sakashita
Oceans Director
Center for Biological Diversity

Enric Sala
National Geographic Society

Dr. Paul Sandifer
Research Associate and Director
Center for Coastal Environmental and Human Health, College of Charleston
Member, Join Ocean Commission Initiative Leadership Council

Shari Sant Plummer
Code Blue Foundation

Cynthia Sarthou
Executive Director
Gulf Restoration Network

Terry Sawyer
Vice President and Co-Founder
Hog Island Oyster Co.

Eric Schmidt
Executive Chairman
Alphabet, Inc.

Wendy Schmidt
President, The Schmidt Family Foundation
Co-Founder, Schmidt Ocean Institute

Jerry R. Schubel, PhD
President and CEO
Aquarium of the Pacific

David Schwartz
President and CEO
Schwartz and Associates Landscape Architecture

Jason Scorse, PhD
Director, Center for the Blue Economy
Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Barton Seaver
Center for Health and the Global Environment
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

Jennifer Seavey, Ph.D.
Director, Shoals Marine Laboratory
Cornell University

Sarah Shaw
Nature Defense Foundation

Brian Skerry
Photojournalist for National Geographic Magazine

Bren Smith
Director, Greenwave
Owner/Farmer, Thimble Island Ocean Farm

Stuart L. Smits
New Energy Ventures

Richard Snow
President, C.E.O.
The International SeaKeepers Society

Rob Snyder, PhD
Island Institute

Mark J. Spalding
The Ocean Foundation

Michael Stocker
Ocean Conservation Research

Michael Sutton
Chair, Ocean Champions
Summer Faculty, Vermont Law School

Liz Taylor
DOER Marine/Deep Ocean Exploration and Research

Chris Tellis
Owner and Harbor Master
Yellow Ferry Harbor

Kyle Thiermann
Journalist/Professional Surfer

Ray Toll
President, Marine Technology Society
Director of Coastal Resilience Research
Office of Research, Old Dominion University

Dave Toole
Outhink Media

Jim Toomey
Creator – Sherman’s Lagoon
Syndicated daily comic strip

Don Walsh PhD
Explorer & Oceanographer

Rob Wilder, J.D. PhD
WilderHill Clean Energy Index (ECO)

David Wilmot, Ph.D.
President and Co-Founder
Ocean Champions

R. Scott Winters
Coral Restoration Foundation

Marine Artist and Conservationist

William M. Ziefle
President & Chief Executive Officer
Divers Alert Network, Inc.

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