Target: Speaker of the U.S. Congress John Boehner
Goal: Applaud Congress for protecting the oceans and the marine life that depends on them
Both the House and Senate have been working to pass a bill called the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), each with a slightly different goal in mind. At the same time that the Senate was planning to establish a National Endowment for the Oceans, the House was considering revising the existing National Ocean Policy Act, which is integral to preserving ocean resources. After half a year of negotiation, the voice of the people has been heard, and Congress has decided to maintain the standards in the National Ocean Policy and remove the harmful addition to the bill known as, “Flores rider,” thereby ensuring that ocean resources will be protected and responsibly used.
“Flores rider,” inserted by Texas Representative Bill Flores, would have been prohibited the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from engaging with coastal states, federal agencies, and the public in an effort to conserve ocean resources. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for projects that protect the ocean. The Flores rider would have eliminated the Corps’ ability to be involved in ecosystem based management, which includes the “ability to protect important habitat and ocean wildlife, address changing ocean conditions like ocean acidification, build climate resilience, and encourage sustainable use and provide greater certainty for businesses and other ocean users.” Congress’s decision to keep the Corps affiliation with the National Ocean Policy shoed great consideration for future generations and the welfare of the planet.
With the elimination of the Flores rider also came a new coastal resiliency program, which strives to instruct coastal communities how to better respond to sea level rises and major natural disasters.With the ocean existing as an integral part of the ecosystem as well as being one of the greatest economic platforms in the world–providing millions with jobs–the National Ocean Policy is fundamental in providing standards for necessary ocean maintenance and protection.
Commend Congress for taking a progressive stride toward maintenance of the oceans for future generations. The decision to eliminate the Flores rider allows the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue restoring the ocean, while communicating with federal agencies to ensure a cleaner water ecosystem.
Dear U.S. Congress,
Your decision to preserve the standards maintained by the National Ocean Policy, which includes working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was an inspiring and progressive step in bettering the sustainability of ocean resources for future generations. The effects of removing the Flores rider addition to the bill will result in the Corps having the ability to work with federal agencies in an effort to protect wildlife, address current oceanic conditions such as acidification, build climate resilience, and provide coastal dwellers with the education they need to prepare for natural disasters and changing sea levels.
Thank you for listening to the American people and keeping the National Ocean Policy. You are saving millions of sea creatures, as well as water ecosystems, by allowing the Corps to take the necessary steps to monitor ocean resources. There is truly something to be said for working hard today to ensure a better, brighter future. I encourage you to make continual efforts to keep ocean maintenance at the forefront of major political and economic decisions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: George Hodan via pixabay.com