Ocean Currents » ocean leadership http://blog.oceanconservancy.org News, opinions, photos and facts from Ocean Conservancy Tue, 23 Aug 2016 13:30:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.4.2 Thank you Congressman Sam Farr! http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/11/13/thank-you-congressman-sam-farr/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2015/11/13/thank-you-congressman-sam-farr/#comments Fri, 13 Nov 2015 13:47:11 +0000 Jeff Watters http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=11037

A young boy who loved exploring the tidal pools along the shores of California’s Monterey Bay grew up to become a fierce defender of America’s greatest natural resource — our ocean. Yesterday, after more than two decades as California’s Central Coast’s longest-serving member, Congressman Sam Farr announced that he would retire at the end of the current Congress.

We are deeply grateful to Congressman Farr for his leadership in protecting our ocean.

Congressman Farr is a founding member co-chair of the House Oceans Caucus, whose 67 members from both sides of the aisle work to educate the House about issues facing our world’s ocean.

His support for science and observation has helped us identify threats and actively seek solutions. From marine debris to ocean acidification to protected areas, Congressman Farr sponsored or co-sponsored legislation to tackle some of the most pressing ocean issues of our time.

Congressman Farr’s tenure and position on the powerful House Appropriations Committee made him a formidable protector of vital funding for our oceans.

He has a rare understanding of the link between healthy oceans and a robust national economy—one that he shared with members on both side of the aisle.

His approach embraces the needs of his constituents with common-sense and solid science rooted in a vision for a future where oceans continue to benefit us all. He has been an outspoken champion for ocean planning and the Magnuson-Stevens Act.

And his legacy includes nurturing the next generation of ocean champions.

In his long and illustrious career, Congressman Farr was also a champion for the B-WET program, which for many young Americans is their first and often only exposure to how they can protect our bays, watersheds and oceans.

That’s a love that can last a lifetime, as Congressman Farr knows.

Join Ocean Conservancy in thanking Congressman Farr!

Tweet: Thank you @RepSamFarr for being a true champion for #OurOcean

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Leadership in a Time of National Division http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/11/07/leadership-in-a-time-of-national-division/ http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/2012/11/07/leadership-in-a-time-of-national-division/#comments Thu, 08 Nov 2012 00:34:51 +0000 George Leonard http://blog.oceanconservancy.org/?p=3462

Credit: George H. Leonard

After a year-long campaign, the voters have spoken and President Obama will lead the country for another four years. But while the Electoral College was decisive, the popular vote was essentially split; as a group, the American people remain deeply divided over many critical issues facing our nation – from health care to national defense.

This week, while national attention has been focused on politics at the highest level, fishery managers along the west coast quietly demonstrated unity and leadership by voting to advance important protections for forage fish – the small and often forgotten fish that form the base of the ocean food web.

Why is this such a big deal? Because as in politics, fisheries management is often divisive and making progress requires leadership. When our officials take important steps to better protect the ocean we should give credit where credit is due.

Today, the California Fish and Game Commission and yesterday, members of the Pacific Fishery Management Council, signaled commitments to policies that will help ensure enough forage fish remain in the ocean for the many predators, like whales, dolphins and seabirds, which are dependent upon them. When fully implemented through new regulations, these protections in the Pacific could be a model for the nation and an important first step in moving toward comprehensive ecosystem-based fishery management. That has my community – the conservation community- celebrating.

But it’s not just conservationists applauding the forward thinking leadership on forage fish. This week’s pair of votes shows that a genuine consensus has emerged that “little fish” have tremendous value to people as well as bigger fish, supporting fisheries and ocean related jobs that provide over $20 billion worth of economic activity throughout the region. That is why groups voicing support for forage fish protections included seafood businesses, tourism operators like whale watching boats, recreational anglers, commercial fishermen, as well as conservation organizations up and down the coast.

In fact, California’s new policy was crafted by fishing and conservation interests (including Ocean Conservancy) working collaboratively, based on their shared interest in ensuring a healthy and productive ocean for all. But don’t get me wrong; there is more work to be done, including finalizing these commitments and getting them implemented in the water.

Resolving the differences that will likely emerge during these processes won’t be easy.  But like crossing the political aisle, when leaders put aside differences and seek common ground, progress can be made. In the long run, a healthy ocean depends on having more examples of the kind of leadership displayed by fishery managers this week on forage fish.

Our nation’s elected officials could learn a thing or two from those on the west coast who care about forage fish. There are benefits to working together.

Indeed, leadership matters.

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