Today, in recognition of World Oceans Day, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), member of the Senate Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard and founding member of the bipartisan Senate Oceans Caucus, released the following statement.
"The Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound have supported Washingtonians' livelihoods for generations," Cantwell said. "Washington state's coastal region supports 165,000 jobs and generates $10.8 billion in economic activity. From supporting a robust trade economy to supplying diverse marine resources, our oceans are essential to our economy and daily lives.
"Countless jobs in the United States depend on healthy oceans and marine life. In order to protect those jobs, we must mitigate the impacts of ocean acidification, strengthen locally-driven fishery management and prevent disastrous oil spills.
"We cannot delay getting an action plan in place to address the tsunami debris hitting the West Coast. We need clear answers and the best science available to protect Washington state's economy from tsunami debris. That's why I am fighting to ensure we have an aggressive action plan in place. This action plan must include better methods to track and detect tsunami debris, including high-resolution satellite imagery data. The tsunami dock that washed up in Oregon this week is another example of debris the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration should have seen coming.
"We also must continue to fight to protect Bristol Bay, home to the most productive salmon run in the world. Bristol Bay supports over 14,000 jobs including many in my home state of Washington. We must protect this incredible resource, which helps fuel the salmon economy in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.
"I will continue to work with my colleagues in the United States Senate to preserve and restore our nation's diverse marine resources. It is up to all of us to ensure they remain vibrant and bountiful for future generations."