Last week was Capitol Hill Ocean Week! Thousands of people gathered in D.C. to talk about solutions to pressing ocean challenges. The Seattle Aquarium participated for the first time, represented by Erin Meyer and Nora Nickum from our conservation programs and partnerships department.
We met with four Washington state Congressional offices—Senator Cantwell, Senator Murray, Congresswoman Jayapal and Representative Kilmer—and shared the Seattle Aquarium’s conservation priorities. We emphasized the importance of:
- Responsibly managing forage fish harvesting
- Protecting Washington state’s water quality standards
- Adequately funding salmon and orca recovery programs (sign our petition here this month)
We also expressed appreciation for their leadership in advancing bills to address climate change and ocean acidification as well as threats of new offshore oil drilling along the West Coast.
Erin and Nora also joined partners from the nationwide Aquarium Conservation Partnership for additional conversations in D.C. We had meetings with the NOAA Office of Marine Sanctuaries, the acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, and with staff from the House Natural Resources Committee and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. We raised critical needs related to coral reef restoration, North Atlantic right whale recovery, reducing plastic pollution and keeping offshore federal waters free from new oil and gas development.
The Seattle Aquarium continues to increase our involvement in federal policy. We will be bringing our research and scientific expertise to bear in supporting our senators and representatives as they push for sound, science-based policies to protect the health of our ocean, waterways and communities. For more information on our policy priorities, visit our new.