Kerry, Brown help launch Senate Oceans Caucus
WASHINGTON – A bipartisan group of 18 US senators today announced the formation of the new Senate Oceans Caucus, which seeks to “increase awareness and find common ground in responding to issues facing the oceans and coasts,” the group said in a statement.
Among the caucus members are five senators from New England: John Kerry and Scott Brown of Massachusetts; Olympia Snowe, Republican of Maine; Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut; and Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, who will serve as co-chair.
“The Oceans Caucus will help focus attention on everything from laws that govern the seas, affect jobs and vital industries, concern our marine ecosystems, and protect our waters off Massachusetts,” Kerry said in a statement.
Brown said: “The ocean plays a vital role in the Massachusetts economy, from our fishing industry to our ports and harbors, and tourism – all are very important to preserving and creating jobs.”
Meeting today for the first time, the caucus adopted a founding charter of principles and addressed issues including international and domestic fisheries policy.
Massachusetts’ ocean contributes an estimated $15 billion annually to the state’s economy, according to Priscilla Brooks, vice president of the Conservation Law Foundation, a New England-based environmental advocacy group.