Reps. Huffman and Young Lead Bipartisan Effort to Save the Marine Mammal Commission
Washington, D.C.- In response to President Trump’s budget request, which would eliminate funding for the Marine Mammal Commission, Representatives Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK) led 34 members of Congress in sending a letter to the House Appropriations Committee today requesting full funding for the Commission and opposing the President’s request to shutter the agency.
Created under Title II of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, the Commission is an independent agency that is crucial for maintaining healthy populations of marine mammals, such as whales, manatees, dolphins, seals, sea otters, walruses, and polar bears - ensuring they survive for generations to come. The lawmakers’ letter called for a total of $4.68 million in funding to fulfill its responsibilities under the law.
“The Marine Mammal Commission is an independent federal agency established by Congress, and is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA),” wrote the Members of Congress. “The Commission provides independent, science-based oversight of U.S. policies, international policies, and the actions of federal agencies regarding human impacts on marine mammals and their ocean environment.”
“The Marine Mammal Commission remains committed to researching and protecting our marine life at a time where we face immediate marine mammal extinctions, and the proposed elimination of the Commission would have an irreversible impact on our marine ecosystems,” continued the Representatives.
The commission’s vital work includes:
- Conducting research projects and providing grant funding on the protection and conservation of marine mammals;
- Reducing bycatch of marine mammals in domestic and international fisheries;
- Protecting the subsistence hunting rights of Alaska Natives; and
- Contributing scientific leadership in response to endangered marine mammals, such as the vaquita porpoise.
The signatories on the letter along with Reps. Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Don Young (R-AK) are Representatives William R. Keating (D-MA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Barbara Lee (D-CA), John Garamendi (D-CA), Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-VA), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Ted W. Lieu (D-CA), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Salud O. Carbajal (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) , Bill Foster (D-IL), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), Seth Moulton (D-MA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), Tom Suozzi (D-NY), Judy Chu (D-CA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Alma Adams (D-NC), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), and Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA).
You can read the full text of the letter here.