We Should Establish the National Endowment for the Oceans

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Politico reported last week that Congress seems to be done legislating for 2013. While such an outcome wouldn’t be shocking for an anemic legislative body with a 9 percent approval rating that spends more time talking about a broken website than its own broken procedures, there’s at least one piece of legislation making headway toward passage before the year runs out.

The House and Senate have each passed a bill reauthorizing the Water Resources Development Act, or WRDA. While this law, first enacted in 1974, establishes parameters for managing U.S. freshwater resources, the versions passed in each house of Congress include provisions with sweeping ramifications for our oceans and coasts. The House bill attempts to curtail necessary enhancements for federal management of our marine resources, while the Senate version would establish a mechanism to allocate sorely needed funding to state and federal ocean priorities.

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