National Ocean Month Reminds Me Why I Fight

As threats continue, the power of people coming together and standing up for our oceans is an inspiration

Jennifer Felt | @jfelt18

With National Ocean Month coming to a close last week, I’ve been thinking about everything that has happened in the last 30 days. While things may seem bleak, with the Trump administration pushing an agenda that disregards the health of the ocean we were celebrating, I have found hope in my colleagues and comrades. These incredible people and the work that we’re doing to hold Trump accountable for his determinantal actions are what I celebrated this month.

It’s too easy to get wrapped up in our daily work and forget the impact it can have. I had a good reminder when I joined thousands of people from across the country for the March for the Ocean in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The morning of the event, I stepped into my hotel’s elevator wearing my March for the Ocean t-shirt. As I fidgeted with my Protect New England’s Ocean Treasures and CLF signs, trying to figure out where to put my water bottle, a member of the hotel maintenance staff said, “You don’t know me, but I support you.”

That was the moment the March for the Ocean started for me. We locked arms and stepped out of the elevator with huge smiles on our faces, ready to take on the world. The thing is, amidst all the chaos created by this administration, people from all walks of life understand that our environment and our ocean are under attack, and we must act now.

It was a powerful reminder at a critical time. Since taking office, the Trump administration has worked persistently to undermine the health of our waters.

  • Just last month, President Trump revoked the nearly decade old National Ocean Policy established by President Obama in 2010 and replaced our policy of ocean stewardship with one of maximum ocean exploitation.
  • Not even a year after the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument – the only monument in the Atlantic – was designated using the Antiquities Act, the Trump administration sought to degrade its protections as well as those for some of our other most treasured areas on land and in the sea.
  • The administration announced a plan that could open up 90 percent of the nation’s coastal waters to destructive oil and gas drilling.

CLF will hold the Trump administration accountable to his ocean planning commitments, and, critically, to the health of our ocean and the diversity of wildlife that call it home. We remain deeply committed to advancing responsible stewardship of our ocean waters, despite this administration’s reckless actions.

To all my colleagues and comrades here in New England, in D.C., and around the world, thank you for all you do, both during National Ocean Month and every other day of the year. Your work and support inspires and motivates me every day.

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