BIG Win For Oceans Imminent!

By Sheril Kirshenbaum | March 25, 2009 2:30 pm

In January I shared the Senate victory when S. 22, The Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2008 passed 73-21. The package includes ocean exploration, NOAA undersea research, ocean and coastal mapping integration, the integrated coastal and ocean observation system*, federal ocean acidification research and monitoring, coastal and estuarine land conservation, and lots more.

Today I’m delighted to add that the House version–H.R. 146–just passed as well meaning it’s all on the cusp of becoming law! Folks, this is as much a bill about the environment as it is about people and our collective future.  So you bet I’m excited and encouraged over today’s win… Next stop President Obama!

* hat tip to Senator Snowe for all her terrific work!

“Today Congress confirmed its commitment to realizing the vast potential of ocean science and research,” said Senator Snowe, Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmospheres, Fisheries, and Coast Guard. “Oceans make up nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface and impact the economy, environment, and culture of the entire global community yet the physical properties and natural systems of the ocean world remain largely a mystery.  This legislation will help our country unlock these mysteries by developing a national integrated system of ocean observing efforts that will provide a range of invaluable public services — such as improving  our ability to gauge the impact of major disasters and predict ocean and climate trends.  I am proud to support these critical programs that will stimulate economic growth and science-based environmental conservation in coastal regions and throughout the nation.”


Comments (7)

  1. Very encouraging development. The bill looks very comprehensive. You must be especially proud as a marine biologist.

  2. Brendan White

    I’m really glad to hear this. as a water person I can’t wait to see what they find.

  3. Linda

    This is an enormous win and big step forward for all of us on this planet.
    Our new administration certainly takes the lead!

  4. This is great news! Thanks for the tip, though I’ve been too caught up in the Soyuz launch today to do it justice!


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About Sheril Kirshenbaum

Sheril Kirshenbaum is a research scientist with the Webber Energy Group at the University of Texas at Austin's Center for International Energy and Environmental Policy where she works on projects to enhance public understanding of energy issues as they relate to food, oceans, and culture. She is involved in conservation initiatives across levels of government, working to improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Sheril is the author of The Science of Kissing, which explores one of humanity's fondest pastimes. She also co-authored Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future with Chris Mooney, chosen by Library Journal as one of the Best Sci-Tech Books of 2009 and named by President Obama's science advisor John Holdren as his top recommended read. Sheril contributes to popular publications including Newsweek, The Washington Post, Discover Magazine, and The Nation, frequently covering topics that bridge science and society from climate change to genetically modified foods. Her writing is featured in the anthology The Best American Science Writing 2010. In 2006 Sheril served as a legislative Knauss science fellow on Capitol Hill with Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) where she was involved in energy, climate, and ocean policy. She also has experience working on pop radio and her work has been published in Science, Fisheries Bulletin, Oecologia, and Issues in Science and Technology. In 2007, she helped to found Science Debate; an initiative encouraging candidates to debate science research and innovation issues on the campaign trail. Previously, Sheril was a research associate at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment and has served as a Fellow with the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History and as a Howard Hughes Research Fellow. She has contributed reports to The Nature Conservancy and provided assistance on international protected area projects. Sheril serves as a science advisor to NPR's Science Friday and its nonprofit partner, Science Friday Initiative. She also serves on the program committee for the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She speaks regularly around the country to audiences at universities, federal agencies, and museums and has been a guest on such programs as The Today Show and The Daily Rundown on MSNBC. Sheril is a graduate of Tufts University and holds two masters of science degrees in marine biology and marine policy from the University of Maine. She co-hosts The Intersection on Discover blogs with Chris Mooney and has contributed to DeSmogBlog, Talking Science, Wired Science and Seed. She was born in Suffern, New York and is also a musician. Sheril lives in Austin, Texas with her husband David Lowry. Interested in booking Sheril Kirshenbaum to speak at your next event? Contact Hachette Speakers Bureau 866.376.6591 For more information, visit her website or email Sheril at


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