Democratic Congress Brings Possible Relief for the Oceans

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The Joint Oceans Commission, created three years ago after two high-profile reports recommended sweeping changes in the ways the nation’s coastal waters are managed, just came out with its most recent report card on the Bush administration’s oceans policies. This year the average grade was a C-, a slight improvement over last year’s D+ but a far cry from the comprehensive policy changes that are needed to thwart the ocean’s imminent collapse.

The reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, the nation’s primary law regulating fisheries, was a good start, and House Democrats are now pressing on with more ocean-friendly bills. Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) just reintroduced OCEANS-21, a comprehensive ocean management reform bill that has been stagnating in the Republican-controlled Congress since 2004. The legislation would unify ocean management under a national oceans policy, develop regional ecosystem plans, boost conservation funding, and significantly strengthen the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the primary federal oversight agency which has long been starved for resources.

It’s about time.

— Ana Mileva

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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