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Our nation's fisheries are a valuable resource. The commercial and recreational fishing industry provides thousands of jobs and billions of dollars to the Gross National Product each year. To most of us, fish and their habitats, provide personal enjoyment offering important aesthetic qualities to our everyday lives. Yet, our fisheries are in trouble. The existence of numberous fish species is threatened by increasing pressures on marine ecosystems from human activities.

I am aware that the Magnuson Stevens Act offers resource managers a tool to help protect fish habitat, therefore preserving the fish that rely on these ecosystems. The Essential Fish Habitat provisions of the Act provide a proactive approach to managing our fisheries. This strategy will reduce adversel impacts to fish habitats before a damaging activity is every inititated.

As a constituent I urge you to support and protect this important piece of legislation. In supporting the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and its components, you will protect fish habitat conservation efforts and will contribute to improving the health status of our oceans ensuring that our grandchildren can share the bounty and beauty of our nation's fish.