Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced the Marine Mammal Climate Change Protection Act, legislation to better protect marine mammals that are threatened by the climate crisis.
“The climate crisis is already upon us, and warming seas pose significant threats to marine mammals, to their habitats, and to their sources of food. We simply must do more to address these threats,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “For decades, marine mammals have been safeguarded under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act. My bill would update that law to require federal agencies to consider the impacts of the climate crisis on our whales, sea otters, polar bears, manatees, and other marine mammals.”
The Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) prohibits the harm or harassment of marine mammals without proper permitting. Additionally, under the MMPA, the federal government is responsible for developing conservation plans for marine mammals to ensure the health and stability of their ecosystem.
The Marine Mammal Climate Change Protection Act would amend the MMPA to direct the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop climate impact management plans for marine mammals that are at significant risk due to the climate crisis. The plans would include strategies for mitigating the harm posed to these species by climate change.
The text of the bill can be found here.