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Director's Corner

Dan Ashe served as FWS Director from June 2011 until January 2017. The following is an archive of blogs authored by Director Ashe during that time. This content is intended for historical reference only and not as a representation of current Service policy or opinion.

40 Years of the Marine Mammal Protection Act

This week I have exciting news to share!  The Fish and Wildlife Service and our partners are kicking off our 40th Anniversary celebration of the Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA), a milestone in wildlife conservation. Together with our sister agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, we’ve worked through the MMPA to reverse the declines of many important marine mammal species – as well as the ocean ecosystems that support them.

Under the MMPA’s protections, populations of formerly declining species such as the West Indian Manatee, California sea lion, Pacific harbor seal and elephant seal have steadily increased. Together with our sister agency, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and other partners, we’ve been helping to conserve our nation’s marine wildlife for 40 years.

Marine species face significant challenges, including impacts from pollution, habitat fragmentation and destruction from coastal development and climate change that threatens their food supply and habitat. That’s why it’s imperative that we work together with our partners, to address these challenges on land and sea in a coordinated and effective way.

I’m excited about the next 40 years of marine mammal conservation. In coming weeks, we’ll be spotlighting stories of the MMPA’s current and past successes, while looking at how the Act will help shape the future of marine conservation. So keep an eye on our home page and Open Spaces.  Help us celebrate this 40th Anniversary throughout 2012, and stay tuned for upcoming MMPA celebration events!


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