Deadliest Catch Star Keith Colburn to Testify Before Congress, Urges Protection For "America`s Fish Basket"
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On 20th Anniversary of Exxon Valdez Spill, Congress to Receive Jars of Rocks from Alaska Coast That Remain Covered in Oil WASHINGTON--(Business Wire)-- Environmental groups (Alaska Wilderness League, Oceana and World Wildlife Fund) issued the following: Captain Keith Colburn, star of the Discovery Channel hit series Deadliest Catch, will testify before a joint congressional oversight hearing on Tuesday - the 20th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill - and urge Congress to protect Alaska`s most productive fisheries from oil exploration. Each member of the two subcommittees holding the joint hearing will be presented with a jar of rocks collected last month from the shores of Prince William Sound, the site of the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill. Two decades after the accident, the rocks remain coated in oil. Dr. Jeffrey Short of Oceana, an internationally recognized expert on oil impacts to the ocean, will testify about lessons learned from the Exxon Valdez and the need for a science-based precautionary approach to protect fragile Arctic ecosystems from industrialization. Also on Tuesday, more than 60 members of Congress will be sending a letter to President Obama highlighting the high likelihood of a large spill in the Arctic and the lack of technology to clean up such a spill. In his testimony, Colburn, a crab fisherman in Alaska`s Bristol Bay, will tell the subcommittees that opening Bristol Bay to oil drilling could be devastating to the fishing industry and will urge Congress to protect the region from proposed oil and gas lease sales that were offered under the Bush administration. Known as "America`s fish basket," Bristol Bay and the larger Bering Sea are home to nearly half the seafood caught in the U.S. - a $2.2 billion annual fishery. By comparison, oil and gas drilling is expected to bring in just $7.7 billion total over the entire 25-40 years experts believe it will take to fully extract the resources. WHAT: Joint oversight hearing on "Energy Development on the Outer Continental Shelf and the Future of our Oceans," by the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources and Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife WHEN: Tuesday, March 24, 2009, 10 a.m. WHERE: Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building WHO: -- Capt. Keith Colburn, Bristol Bay crab boat captain and star of Discovery`s Deadliest Catch -- Dr. Jeffrey Short, Oceana scientist who was one of the first people on the scene of the Exxon Valdez spill and a leading expert on the impacts of oil to marine ecosystems -- Other witnesses to be determined B roll and still photos available. The hearing will be webcast live on the Committee's website at http://resourcescommittee.house.gov. World Wildlife Fund Steve Ertel, 202-495-4562 email@example.com or Oceana Jamie Karnik, 907-321-2295 firstname.lastname@example.org or Alaska Wilderness League Emilie Surrusco, 202-544-5205 email@example.com Copyright Business Wire 2009