At the end of the day even the combined military might of the United States could not stand up to the relentless onslaught of cute, adorable sea otters.
What on earth am I talking about? Just a few paragraphs in a 1,100 page bill.
On June 14 the House passed their version of the National Defense Authorization Act which – among many other provisions – weakened some of the protections afforded to sea otters near several Navy installations, including Naval Base Ventura County and Naval Base Coronado in southern California.
The legislation would have designated some of the coastal waters there the “Southern Sea Otter Military Readiness Area” and would have loosened laws regarding accidental deaths of sea otters because of Navy activities. Environmental groups had pushed hard to remove the language from the legislation.
The Interior Secretary would have been given the power to terminate the program if she determined that military activities were preventing the government from returning the sea otter population to sustainable levels.
But the version of the NDAA that emerged from a conference committee between the House and the Senate lacked that provision, which means those new rules will not go into effect.
Score one for the sea otters.
I will update as I get more information on the internal machinations of how the Sea Otter provisions were dropped form this legislation.