Proceedings, Debates of the U.S. Congress
March 19, 2015
114th Congress, 1st Session
Issue: Vol. 161, No. 47 — Daily Edition
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HONORING WILLIAM `ZEKE' GRADER, JR.
(Extensions of Remarks - March 19, 2015)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E365] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] HONORING WILLIAM `ZEKE' GRADER, JR. ______ HON. JARED HUFFMAN of california in the house of representatives Thursday, March 19, 2015 Mr. HUFFMAN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with my colleague, Mike Thompson, to recognize the incredible legacy of William `Zeke' Grader, Jr., who has tirelessly served California's fishermen and coastal communities and as an environmental champion and community leader for many decades. Always willing to share his vast knowledge and expertise with others, Zeke has helped fishermen to define their interest in battles over offshore oil and gas development, land-use, timber harvesting, water allocation, and other issues of social equity and sustainability. From an early age, Zeke Grader grew up in the coastal fishing community. His father founded Grader Fish, Co., in Fort Bragg, California, to buy, process, and broker fresh, local fish. Zeke spent much of his childhood on the family dock, helping fishermen to unload their catch. He graduated from Fort Bragg High School and moved south to attend Sonoma State University, where he studied political science and graduated in 1970. Zeke Grader served his country in the United States Marine Corps before obtaining a law degree from the University of San Francisco and passing the California State Bar in 1975. At that time, Congress was deliberating how to assert our national sovereignty over a two-hundred mile wide economic zone in order to curb foreign overfishing in U.S. waters, allow depleted stocks to recover, and conserve fishery resources. Amidst such explosive public interest in natural resource protection, some in the fishing industry felt threatened by the burgeoning environmental movement. Zeke Grader was asked to serve as the executive officer of the newly formed Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations (PCFFA), and he led the organization in a more productive and effective direction by embracing efforts to protect the coastal environment. With Zeke at the helm, the PCFFA took a leading role in crafting important state and federal legislation to preserve the coastal fishing industry. Zeke lobbied strongly for California's 1988 Salmon, Steelhead Trout, and Anadromous Fisheries Program Act, which called for a statewide salmon conservation plan to double the present numbers of wild salmon. He pushed for modernization of the federal Fishery Conservation and Management Act, litigated to expedite water quality restoration under the federal Clean Water Act, and fought for protections of fishing grounds by organizing for the prevention and clean-up of petroleum spills. In 1988, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration honored Zeke Grader with its prominent Environmental Hero award. For many Zeke has been a hero over many decades and his tireless efforts to protect the wild California Coast have ensured the present vitality of our fishing communities. Our friend and former colleague George Miller is one of those who counts Zeke as an inspiration. He passed along this message to us to include in the Record: ``Zeke Grader has been my friend almost my entire time in the Congress. During that time Zeke has been a leader in our state, on the Pacific Coast and in our nation to give voice and rights to the men and women of our vital and historic commercial fishing industry. The Pacific coast fisheries from time to time are threatened with droughts, economic downturns, high fuel prices, habitat destruction, and bad public policy. Through it all, Zeke Grader has led this magnificent group of fishers to maintain and grow our fisheries. So many people in California's diverse economy are dependent on their success. The commercial fishers of the Pacific coast must both catch and protect this magnificent species. Zeke Grader for so many years has successfully advocated for both the fish and the fishers. All of us owe him great thanks.'' Today, Zeke continues his strong advocacy by working with and advising leaders at every level of industry and government. His legacy shows us the lasting positive impact that one man can have on countless others and he has shown that you can build a thriving and sustainable economy without depleting natural resources for future generations. Mr. Speaker, it is fitting that we honor Zeke today for his work in representing the fishing community, and we express our deepest appreciation for his friendship and his service. ____________________