In between confirming a number of President Barack Obama's nominees, the Senate also recognized a most unusual ambassador this week, in an exercise of the chamber's most routine business.
The "Ambassador to the Whales." That's the honor bestowed upon the world's last remaining wooden whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan, which is set to be relaunched this weekend at the Mystic Seaport in Connecticut after an extensive restoration project that's been under way for five years, costing millions of dollars.
Before Senate business concluded Wednesday evening, the chamber gave unanimous consent endorsement to a resolution offered by Connecticut's Democratic senators, Richard Blumenthal and Christopher S. Murphy.
"Senator Blumenthal and I are proud to honor the Charles W. Morgan whaleship with this Senate resolution," Murphy said in a statement. "The Morgan is an important part of Connecticut’s historic whaling industry, and I’m so grateful to Mystic Seaport for its impressive restoration work to help preserve the last remaining wooden whaleship in the world. I'm also thrilled that the Morgan’s voyage next year — a collaborative effort between 22 states — will focus on raising awareness on environmental protection, and bringing attention to how we can protect our planet’s whale population."
A print of an old postage stamp of the Morgan has hung not far from the Capitol, in the lobby of the Post Office along North Capitol Street, adjacent to Union Station.
In this one, the Senate declared appreciation for the work of those involved in restoring the historic ship, and said the Senate "supports the plan of Mystic Seaport: The Museum of America and the Sea to reinterpret the Charles W. Morgan as a vessel of scientific and educational exploration whose cargo is knowledge and whose mission is to promote awareness of the maritime heritage of the United States and the conservation of the species the Morgan hunted."