Save Our Seas 2.0 builds on success of bipartisan legislation signed into law last year
Washington, D.C. – Last week, Representatives Don Young (R-AK) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Co-Chairs of the House Oceans Caucus, introduced legislation to strengthen efforts to remove and prevent marine debris.
Every minute, the equivalent of a garbage truck full of plastic is dumped into our ocean. According to the United Nations, that is more than eight million metric tons a year. The bipartisan Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, H.R. 3969, will address the staggering amount of plastic in the ocean by improving the domestic cleanup and response to marine debris, incentivizing international engagement on the issue, and strengthening domestic infrastructure to responsibly dispose waste materials. The legislation builds on the successes of the Save Our Seas Act, which was signed into law last year.
“Alaska is home to more coastline than any other state in the Union, and healthy oceans are essential to Alaska’s economy and way of life,” said Congressman Don Young. “Save Our Seas 2.0 builds on our successes combating marine debris through bolstering plastics research and funding needed for infrastructure improvements. I am pleased to once again partner with my friend and House Oceans Caucus Co-Chair Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici to ensure our oceans stay healthy and productive for future generations to enjoy.”
“Our ocean is an immense natural resource, but the marine life and habitats it sustains are threatened by the pervasive and destructive plastics and debris that litter its waters and shores,” said Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici. “Marine debris is entirely preventable, and I am grateful to be keeping up the momentum on this issue by introducing the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act with my friend from Alaska and House Oceans Caucus Co-Chair Don Young. This bill will accelerate efforts to eliminate marine debris in our ocean and increase investments in infrastructure to reduce the creation and pollution of plastic waste on a global scale.”
Marine debris harm costal economies, endanger marine life, destroy important marine habitat, propagate invasive species, and create hazardous conditions for the maritime industry. The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act offers numerous provisions to address this problem, including:
The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act is cosponsored by: Representatives Don Beyer (D-VA), Ed Case (D-HI), Sean Casten (D-IL), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Chris Pappas (D-NH), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), and Francis Rooney (R-FL).
The Senate companion to the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act was introduced by Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bob Menendez (D-NJ).
Young and Bonamici co-chair the House Oceans Caucus, a bipartisan group of House Members committed to taking action to protect the health and future of our oceans. This Congress, the Caucus is focused on environmental stressors (including ocean acidification, harmful algal blooms, and hypoxia); marine debris; ocean data and monitoring; coastal resiliency; and illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. More details about the original Save Our Seas Act, which reauthorized the NOAA Marine Debris Program and provided resources to help states respond to severe marine debris events, can be found here.
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