In October 2018, President Trump signed the Save Our Seas Act into law, thereby reauthorizing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program through FY2022 at the longstanding level of $10 million annually and urging the State Department to engage on the marine debris problem globally. Ocean Conservancy commended the legislation as a modest but necessary step in the fight against ocean plastic pollution. On Wednesday, June 26, Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced Save Our Seas Act 2.0, building on the first Save Our Seas Act with more specific interventions that can be implemented in the U.S. and abroad to address the scourge of ocean plastic. Kevin Allexon, Senior Manager of Government Relations at Ocean Conservancy, released the following statement in response:
“Ocean Conservancy strongly supports Save Our Seas Act 2.0, which rightly recognizes that there is no single solution to the ocean plastic crisis, and that it will take a concerted global effort to address this challenge.
“We are pleased that in addition to considering plastic reduction policies, the bill proposes improvements to both domestic and international waste management and recycling systems. Every country, including the U.S., can do more to prevent plastic from entering the ocean. We are also pleased that the bill prioritizes research initiatives to better understand the problem of ocean plastic and what interventions would be most effective. Ocean Conservancy has long advocated for science-based solutions to this problem, and we believe that additional research is sorely needed in this area.
“We congratulate Senators Sullivan, Whitehouse and Menendez for their leadership and, building on the momentum of the first Save Our Seas Act, for delivering this important bill. We look forward to working with them and other ocean allies in Congress over the coming months to strengthen it further.”
Kevin Allexon is available for interviews upon request.
About Ocean Conservancy:
Ocean Conservancy is working with you to protect the ocean from today’s greatest global challenges. Together, we create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. For more information, visit www.oceanconservancy.org, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
About Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas® Program:
Ocean Conservancy has led the fight for a clean, trash-free ocean since 1986, when the organization launched its first annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) on a beach in Texas. Since then, the ICC has expanded to over 150 countries and has mobilized millions of volunteers to remove more than 300 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways around the globe, all the while logging each item and building the world’s largest database on marine debris.
Recognizing that cleanups alone will not solve the growing ocean plastic crisis, Ocean Conservancy has leveraged that data and invested in additional science to better understand the sources of ocean plastic. In 2012, Ocean Conservancy launched the Trash Free Seas Alliance®, uniting conservationists, scientists and members of the private sector to work together for pragmatic, impactful solutions to the problem, such as the launch of Circulate Capital and Urban Ocean. In 2019, Ocean Conservancy assumed leadership of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative to reduce the amount of lost and abandoned fishing gear entering the ocean and engage fishers on best practices. Learn more at www.oceanconservancy.org/trashfreeseas.