Ocean Action Hub

14 Jun 2019 - Two American senators come together across party lines to protect the ocean with a new law passed to address dumping of waste and debris in the ocean. Read their blog:

Editors’ note: In October, US President Donald Trump signed into law the Save Our Seas (SOS) Act of 2018. This law, authored by Senators Dan Sullivan and Sheldon Whitehouse, passed Congress with strong bipartisan support and seeks to address dumping of trash and debris in the oceans and the Great Lakes. It also extends the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program through 2022 and authorizes NOAA to declare “severe marine debris events.” Senators Sullivan and Whitehouse co-authored this blog for UNDP in honor of World Oceans Day. 8 June.

Washington — Every day, in nearly every news outlet across the country, headlines feature the things on which we, in the US Congress, disagree. It’s true that we represent a big and diverse country, where rigorous debate is common and healthy. But those headlines don’t tell the whole story. There are many times when we have come together. For instance, how we — a Republican from Alaska and a Democrat from Rhode Island — have worked to rid our oceans of marine debris is a great example of how we have put aside politics and addressed a critical environmental issue.

Ocean debris hits Alaska particularly hard. Alaska has more coastline than the entire lower 48 states combined, and its fisheries — among the best-managed in the world — are vital to the state and to our country. Massive amounts of marine debris washing up on our shores threaten not only fisheries in Alaska, but the health of oceans and communities across the country, including Rhode Island.

That’s why we, as members of the Senate Commerce and Environment and Public Works committees, banded together. While serving as Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Water, and Wildlife, we held a bipartisan hearing on marine debris. We introduced the Save Our Seas (SOS) Act shortly after the hearing.

CONTINUE READING ONLINE HERE: https://medium.com/@UNDP/coming-together-to-clean-up-our-oceans-ae93b747d7cf

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Publication date: 
Publication Organisation: 
Publication Author: 
Senator Dan Sullivan - Alaska and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse - Rhode Island
Thematic Area: 
Marine pollution
United States