Senate passes Save our Seas 2.0 Act
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Posted by: Mickaela Hilleren
On January 9, 2020, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed Save our Seas 2.0 Act, a crucial step to address the growing water quality issues caused by marine debris. Introduced by Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), final passage of this bill— which is supported by MRAA— would create a federal marine debris foundation, launch federal studies into marine debris, and establish a “genius prize” to encourage solutions addressing plastics pollution. Next, Representative Suzanne Bonamici’s (D-OR) version of Save our Seas 2.0 Act will be reviewed in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congress unanimously passed the bipartisan Save our Seas Act in 2018, which reauthorized the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program through FY 2022. Save our Seas 2.0 builds this success, improving the response to marine debris by incentivizing international engagement, and supporting domestic infrastructure to prevent debris in the first place.
“Save Our Seas 2.0 is the most comprehensive marine debris legislation ever to pass the U.S. Senate,” said Senator Sullivan. “Our legislation aims to tackle this global challenge on three fronts – improving America’s ability to respond to marine debris events and clean up waste, working toward international cooperation and agreements with nations responsible for the majority of trash entering the oceans, and exploring new, innovative ways to manage and even reuse plastic waste. The Senate’s resounding support for our bill today is another sign that the federal government is ready to take serious steps to address a challenge that impacts our coastal communities, many of them in Alaska. I want to commend my colleagues, particularly Senators Whitehouse and Menendez, for their hard work on this legislation as we look to get SOS 2.0 across the finish line in the House.”
The MRAA supports Senator Sullivan and Representative Bonamici’s leadership on implementing comprehensive solutions, including increasing the international collaboration and engagement that is necessary to address the rising issue of marine debris.
If you have questions, please contact MRAA Government Relations Manager, Adam Fortier-Brown.