Bipartisan Save Our Seas Act Becomes Law

October 16, 2018
Bipartisan Save Our Seas Act Becomes Law

President Donald Trump has signed into law the bipartisan Save Our Seas Act of 2018 (S. 3508), a bill introduced by co-chairs of the Senate Oceans Caucus and passed with unanimous support in both chambers.

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President Donald Trump has signed into law the bipartisan Save Our Seas Act of 2018 (S. 3508), a bill introduced by co-chairs of the Senate Oceans Caucus and passed with unanimous support in both chambers.

"The global marine debris problem threatens treasured natural areas, endangers iconic wildlife species, and litters shorelines in Alaska and around the world." - Sen. Sullivan

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Honorary Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus, sponsored S. 756, the Save Our Seas (SOS) Act. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Founding Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus, and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), a former Honorary Co-Chair of the Senate Oceans Caucus, were original co-sponsors. In the House, Oceans Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Don Young (R-AK) and Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) introduced companion legislation prior to House consideration of the Senate bill.

"The prevalence of marine debris on our shores is a chronic issue," said Senator Sullivan. "This bill will serve to strengthen the federal response capabilities to marine debris disasters, combat land based marine debris resources, and encourage interagency coordination in stemming the tide of ocean trash and importantly encourage the Trump administration to pursue international agreements with regard to this challenge."

Senator Whitehouse also said of the bill, "This bipartisan bill represents an important step forward in addressing the marine debris crisis. Senators Sullivan, Booker, Inhofe and I were proud to pass it in the Senate, and I’m thrilled to see it signed at the White House today."

The Save our Seas (SOS) Act, which aims to promote a global response to the marine debris crisis, primarily serves to reauthorize the expired NOAA Marine Debris Program for five years. The bill also encourages the U.S. State Department to engage with foreign leaders of countries in which the problem of marine debris is most severe in order to foster collaborative research into the sources and causes of refuse in order to promulgate an effective prevention strategy.

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