What They Are Saying: Senator Sullivan’s Save Our Seas Act

WASHINGTON, DC – In conjunction with Capitol Hill Oceans Week (CHOW), U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) today announced the strong support of a number of key stakeholders and advocacy organizations for the Save Our Seas (SOS) Act, legislation addressing the global marine debris crisis, introduced by Sullivan and Senators Whitehouse (D-RI) and Booker (D-NJ). The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation hosts CHOW, an annual conference “examining current marine, coastal and Great Lakes policy issues.”

Below are stakeholder reactions to Senator Sullivan’s Save Our Seas Act: 

“In today’s political climate, this legislation, supported by both Republicans and Democrats, shows that there is nothing political about better understanding the impacts of marine debris, and doing everything we can to solve this problem.” Nicholas Mallos, director of Ocean Conservancy’s Trash Free Seas Program.

“We strongly support several features in this much needed bill, including the reauthorization of the Marine Debris Act, provisions to further study land-based waste management solutions and causes of marine debris, and increased investment and technical assistance to help expand waste management systems in rapidly industrializing nations.” Cal Dooley, president of the American Chemistry Council.

“This forward-thinking legislation will help the federal government streamline its investments, research, and prevention and response efforts to tackle this growing global problem.” Todd Shelton, vice president of U.S. government relations for the World Wildlife Foundation.

“Alaska's shoreline receives foreign-sourced marine debris…The debris is a threat to wildlife, both in and out of the ocean. It is a scar on beaches, and a huge undertaking to remove. But removal isn't necessary, if it doesn't end up in the ocean to begin with. This bill should be useful from that stance.” Ketchikan Daily News.

“...the fact that this has a rare amount of bipartisan support among unlikely allies, as well as the plastics industry, and asks other countries to take more responsibility for how their actions affect the U.S. may give it a chance.” WasteDive.com.

“Marine debris is not only unsightly, it’s dangerous, as it can harm and even kill marine life including whales, sea turtles and birds. Oceana commends Senators Dan Sullivan and Sheldon Whitehouse for their leadership on the Save Our Seas Act, which will improve our nation’s response to the plastics problem, and encourage international cooperation.” – Jacqueline Savitz, senior vice president for Oceana.

“Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling and our business supporters wholeheartedly endorse Senate Bill 756, the Save Our Seas Act. Save our Seas will help us move forward to address the marine debris problem affecting America’s shorelines. Marine debris is a global problem and Alaska is especially hard hit by debris from the Pacific Rim that is moved by the North Pacific Gyre onto our beaches and wetlands. The cost is substantial particularly in Alaska where shorelines are extensive, extremely high energy (wave, current and wind) and remote. We must act together to protect and clean up this growing problem.” – Mary Fisher, executive director of Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling Board of Directors.

“Unfortunately, every year, between five and 14 million tons of trash enter our oceans. Some studies have estimated that by the year 2025 our oceans will be so polluted that they will consist of one pound of plastic for every three pounds of fish. Thankfully a bipartisan group of senators has introduced a bill, “The Save our Seas Act” (S-756) that will help address the marine debris crisis. As America’s anglers we need to show our support for this bill that will help to keep fishing environments clean.” The National Professional Anglers Association.

“NMMA supports the bill, recognizing the importance of protecting the nation’s waterways for future generations of marine habitats, boaters and businesses.” National Marine Manufacturers Association.

“Keeping America’s oceans and waterways clean is very important to boaters and anglers, and we encourage the entire industry to send letters in support of this bill to their Congressmen…” Martin Peters, senior manager of government relations for Yamaha Marine Group.

Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Gary Peters (D-MI) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) have also signed on as co-sponsors of the legislation.

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