FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) A Senate bill introduced by Senators Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Bob Menendez of New Jersey unanimously passed the U.S. Senate on Thursday.
The ‘Save Our Seas 2.0’ act aims to build on the previous ‘Save our Seas Act’ signed into law by President Trump in 2018.
According to a press release from Sullivan's office, the bill is the most comprehensive marine debris bill ever passed in the Senate. It aims to focus efforts to three fronts. Sen. Sullivan said those are "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".
According to the release the bill is made of three main parts.
1. Strengthening the United States’ domestic marine debris response capability with a Marine Debris Foundation, a genius prize for innovation, and new research to tackle the issue.
2. Enhancing global engagement to combat marine debris, including formalizing U.S. policy on international cooperation, enhancing federal agency outreach to other countries, and exploring the potential for a new international agreement on the challenge.
3. Improving domestic infrastructure to prevent marine debris through new grants for and studies of waste management and mitigation.
The bill will now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.
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