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Save Our Seas 2.0 Act Signed into Law

Dec 21, 2020 | Environmental, Government

Photo 107234818 © Bill RoqueDreamstime.com

US Senators Dan Sullivan, Sheldon Whitehouse (Road Island), and Bob Menendez (New Jersey) and Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon) and Don Young welcome the signing of the Save Our Seas (SOS) 2.0 Act, the most comprehensive legislation ever passed by Congress to address the plastic debris crisis threatening coastal ecosystems and communities and harming marine life. 

“After two years of collaboration, hard work and advocacy, I am incredibly excited to announce that the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act is now the law of the land,” says Sullivan.

“SOS 2.0 will improve America’s ability to clean up waste, advance international cooperation with nations responsible for the majority of trash entering the oceans, and explore innovative ways to manage and even reuse plastic waste. This bill will be particularly important for Alaska, a state that disproportionately experiences the impact of ocean debris with our thousands of miles of coastline.”

“This is a great day for our oceans, marine ecosystems, and the countless communities they support. Our state is home to more coastline than any other, and Alaskans know that healthy oceans are essential to our economy and way of life,” says Young. 

“Serving as House Oceans Caucus Co-Chair has allowed me to stand up and fight for Alaska’s waters, and I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish in both the House and Senate. Save Our Seas 2.0 builds on our successes in combating marine debris by bolstering plastics research and providing funding crucial for infrastructure improvements. Countless Alaskan families earn a living on the water; clean oceans are not just an environmental issue, but an economic one as well.”

The Save Our Seas 2.0 Act is composed of three main pieces:

  • 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.
  • Enhancing global engagement to combat marine debris, including formalizing US policy on international cooperation, enhancing federal agency outreach to other countries, and exploring the potential for a new international agreement on the challenge. 
  • Improving domestic infrastructure to prevent marine debris through new grants for and studies of waste management and mitigation.

 

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