Jaime Herrera Beutler today issued a statement urging U.S. Senate leadership to quickly consider an appropriations bill that includes strong funding for NOAA's Marine Debris Program. In early May, Jaime supported strengthened tsunami debris funding in a bipartisan appropriations bill approved by the U.S. House.
Jaime issued her statement as Southwest Washington's coastal communities are beginning to witness the debris onslaught resulting from the March 2011 Japanese tsunami. She also announced that she will participate in Pacific County beach cleanup efforts on July 5.
"Southwest Washington's coastline is facing serious debris pollution issues caused by last year's Japanese tsunami, and it's critical that cleanup agencies have the tools they need to protect our coasts," said Jaime. "Keeping our waters and beaches clean and safe is vital to protecting our quality of life, our important coastal economy, and our environment. I urge Senate leadership to move swiftly and to follow the bipartisan example set by the House, and pass legislation that provides resources to protect our shore.
"I also commend the residents and community organizations up and down our coastline who are working hard on the front lines to keep our beaches clean, and I look forward to joining them on July 5."
Jaime voted for the bipartisan Commerce, Justice, Science, and related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R. 5326) on May 10, and supported an amendment to strengthen marine debris monitoring and removal funding within the bill. This deficit-neutral amendment increased the bill's funding level by $1.6 million to NOAA's Marine Debris Program that works to map, identify, assess, remove, and prohibit marine debris.