The House Natural Resources Committee and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee both passed Congressman Sam Farr's (D-Carmel) bill to reauthorize the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act yesterday. The bipartisan bill, H.R. 1171, would continue funding for the the existing Marine Debris Program in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which seeks to address the adverse impacts of trash in the ocean.
"The ocean is the world's largest public trust and it is essential to human life," said Congressman Farr. "Yet every year, over 14 billion pounds of trash and debris are added to our oceans. This bill is vital for their long-term health by reauthorizing the Marine Debris Program which is instrumental in solving the problems created by excessive debris in our oceans, such as the Pacific garbage gyre."
"I cannot emphasize enough that ours and future generations will increasingly depend on healthy oceans -- for ecological, economic, educational, scientific, social, cultural and recreational benefits, as well as for the food we eat. So it is fitting that as we celebrate National Oceans Month, my bill continues to advance in Congress and brings us one step closer to healthier, debris free oceans."
The bill would fund the Marine Debris Program through fiscal year 2016. A companion bill is also advancing in the Senate.