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senate Bill S. 3086

Should the Feds Continue Cleaning Up Marine Debris?

Argument in favor

Continuing to remove marine debris is critical to maintaining healthy marine life and preventing damage to ships.

Loraki's Opinion
···
07/04/2016
Unfortunately, somebody's got to do it! Do we just leave it, in hopes that "the other guy" will take care of the problem? Known dumpers should be heavily fined, if they aren't already.
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Alis's Opinion
···
06/29/2016
Ah. It's wasteful to maintain the health of the oceans? Exactly where are you elected idjits thinking of living when the seas are a garbage dump that can no longer sustain life? Some magical place mentioned in Leviticus? It appears this falls into the category of planning for the future good of American citizens--something Congress abhors: what if one citizen in 321 million isn't worthy? OMG. A taker! Never, ever! Destroy the US and the planet so no one who doesn't pass the Bibical smell test benefits from what we loosely call civilization! This is a no brainer. DO IT! For your children even if you hate the idea of a black or brown child benefitting in 20 years.
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Lesia's Opinion
···
07/01/2016
We have to take care of the oceans, duh. Are we fining and searching for significant offenders? Cut back on plastics folks. Let's do our part
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Argument opposed

This bill is a typical example of wasteful government spending on a program that doesn’t solve the root cause of the problem.

Gary's Opinion
···
07/04/2016
Give it some teeth. If ships insist on dumping waste in the ocean, conscript them to help clean up. That would be a good international agreement.
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operaman's Opinion
···
06/28/2016
Wonderful, another government boondoggle in the making. Again it looks like our Government is seeking money for the Marine junk pile Removal Department (MJPRD) under the EPA. Yes, 50,000 new officers sworn and armed-to-the-teeth hunting down the cause of ocean trash. No open water spaces will be safe. And then another 25,000 non-sworn personnel to round up the the trash and dispose of it. Maybe a whole fleet of collection vessels armed with the latest technologies. My actual feeling is that since this trash collects in specific regions of the sea, it should be under another United Nation boondoggle Department. And who knows, some landlocked country like Chad will sue the U.S. in the International Court at The Hague seeking $Billions of taxpayer money. If the U.N. can afford to buy and supply the world males with condoms, then certainly they can pay ocean trash pickup. Obama could manage the Union personnel after he leaves office since he knows how to bankrupt his own country. I've also heard he really, really like to travel. Good grief! Another round of Scotch please. However, I would like to know about "continue cleaning up." Money was allocated so let's hear the results before we dole out more cash. Personally, why won't some other country support the US? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is why. M
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Chris's Opinion
···
07/10/2016
I agree that we should clean up our oceans but we ought to see the result of what we've spent already. Is it working or at least helping? Let's not spend money unwisely. I also think those who messed it up, ought to clean it up. That's what my parents taught me about the messes I make.
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What is Senate Bill S. 3086?

This bill reauthorizes the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act through FY 2021 and makes one major change. That change is that the bill now requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to work with other federal agencies and international groups to remove marine debris rather than working with only the Coast Guard.

The rest of the original bill remains basically unchanged. The bill directed two federal organizations, the NOAA and Coast Guard, to reduce the amount of debris in the ocean (plastic, garbage, etc). It gave the NOAA $10,000,000 to fulfill its duties, and the Coast Guard $2,000,000, and allowed each organization to spend no more than 10 percent of the money on administrative costs.

The NOAA’s duties under the original bill were as follows:

  • Map marine debris, assess its impact, remove the debris, and prevent more from entering the oceans;

  • Reduce the effect of lost and discarded fishing gear on marine life and navigation safety;

  • Educate the public on the sources and impacts of marine debris.

The Coast Guard’s duties under the original bill were as follows:

  • Reduce the number of ships that produce marine debris;

  • Create and implement a plan to improve the management of waste on ships;

  • Improve international cooperation to reduce marine debris;

  • Establish a voluntary reporting program for commercial and non-commercial ships to report on instances where marine debris damages ships or disrupted navigation.

The original bill also created a single location for data about marine debris that researchers and others could use to identify sources of marine debris and more.

Impact

Marine life that is affected by debris; people who dump marine debris; people whose ships are damaged or disrupted by marine debris; NOAA; the Coast Guard.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 3086

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA), who sponsored a previous attempt to reauthorize the Marine Debris Act, argued in a press release that his reauthorization bill would protect coastal communities and marine life:

“every year 14 billion pounds of trash are added to our oceans, endangering aquatic wildlife and threatening coastal communities whose economies rely upon the ocean. This act allows for the continued funding of a program that protects this vital resource and ensures its long-term health.”

Of Note: The Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act expired in 2010. In 2011, Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) introduced a bill in the house to reauthorize the expired bill. Although it passed in the House, it never reached the floor of the Senate for a vote. However, in 2012, Farr managed to attach his reauthorization bill to another bill about the Coast Guard, which passed both chambers of congress and became law.

Marine debris negatively affects both marine life and humans. A report from Columbia University found that marine debris can severely injure marine animals that ingest the debris accidentally, and certain types of marine debris like discarded chemicals or medical waste can hurt fishermen, coastal communities, recreational boaters, and more.



Media:

Summary by: Chris Conrad

(Photo Credit: Flickr user Dan Donaldson)

AKA

Marine Debris Act Amendments of 2016

Official Title

A bill to reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Act to promote international action to reduce marine debris and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate Passed December 10th, 2016
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    IntroducedJune 22nd, 2016

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    Unfortunately, somebody's got to do it! Do we just leave it, in hopes that "the other guy" will take care of the problem? Known dumpers should be heavily fined, if they aren't already.
    Like (9)
    Follow
    Share
    Give it some teeth. If ships insist on dumping waste in the ocean, conscript them to help clean up. That would be a good international agreement.
    Like (10)
    Follow
    Share
    Ah. It's wasteful to maintain the health of the oceans? Exactly where are you elected idjits thinking of living when the seas are a garbage dump that can no longer sustain life? Some magical place mentioned in Leviticus? It appears this falls into the category of planning for the future good of American citizens--something Congress abhors: what if one citizen in 321 million isn't worthy? OMG. A taker! Never, ever! Destroy the US and the planet so no one who doesn't pass the Bibical smell test benefits from what we loosely call civilization! This is a no brainer. DO IT! For your children even if you hate the idea of a black or brown child benefitting in 20 years.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Wonderful, another government boondoggle in the making. Again it looks like our Government is seeking money for the Marine junk pile Removal Department (MJPRD) under the EPA. Yes, 50,000 new officers sworn and armed-to-the-teeth hunting down the cause of ocean trash. No open water spaces will be safe. And then another 25,000 non-sworn personnel to round up the the trash and dispose of it. Maybe a whole fleet of collection vessels armed with the latest technologies. My actual feeling is that since this trash collects in specific regions of the sea, it should be under another United Nation boondoggle Department. And who knows, some landlocked country like Chad will sue the U.S. in the International Court at The Hague seeking $Billions of taxpayer money. If the U.N. can afford to buy and supply the world males with condoms, then certainly they can pay ocean trash pickup. Obama could manage the Union personnel after he leaves office since he knows how to bankrupt his own country. I've also heard he really, really like to travel. Good grief! Another round of Scotch please. However, I would like to know about "continue cleaning up." Money was allocated so let's hear the results before we dole out more cash. Personally, why won't some other country support the US? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is why. M
    Like (4)
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    Protecting and preserving our natural environment is the single most important issue of our time. If our natural habitats are destroyed it will cause unlivable area first for small animals and eventually for us as human beings. Protecting the environment is in our own interest.
    Like (3)
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    We have to take care of the oceans, duh. Are we fining and searching for significant offenders? Cut back on plastics folks. Let's do our part
    Like (3)
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    Using the ocean for a dump was never a good idea in the first place.
    Like (3)
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    Why wouldn't we do this? Our planet is our home and we need to start treating it like that.
    Like (2)
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    Keeping water clean is important, even when the causes ca be eliminated first. If we wait to clean up all the sources, the water and its flora and fauna, may be beyond saving.
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    It's amazing to me that we as humans don't get the idea, if the ocean dies we won't be far behind. We should be responsible for the oceans cleanliness and preservation. Over fishing, trash from shipping,pollution from river run off, and not to be left out, OIL SPILLS. To politicians who believe in deregulation and government intervention! If you can't see this need to fund, you should just go to gulf region and ask if those people what they think. Pretty sure they'd tell you to go jump off the capital dome
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    Marine debris poses a hazard to both private boats as well as commercial interest on the high seas. It is good that this bill promotes collaboration between other groups to get the job done
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    Work with any federal agencies, IN AMERICAN waters, fine. Expanding government to take care of other countries' messes is a non-starter! A country $ 19 TRILLION in debt doesn't have the luxury of cleaning up after those who won't clean up after themselves.
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    Opponents are absolutely correct that this does not attack the root of the problem, but we need this as well as a bill attacking the root of the problem. You don't refuse to clean up a mess just because you know it's going to happen again
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    The oceans are a vital resource for all of us on this earth. We must protect it and keep it clean to be used for future generations. In addition, the ocean has value outside of our uses. The marine life that resides in these vast bodies of water are entitled to have clean environments in which to live. We have ruined that for them, and it is our job to fix it.
    Like (1)
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    We support cheap plastic products and that is a majority of marine waste. Plastic bags and bottles should be banned, return the glass bottle and deposit and paper bags. Purchase your own shopping bags and get a discount from the stores by not using paper bags. Yes we created or helped create the marine waste, so we need to fund cleanup.
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    Yes, but we need other country's to help pay. D to do so.
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    I agree that we should clean up our oceans but we ought to see the result of what we've spent already. Is it working or at least helping? Let's not spend money unwisely. I also think those who messed it up, ought to clean it up. That's what my parents taught me about the messes I make.
    Like (1)
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    Duh
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    We should continue cleaning up the earth, period. A threat to the earth is a threat to us all.
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    Please help!
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