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.