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Moving Marine Debris Legislation Forward

Project AWARE News

The problem of ocean trash is growing by the day. But Project AWARE and dive volunteers around the world are putting these issues under the microscope and focusing on solutions – locally and globally. 

On behalf of thousands of professional and recreational scuba divers, Project AWARE wrote to the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation in support of the Marine Debris Act Reauthorization Amendments of 2011, H.R. 1171. In the letter, we’ve given an underwater, global perspective to this global issue and pointed to the importance of acting now in supporting comprehensive debris solutions. We look forward to working with you and partner organizations in supporting this and similar policy efforts at national, regional and global levels essential to solving the marine debris problem. 

The original Marine Debris Research, Prevention and Reduction Act established important programs within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the U.S. Coast Guard to help assess, determine and prevent the impacts of marine debris. 

Marine debris is a global problem. The U.S. Coast Guard enforces international and US regulations on trash disposal at sea, among other prevention and education campaigns. And NOAA is instrumental in facilitating research, education and prevention efforts, bringing together the world’s leading experts for international conferences, and securing commitments toward an international framework for action. 

If passed, the Act will reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Research, Prevention and Reduction Act, and further critical marine debris assessment, prevention and reduction frameworks. It will also support national and regional coordination as well as international cooperation to prevent trash from entering the ocean. 

Stay tuned for more and in the meantime, visit our Dive Against Debris page to discover what divers are doing to prevent marine debris – one dive at a time.

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