For people like us who care about keeping garbage out of the ocean, last Thursday was a good day. On that day, Congressman Sam Farr passed his Marine Debris bill out of the House Natural Resources and Transportation and Infrastructure Committees, making it ready for a vote from the full House! A companion bill in the Senate, the Trash Free Seas Act, passed the Commerce Committee in late 2011.
House leadership has taken a decidedly anti-ocean stance in recent months, so it’s clear that Congressman Farr worked hard for this important victory. It shows what can happen when you combine the leadership of a great ocean champion with strong grassroots support (the thousands of letters you sent when Congressman Farr introduced the bill definitely buoyed his efforts).
Congressman Farr’s bill will fund NOAA’s important Marine Debris Program through 2016. As ocean garbage has become a bigger threat to ocean health, enhancing that program is critical. Congressman Farr put it best, saying, “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.”
Thanks again for your help on this important legislation!
For the Oceans,
P.S. Help us elect more champions to work alongside dedicated Congressmen like Rep. Farr by donating to Ocean Champions today.