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Tillis Joins Bipartisan Group To Address Marine Debris

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) joined Senators Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Chris Coons (D-DE), Jim Inhofe (R-OK), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Gary Peters (D-MI) to introduce the bipartisan Save our Seas (SOS) Act to help address the marine debris epidemic affecting America’s ocean shorelines and inland waterways, as well as other coasts across the globe.

Intact marine debris from foreign countries travel great distances and pose problems for nations who are not responsible for the mismanagement of the source country’s solid waste.

The Save our Seas (SOS) Act works to address three critical areas:

·Allows the NOAA Administrator to declare severe marine debris events and authorize funds to assist with cleanup and response. The Governor of the affected state may request the NOAA Administrator make this declaration.

·Reauthorizes NOAA’s Marine Debris Program through FY2022. Its mission is to conduct research on the source of marine debris and take action to prevent and clean up marine debris.

·Encourages the Executive Branch – led by the U.S. State Department – to engage with the leaders of nations responsible for the majority of marine debris, examining the causes of ocean debris, effective prevention and mitigation strategies, and the economic benefits for treaty nations in addressing the crisis.

“North Carolina is a state blessed with hundreds of miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and marine debris threatens our coastal communities and small businesses,” said Senator Tillis. “I am thankful to Senators Sullivan and Whitehouse for leading the bipartisan effort to provide the Executive Branch with additional tools to fight this problem.  If we do not give agencies like NOAA the abilities to fulfill their missions, we are wasting taxpayer dollars and missing opportunities to fix solvable issues.”

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