We know how frustrating it can be watching Congress fail to get anything done. But some things are moving! Stuff is happening on Capitol Hill! Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, held a hearing regarding operations and efficiencies for the US Coast Guard (USCG). While this may not seem applicable to our work, one topic was H.R. 1171, the Marine Debris Reauthorization Amendments of 2011. There were four people who provided testimony at the hearing: Congressman Sam Farr (CA-17), Vice Admiral John Currier, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support with USCG, Vice Admiral Brian Salerno, Deputy Commandant for Operations, USCG, and Dr. Holly Bamford, Deputy Assistant Administrator, National Ocean Service, part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Bamford especially focused on H.R. 1171. Her testimony discussed the Marine Debris Program at NOAA, and the partnership NOAA and the USCG are trying to establish with one another, in an effort to further identify and prevent marine debris. H.R. 1171 contributes to this project because it demands more education and outreach, and aids in the mission of President Obama’s National Ocean Policy. Dr. Bamford’s testimony can be read here. The testimonies of the other panelists and a link to watch the hearing can be found here.
This hearing is a great example of advocacy for Marine Conservation Institute’s goals of protecting our oceans and trying to rid our waters of debris. As this bill moves forward, we would love your support, so stay tuned to our blog as we keep you posted on the movement of H.R. 1171!