Report text available as:

  • TXT
  • PDF   (PDF provides a complete and accurate display of this text.) Tip ?

112th Congress                                            Rept. 112-584
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
 2d Session                                                      Part 2

======================================================================



 
                  MARINE DEBRIS ACT AMENDMENTS OF 2012

                                _______
                                

 July 17, 2012.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the 
              state of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

  Mr. Mica, from the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 1171]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, to whom 
was referred the bill (H.R. 1171) to reauthorize and amend the 
Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act, having 
considered the same, report favorably thereon with an amendment 
and recommend that the bill as amended do pass.

                                CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
Purpose of the Legislation and Summary...........................     3
Background and Need for the Legislation..........................     3
Hearings.........................................................     4
Legislative History and Committee Consideration..................     4
Committee Votes..................................................     5
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     5
Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate........................     5
Performance Goals and Objectives.................................     7
Advisory of Earmarks.............................................     7
Federal Mandates Statement.......................................     7
Preemption Clarification.........................................     7
Advisory Committee Statement.....................................     7
Applicability to the Legislative Branch..........................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation...................     7
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8
Additional Views.................................................    18

    The amendment is as follows:
  Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Marine Debris Act Amendments of 
2012''.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES.

  Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment is expressed as an amendment to a section or other provision, 
the reference shall be considered to be made to a section or other 
provision of the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act 
(33 U.S.C. 1951 et seq.), as in effect immediately before the enactment 
of this Act.

SEC. 3. SHORT TITLE AMENDMENT.

  Section 1 (33 U.S.C. 1951 note) is amended by striking ``Research, 
Prevention, and Reduction''.

SEC. 4. PURPOSE.

   Section 2 (33 U.S.C. 1951) is amended to read as follows:

``SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

  ``The purpose of this Act is to address the adverse impacts of marine 
debris on the United States economy, the marine environment, and 
navigation safety through identification, determination of sources, 
assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris.''.

SEC. 5. NOAA MARINE DEBRIS PROGRAM.

  (a) Name of Program.--
          (1) In general.--Section 3 (33 U.S.C. 1952) is amended--
                  (A) in the section heading by striking ``prevention 
                and removal''; and
                  (B) in subsection (a)--
                          (i) by striking ``Prevention and Removal 
                        Program to reduce and prevent'' and inserting 
                        ``Program to identify, determine sources of, 
                        assess, prevent, reduce, and remove''; and
                          (ii) by inserting ``the economy of the United 
                        States,'' after ``marine debris on''; and
                          (iii) by inserting a comma after 
                        ``environment''.
          (2) Conforming amendment.--Paragraph (7) of section 7 (33 
        U.S.C. 1956) is amended by striking ``Prevention and Removal''.
  (b) Program Components.--Section 3(b) (33 U.S.C. 1952(b)) is amended 
to read as follows:
  ``(b) Program Components.--The Administrator, acting through the 
Program and subject to the availability of appropriations, shall--
          ``(1) identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, 
        reduce, and remove marine debris, with a focus on marine debris 
        posing a threat to living marine resources and navigation 
        safety;
          ``(2) provide national and regional coordination to assist 
        States, Indian tribes, and regional organizations in 
        identification, determination of sources, assessment, 
        prevention, reduction, and removal of marine debris;
          ``(3) undertake efforts to reduce adverse impacts of lost and 
        discarded fishing gear on living marine resources and 
        navigation safety, including--
                  ``(A) research and development of alternatives to 
                gear posing threats to the marine environment, and 
                methods for marking gear used in specific fisheries to 
                enhance the tracking, recovery, and identification of 
                lost and discarded gear; and
                  ``(B) development of effective nonregulatory measures 
                and incentives to cooperatively reduce the volume of 
                lost and discarded fishing gear and to aid in its 
                recovery; and
          ``(4) undertake outreach and education of the public and 
        other stakeholders on sources of marine debris, threats 
        associated with marine debris, and approaches to identify, 
        determine sources of, assess, prevent, reduce, and remove 
        marine debris and its adverse impacts on the United States 
        economy, the marine environment, and navigational safety, 
        including outreach and education activities through public-
        private initiatives.''.
  (c) Repeal.--Section 2204 of the Marine Plastic Pollution Research 
and Control Act of 1987 and the item relating to that section in the 
table of contents contained in section 2 of the United States-Japan 
Fishery Agreement Approval Act of 1987 (33 U.S.C. 1915) are repealed.
  (d) Grant Criteria and Guidelines.--Section 3(c) (33 U.S.C. 1952(c)) 
is amended--
          (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ``section 2(1)'' and 
        inserting ``section 2'';
          (2) by repealing paragraph (5); and
          (3) by redesignating paragraphs (6) and (7) as paragraphs (5) 
        and (6).

SEC. 6. REPEAL OF OBSOLETE PROVISIONS.

  Section 4 (33 U.S.C. 1953) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``(a) Strategy.--''; and
          (2) by repealing subsections (b) and (c).

SEC. 7. AMENDMENTS TO DEFINITIONS.

  (a) Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee.--
          (1) In general.--Except as provided in subsection (b), 
        section 2203 of the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and 
        Control Act of 1987 (33 U.S.C. 1914) is redesignated and moved 
        to replace and appear as section 5 of the Marine Debris 
        Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act (33 U.S.C. 1954).
          (2) Clerical amendment.--The item relating to section 2203 in 
        the table of contents contained in section 2 of the United 
        States-Japan Fishery Agreement Approval Act of 1987 is 
        repealed.
  (b) Biennial Progress Reports.--Section 5(c)(2) (33 U.S.C. 
1954(c)(2)), as in effect immediately before the enactment of this 
Act--
          (1) is redesignated as subsection (e) of section 5, as 
        redesignated and moved by the amendment made by subsection (a) 
        of this section; and
          (2) is amended--
                  (A) by striking ``Annual progress reports.--'' and 
                all that follows through ``thereafter'' and inserting 
                ``Biennial Progress Reports.--Bienially'';
                  (B) by inserting ``Natural'' before ``Resources'';
                  (C) by redesignating subparagraphs (A) through (E) as 
                paragraphs (1) through (5) of such subsection; and
                  (D) by moving such subsection 2 ems to the left.

SEC. 8. CONFIDENTIALITY OF SUBMITTED INFORMATION.

  Section 6(2) (33 U.S.C. 1955(2)) is amended by striking ``by the 
fishing industry''.

SEC. 9. MARINE DEBRIS DEFINITION.

  Section 7 (33 U.S.C. 1956) is amended--
          (1) by redesignating paragraph (3) as paragraph (9), and 
        moving such paragraph to appear after paragraph (8); and
          (2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:
          ``(3) Marine debris.--The term `marine debris' means any 
        persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and 
        directly or indirectly, and intentionally or unintentionally, 
        disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the 
        Great Lakes.''.

SEC. 10. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  Section 9 (33 U.S.C. 1958) is amended--
          (1) by striking ``are'' and inserting ``is'';
          (2) by striking ``2006 through 2010'' and all that follows 
        through ``(1)'' and inserting ``through fiscal year 2015'';
          (3) in paragraph (1), by striking ``$10,000,000'' and 
        inserting ``$4,900,000''; and
          (4) by striking ``; and'' and all that follows through the 
        end of paragraph (2) and inserting a period.

                 Purpose of the Legislation and Summary

    H.R. 1171, the Marine Debris Act Amendments of 2012, makes 
several improvements to the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, 
and Reduction Act (Public Law 109-449) and authorizes the 
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Marine 
Debris Program at currently appropriated levels through fiscal 
year 2015.

                  Background and Need for Legislation

    The Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act 
(the Act) (Public Law 109-449), was signed into law on December 
22, 2006. The Act authorized $10 million annually through 
fiscal year 2010 for NOAA to implement a program to map, 
identify, and conduct impact assessments of marine debris; 
undertake activities to remove and prevent marine debris; 
conduct public outreach activities to increase awareness of 
problems associated with marine debris; as well as research and 
develop alternatives to fishing gear which can pose threats to 
the marine environment when discarded or lost. The Act also 
authorized $2 million annually through fiscal year 2010 for the 
Coast Guard to carry out enforcement of MARPOL Annex 5, which 
prohibits the at-sea discharge of plastic and trash from 
vessels. Finally, the Act authorized the Coast Guard to take 
action to improve international coordination and set up a 
voluntary program to report locations of marine debris and the 
hazards it may present to navigation.
    Marine Debris is currently defined for the purpose of the 
Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act as ``any 
persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and 
directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, 
disposed of or abandoned into the marine environment or the 
Great Lakes.'' Marine debris poses a threat to the environment 
and to the safety of those transiting our nation's waters. 
Plastic items, ropes, and other objects can ensnare, maim, and 
cause starvation if ingested by wildlife. These items can also 
entangle boat propellers and clog water intakes on vessels and 
at industrial facilities. Larger pieces of marine debris, 
including abandoned vessels, derelict fishing gear, and lost 
cargo containers and their contents, can crush coral and other 
wildlife and pose a threat to safe navigation.
    Marine debris impacts the economy as well. The maritime 
sector suffers lost productivity when marine debris threatens 
safe navigation or causes damage to vessels. Commercial 
fishermen lose millions annually due to derelict fishing gear. 
Marine debris that washes up on our nation's shorelines can 
cause beach closures, which cost local tourist-based economies 
billions annually.
    H.R. 1171 makes several amendments to the Marine Debris 
Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act which will improve 
implementation of NOAA's Marine Debris Program. The bill 
clarifies the purpose of NOAA's Marine Debris Program, improves 
reporting requirements, and makes other technical and 
clarifying changes which will enhance NOAA's ability to combat 
marine debris.

                                Hearings

    On July 16, 2011, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and 
Maritime Transportation held a hearing on ``How to Improve 
Operations and Implement Efficiencies for the United States 
Coast Guard.'' H.R. 1171 was among the topics discussed at the 
hearing.

            Legislative History and Committee Consideration

    On March 17, 2011, Representative Farr introduced H.R. 
1171, the Marine Debris Act Reauthorization Amendments of 2011. 
On June 7, 2012, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure met in open session to consider H.R. 1171, and 
ordered the bill, as amended, reported favorably to the House 
of Representatives by voice vote with a quorum present. 
Amendments were offered by Mr. LoBiondo and Mr. Larsen. Mr. 
LoBiondo offered a substitute amendment that authorized funding 
for NOAA's Marine Debris Program at fiscal year 2012 
appropriated levels through fiscal year 2015 and made other 
technical and clarifying changes to the bill. Mr. Larsen 
offered an amendment to the LoBiondo substitute amendment to 
increase the level of authorized funding to $10 million for 
each fiscal year through fiscal year 2015. The Larsen amendment 
to the amendment failed on voice vote. The LoBiondo substitute 
amendment passed by voice vote.

                            Committee Votes

    Clause 3(b) of rule XIII of the House of Representatives 
requires each committee report to include the total number of 
votes cast for and against on each recorded vote on a motion to 
report and on any amendment offered to the measure or matter, 
and the names of those members voting for and against. During 
consideration of H.R. 1171, no recorded votes were taken. The 
bill, as amended, was reported favorably to the House of 
Representatives by voice vote.

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    Pursuant to clause 3(c)(1) of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure's oversight findings and recommendations are 
reflected in this report.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    In compliance with clause 3(c)(2) of rule XIII of the Rules 
of the House of Representatives, the Committee adopts as its 
own the estimate of new budget authority, entitlement 
authority, or tax expenditures or revenues contained in the 
cost estimate prepared by the Director of the Congressional 
Budget Office pursuant to section 402 of the Congressional 
Budget Act of 1974, included below.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(3) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives and section 
402 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974, the Committee has 
received the following cost estimate for H.R. 1171 from the 
Director of the Congressional Budget Office:
                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                     Washington, DC, June 19, 2012.
Hon. John L. Mica,
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 1171, the Marine 
Debris Act Amendments of 2012.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Jeff LaFave.
            Sincerely,
                                              Douglas W. Elmendorf.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 1171--Marine Debris Act Amendments of 2012

    Summary: H.R. 1171 would reauthorize and amend the Marine 
Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act. The bill would 
authorize the appropriation of $4.9 million annually through 
2015 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(NOAA) to carry out activities to reduce the amount of marine 
debris (such as plastic and lost fishing gear) in oceans and 
coastal areas.
    Assuming appropriation of the authorized amounts, CBO 
estimates that implementing the legislation would cost $15 
million over the 2013-2017 period. Enacting H.R. 1171 would not 
affect direct spending or revenues; therefore, pay-as-you-go 
procedures do not apply.
    H.R. 1171 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 1171 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 300 
(natural resources and environment).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2013     2014     2015     2016     2017   2013-2017
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Authorization Level.....................................        5        5        5        0        0        15
Estimated Outlays.......................................        3        4        5        2        1        15
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
1171 will be enacted before the end of 2012 and that the 
authorized amounts will be appropriated for each fiscal year. 
Estimated outlays are based on historical spending patterns for 
similar NOAA activities.
    H.R. 1171 would authorize the appropriation of $4.9 million 
a year through 2015 for NOAA to carry out the Marine Debris 
Program. In 2011, NOAA spent about $4 million to carry out 
activities related to the program. Assuming appropriation of 
the authorized amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost about $15 million over the 2013-2017 
period.
    Pay-As-You-Go considerations: None.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 1171 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA and would impose no costs on state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Previous CBO estimates: On November 21, 2011, CBO 
transmitted a cost estimate for S. 1119, the Trash Free Seas 
Act of 2011, as ordered reported by the Senate Committee on 
Commerce, Science, and Transportation on November 2, 2011. S. 
1119 would authorize the appropriation of $12 million a year 
over the 2012-2016 period for NOAA and the U.S. Coast Guard to 
carry out activities related to the Marine Debris Program. H.R. 
1171 would authorize the appropriation of $4.9 million a year 
through 2015 for NOAA to carry out activities related to that 
program. The CBO cost estimates for the two bills reflect those 
differences.
    On June 19, 2012, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for H.R. 
1171 as ordered reported by the House Committee on Natural 
Resources on June 7, 2012. The two versions of H.R. 1171 are 
similar and the CBO cost estimates are the same.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal costs: Jeff LaFave; Impact on 
state, local, and tribal governments: Melissa Merrell; Impact 
on the private sector: Amy Petz.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                    Performance Goals and Objectives

    With respect to the requirement of clause 3(c)(4) of rule 
XIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, the 
performance goals and objectives of this legislation are to 
address the adverse impacts of marine debris on the United 
States economy, the marine environment, and navigation safety.

                          Advisory of Earmarks

    In compliance with clause 9 of rule XXI of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, H.R. 1171 does not contain any 
congressional earmarks, limited tax benefits, or limited tariff 
benefits as defined in clause 9(e), 9(f), or 9(g) of rule XXI.

                       Federal Mandates Statement

    The Committee adopts as its own the estimate of Federal 
mandates prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office pursuant to section 423 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform 
Act (Public Law 104-4).

                        Preemption Clarification

    Section 423 of the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 
requires the report of any Committee on a bill or joint 
resolution to include a statement on the extent to which the 
bill or joint resolution is intended to preempt state, local, 
or tribal law. The Committee states that H.R. 1171 does not 
preempt any state, local, or tribal law.

                      Advisory Committee Statement

    No advisory committee within the meaning of section 5(b) of 
the Federal Advisory Committee Act was created by this 
legislation.

                Applicability to the Legislative Branch

    The Committee finds that the legislation does not relate to 
the terms and conditions of employment or access to public 
services or accommodations within the meaning of section 
102(b)(3) of the Congressional Accountability Act (Public Law 
104-1).

             Section-by-Section Analysis of the Legislation


Section 1. Short title

    ``Marine Debris Act of 2012''.

Section 2. References

    Section 2 clarifies that all amendments included in the 
bill are intended to amend the Marine Debris Research, 
Prevention, and Reduction Act (Public Law 109-449).

Section 3. Short title amendment

    Section 3 amends the title of the ``Marine Debris Research, 
Prevention, and Reduction Act'' to the ``Marine Debris Act''.

Section 4. Purpose

    Section 4 clarifies the purpose of the ``Marine Debris 
Act''.

Section 5. NOAA Marine Debris Program

    Section 5 makes clarifying changes to NOAA's Marine Debris 
Program and repeals a similar program which was created in 
1987, but never received funding.

Section 6. Repeal of obsolete provision

    Section 6 repeals a reporting requirement for the Coast 
Guard regarding the implementation of MARPOL Annex V. The 
report was completed and submitted to Congress.

Section 7. Amendments to definitions

    Section 7 incorporates existing authority for the 
Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (IMDCC) into 
the Marine Debris Act. The section also streamlines reporting 
requirements for the IMDCC.

Section 8. Confidentiality of submitted information

    Section 8 ensures the confidentiality of information 
provided to the Administrator of NOAA for the purposes of 
maintaining the Federal information clearinghouse on marine 
debris. Currently, the assurance of confidentiality applies 
only to data provided by the fishing industry. This provision 
assures confidentiality of all data provided not only by the 
fishing industry, but also by any other industry or trade 
association.

Section 9. Marine debris definition

    Section 9 incorporates the regulatory definition of marine 
debris into law. In 2006, Congress directed NOAA to prepare 
this definition.

Section 10. Authorization of appropriations

    Section 10 authorizes appropriations for NOAA's Marine 
Debris Program at $4.9 million for each fiscal year through 
fiscal year 2015. $4.9 million is the fiscal year 2012 
appropriated level.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3(e) of rule XIII of the Rules of 
the House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by 
the bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law 
proposed to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new 
matter is printed in italic, existing law in which no change is 
proposed is shown in roman):

         MARINE DEBRIS RESEARCH, PREVENTION, AND REDUCTION ACT


SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Marine Debris [Research, 
Prevention, and Reduction] Act''.

[SEC. 2. PURPOSES.

  [The purposes of this Act are--
          [(1) to help identify, determine sources of, assess, 
        reduce, and prevent marine debris and its adverse 
        impacts on the marine environment and navigation 
        safety;
          [(2) to reactivate the Interagency Marine Debris 
        Coordinating Committee; and
          [(3) to develop a Federal marine debris information 
        clearinghouse.]

SEC. 2. PURPOSE.

  The purpose of this Act is to address the adverse impacts of 
marine debris on the United States economy, the marine 
environment, and navigation safety through identification, 
determination of sources, assessment, prevention, reduction, 
and removal of marine debris.

SEC. 3. NOAA MARINE DEBRIS [PREVENTION AND REMOVAL] PROGRAM.

  (a) Establishment of Program.--There is established, within 
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a Marine 
Debris [Prevention and Removal Program to reduce and prevent] 
Program to identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, 
reduce, and remove the occurrence and adverse impacts of marine 
debris on the economy of the United States, the marine 
environment, and navigation safety.
  [(b) Program Components.--The Administrator, acting through 
the Program and subject to the availability of appropriations, 
shall carry out the following activities:
          [(1) Mapping, identification, impact assessment, 
        removal, and prevention.--The Administrator shall, in 
        consultation with relevant Federal agencies, undertake 
        marine debris mapping, identification, impact 
        assessment, prevention, and removal efforts, with a 
        focus on marine debris posing a threat to living marine 
        resources and navigation safety, including--
                  [(A) the establishment of a process, building 
                on existing information sources maintained by 
                Federal agencies such as the Environmental 
                Protection Agency and the Coast Guard, for 
                cataloguing and maintaining an inventory of 
                marine debris and its impacts found in the 
                navigable waters of the United States and the 
                United States exclusive economic zone, 
                including location, material, size, age, and 
                origin, and impacts on habitat, living marine 
                resources, human health, and navigation safety;
                  [(B) measures to identify the origin, 
                location, and projected movement of marine 
                debris within United States navigable waters, 
                the United States exclusive economic zone, and 
                the high seas, including the use of 
                oceanographic, atmospheric, satellite, and 
                remote sensing data; and
                  [(C) development and implementation of 
                strategies, methods, priorities, and a plan for 
                preventing and removing marine debris from 
                United States navigable waters and within the 
                United States exclusive economic zone, 
                including development of local or regional 
                protocols for removal of derelict fishing gear 
                and other marine debris.
          [(2) Reducing and preventing loss of gear.--The 
        Administrator shall improve efforts to reduce adverse 
        impacts of lost and discarded fishing gear on living 
        marine resources and navigation safety, including--
                  [(A) research and development of alternatives 
                to gear posing threats to the marine 
                environment, and methods for marking gear used 
                in specific fisheries to enhance the tracking, 
                recovery, and identification of lost and 
                discarded gear; and
                  [(B) development of effective nonregulatory 
                measures and incentives to cooperatively reduce 
                the volume of lost and discarded fishing gear 
                and to aid in its recovery.
          [(3) Outreach.--The Administrator shall undertake 
        outreach and education of the public and other 
        stakeholders, such as the fishing industry, fishing 
        gear manufacturers, and other marine-dependent 
        industries, and the plastic and waste management 
        industries, on sources of marine debris, threats 
        associated with marine debris and approaches to 
        identify, determine sources of, assess, reduce, and 
        prevent marine debris and its adverse impacts on the 
        marine environment and navigational safety, including 
        outreach and education activities through public-
        private initiatives. The Administrator shall coordinate 
        outreach and education activities under this paragraph 
        with any outreach programs conducted under section 2204 
        of the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control 
        Act of 1987 (33 U.S.C. 1915).]
  (b) Program Components.--The Administrator, acting through 
the Program and subject to the availability of appropriations, 
shall--
          (1) identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, 
        reduce, and remove marine debris, with a focus on 
        marine debris posing a threat to living marine 
        resources and navigation safety;
          (2) provide national and regional coordination to 
        assist States, Indian tribes, and regional 
        organizations in identification, determination of 
        sources, assessment, prevention, reduction, and removal 
        of marine debris;
          (3) undertake efforts to reduce adverse impacts of 
        lost and discarded fishing gear on living marine 
        resources and navigation safety, including--
                  (A) research and development of alternatives 
                to gear posing threats to the marine 
                environment, and methods for marking gear used 
                in specific fisheries to enhance the tracking, 
                recovery, and identification of lost and 
                discarded gear; and
                  (B) development of effective nonregulatory 
                measures and incentives to cooperatively reduce 
                the volume of lost and discarded fishing gear 
                and to aid in its recovery; and
          (4) undertake outreach and education of the public 
        and other stakeholders on sources of marine debris, 
        threats associated with marine debris, and approaches 
        to identify, determine sources of, assess, prevent, 
        reduce, and remove marine debris and its adverse 
        impacts on the United States economy, the marine 
        environment, and navigational safety, including 
        outreach and education activities through public-
        private initiatives.
  (c) Grants, Cooperative Agreements, and Contracts.--
          (1) In general.--The Administrator, acting through 
        the Program, shall enter into cooperative agreements 
        and contracts and provide financial assistance in the 
        form of grants for projects to accomplish the purpose 
        set forth in [section 2(1)] section 2.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(5) Grant criteria and guidelines.--Within 180 days 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 
        Administrator shall promulgate necessary guidelines for 
        implementation of the grant program, including 
        development of criteria and priorities for grants. In 
        developing those guidelines, the Administrator shall 
        consult with--
                  [(A) the Interagency Committee;
                  [(B) regional fishery management councils 
                established under the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery 
                Conservation and Management Act (16 U.S.C. 1801 
                et seq.);
                  [(C) State, regional, and local governmental 
                entities with marine debris experience;
                  [(D) marine-dependent industries; and
                  [(E) nongovernmental organizations involved 
                in marine debris research, prevention, or 
                removal activities.]
          [(6)] (5) Project review and approval.--The 
        Administrator shall--
                  (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(7)] (6) Project reporting.--Each grantee under this 
        section shall provide periodic reports as required by 
        the Administrator. Each report shall include all 
        information required by the Administrator for 
        evaluating the progress and success in meeting its 
        stated goals, and impact of the grant activities on the 
        marine debris problem.

SEC. 4. COAST GUARD PROGRAM.

  [(a) Strategy.--]The Commandant of the Coast Guard, in 
consultation with the Interagency Committee, shall--
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(b) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of 
enactment of this Act, the Commandant of the Coast Guard shall 
submit to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives a report evaluating the Coast Guard's progress 
in implementing subsection (a).
  [(c) External Evaluation and Recommendations on Annex V.--
          [(1) In general.--The Commandant of the Coast Guard 
        shall enter into an arrangement with the National 
        Research Council under which the National Research 
        Council shall submit, by not later than 18 months after 
        the date of the enactment of this Act and in 
        consultation with the Commandant and the Interagency 
        Committee, to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
        Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on 
        Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
        Representatives a comprehensive report on the 
        effectiveness of international and national measures to 
        prevent and reduce marine debris and its impact.
          [(2) Contents.--The report required under paragraph 
        (1) shall include--
                  [(A) an evaluation of international and 
                domestic implementation of MARPOL Annex V and 
                the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 
                U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) and recommendations of 
                cost-effective actions to improve 
                implementation and compliance with such 
                measures to reduce impacts of marine debris;
                  [(B) recommendation of additional Federal or 
                international actions, including changes to 
                international and domestic law or regulations, 
                needed to further reduce the impacts of marine 
                debris; and
                  [(C) evaluation of the role of floating fish 
                aggregation devices in the generation of marine 
                debris and existing legal mechanisms to reduce 
                impacts of such debris, focusing on impacts in 
                the Western Pacific and Central Pacific 
                regions.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[SEC. 5. INTERAGENCY COORDINATION.

  [(a) Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee.--
Section 2203 of the Marine Plastic Pollution Research and 
Control Act of 1987 (33 U.S.C. 1914) is amended--
          [(1) by striking subsection (a) and inserting the 
        following:
  [``(a) Establishment of Interagency Marine Debris 
Coordinating Committee.--There is established an Interagency 
Marine Debris Coordinating Committee to coordinate a 
comprehensive program of marine debris research and activities 
among Federal agencies, in cooperation and coordination with 
non-governmental organizations, industry, universities, and 
research institutions, States, Indian tribes, and other 
nations, as appropriate.''; and
          [(2) in subsection (c), by inserting ``public, 
        interagency'' before ``forum''.
  [(b) Definition of Marine Debris.--The Administrator and the 
Commandant of the Coast Guard, in consultation with the 
Interagency Committee established under subsection (a), shall 
jointly develop and promulgate through regulations a definition 
of the term ``marine debris'' for purposes of this Act.
  [(c) Reports.--
          [(1) Interagency report on marine debris impacts and 
        strategies.--
                  [(A) In general.--Not later than 12 months 
                after the date of the enactment of this Act, 
                the Interagency Committee, through the 
                chairperson, shall complete and submit to the 
                Committee on Commerce, Science, and 
                Transportation of the Senate and the Committee 
                on Transportation and Infrastructure and the 
                Committee on Resources of the House of 
                Representatives a report that--
                          [(i) identifies sources of marine 
                        debris;
                          [(ii) the ecological and economic 
                        impact of marine debris;
                          [(iii) alternatives for reducing, 
                        mitigating, preventing, and controlling 
                        the harmful affects of marine debris;
                          [(iv) the social and economic costs 
                        and benefits of such alternatives; and
                          [(v) recommendations to reduce marine 
                        debris both domestically and 
                        internationally.
                  [(B) Recommendations.--The report shall 
                provide strategies and recommendations on--
                          [(i) establishing priority areas for 
                        action to address leading problems 
                        relating to marine debris;
                          [(ii) developing strategies and 
                        approaches to prevent, reduce, remove, 
                        and dispose of marine debris, including 
                        through private-public partnerships;
                          [(iii) establishing effective and 
                        coordinated education and outreach 
                        activities; and
                          [(iv) ensuring Federal cooperation 
                        with, and assistance to, the coastal 
                        States (as that term is defined in 
                        section 304 of the Coastal Zone 
                        Management Act of 1972 (16 U.S.C. 
                        1453)), Indian tribes, and local 
                        governments in the identification, 
                        determination of sources, prevention, 
                        reduction, management, mitigation, and 
                        control of marine debris and its 
                        adverse impacts.
          [(2) Annual progress reports.--Not later than 3 years 
        after the date of the enactment of this Act, and 
        biennially thereafter, the Interagency Committee, 
        through the chairperson, shall submit to the Committee 
        on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate 
        and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 
        and the Committee on Resources of the House of 
        Representatives a report that evaluates United States 
        and international progress in meeting the purpose of 
        this Act. The report shall include--
                  [(A) the status of implementation of any 
                recommendations and strategies of the 
                Interagency Committee and analysis of their 
                effectiveness;
                  [(B) a summary of the marine debris inventory 
                to be maintained by the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration;
                  [(C) a review of the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration program authorized 
                by section 3, including projects funded and 
                accomplishments relating to reduction and 
                prevention of marine debris;
                  [(D) a review of Coast Guard programs and 
                accomplishments relating to marine debris 
                removal, including enforcement and compliance 
                with MARPOL requirements; and
                  [(E) estimated Federal and non-Federal 
                funding provided for marine debris and 
                recommendations for priority funding needs.]

SEC. 5. COORDINATION.

  (a) Establishment of Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating 
Committee.--There is established an Interagency Marine Debris 
Coordinating Committee to coordinate a comprehensive program of 
marine debris research and activities among Federal agencies, 
in cooperation and coordination with non-governmental 
organizations, industry, universities, and research 
institutions, States, Indian tribes, and other nations, as 
appropriate.
  (b) Membership.--The Committee shall include a senior 
official from--
          (1) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration, who shall serve as the Chairperson of 
        the Committee;
          (2) the Environmental Protection Agency;
          (3) the United States Coast Guard;
          (4) the United States Navy; and
          (5) such other Federal agencies that have an interest 
        in ocean issues or water pollution prevention and 
        control as the Secretary of Commerce determines 
        appropriate.
  (c) Meetings.--The Committee shall meet at least twice a year 
to provide a public, interagency forum to ensure the 
coordination of national and international research, 
monitoring, education, and regulatory actions addressing the 
persistent marine debris problem.
  (d) Monitoring.--The Secretary of Commerce, acting through 
the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, in cooperation with the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, shall utilize the marine 
debris data derived under title V of the Marine Protection, 
Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.) 
to assist--
          (1) the Committee in ensuring coordination of 
        research, monitoring, education and regulatory actions; 
        and
          (2) the United States Coast Guard in assessing the 
        effectiveness of this Act and the Act to Prevent 
        Pollution from Ships in ensuring compliance under 
        section 2201.
  [(2) Annual progress reports.--Not later than 3 years after 
the date of the enactment of this Act, and biennially 
thereafter] (e) Biennial Progress Reports.--Bienially, the 
Interagency Committee, through the chairperson, shall submit to 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the 
Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 
and the Committee on Natural Resources of the House of 
Representatives a report that evaluates United States and 
international progress in meeting the purpose of this Act. The 
report shall include--
          [(A)] (1) the status of implementation of any 
        recommendations and strategies of the Interagency 
        Committee and analysis of their effectiveness;
          [(B)] (2) a summary of the marine debris inventory to 
        be maintained by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration;
          [(C)] (3) a review of the National Oceanic and 
        Atmospheric Administration program authorized by 
        section 3, including projects funded and 
        accomplishments relating to reduction and prevention of 
        marine debris;
          [(D)]  (4) a review of Coast Guard programs and 
        accomplishments relating to marine debris removal, 
        including enforcement and compliance with MARPOL 
        requirements; and
          [(E)] (5) estimated Federal and non-Federal funding 
        provided for marine debris and recommendations for 
        priority funding needs.

SEC. 6. FEDERAL INFORMATION CLEARINGHOUSE.

  The Administrator, in coordination with the Interagency 
Committee, shall--
          (1) * * *
          (2) take the necessary steps to ensure the 
        confidentiality of such information (especially 
        proprietary information), for any information required 
        by the Administrator to be submitted [by the fishing 
        industry] under this section.

SEC. 7. DEFINITIONS.

  In this Act:
          (1) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (3) Marine debris.--The term ``marine debris'' means 
        any persistent solid material that is manufactured or 
        processed and directly or indirectly, and intentionally 
        or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into the 
        marine environment or the Great Lakes.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (7) Program.--The term ``Program'' means the Marine 
        Debris [Prevention and Removal] Program established 
        under section 3.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          [(3)] (9) United states exclusive economic zone.--The 
        term ``United States exclusive economic zone'' means 
        the zone established by Presidential Proclamation 
        Numbered 5030, dated March 10, 1983, including the 
        ocean waters of the areas referred to as ``eastern 
        special areas'' in article 3(1) of the Agreement 
        between the United States of America and the Union of 
        Soviet Socialist Republics on the Maritime Boundary, 
        signed June 1, 1990.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

  There [are] is authorized to be appropriated for each fiscal 
year [2006 through 2010--]
          [(1)] through fiscal year 2015 to the Administrator 
        for carrying out sections 3 and 6, [$10,000,000] 
        $4,900,000, of which no more than 10 percent may be for 
        administrative costs[; and
          [(2) to the Secretary of the Department in which the 
        Coast Guard is operating, for the use of the Commandant 
        of the Coast Guard in carrying out section 4, 
        $2,000,000, of which no more than 10 percent may be 
        used for administrative costs.].
                              ----------                              


   UNITED STATES-JAPAN FISHERY AGREEMENT APPROVAL ACT OF 1987MARINE 
PLASTIC POLLUTION RESEARCH AND CONTROL ACT OF 1987

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


SEC. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS.

  The contents of this Act are as follows:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            TITLE II--PLASTIC POLLUTION RESEARCH AND CONTROL

                     Subtitle B--Studies and Report

     * * * * * * *
[Sec. 2203. Effects of plastic materials on the marine environment.
[Sec. 2204. Plastic pollution public education program.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


            TITLE II--PLASTIC POLLUTION RESEARCH AND CONTROL

SEC. 2001. SHORT TITLE.

  This title may be cited as the ``Marine Plastic Pollution 
Research and Control Act of 1987''.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


[SEC. 2203. COORDINATION.

  [(a) Establishment of Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating 
Committee.--There is established an Interagency Marine Debris 
Coordinating Committee to coordinate a comprehensive program of 
marine debris research and activities among Federal agencies, 
in cooperation and coordination with non-governmental 
organizations, industry, universities, and research 
institutions, States, Indian tribes, and other nations, as 
appropriate.
  [(b) Membership.--The Committee shall include a senior 
official from--
          [(1) the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration, who shall serve as the Chairperson of 
        the Committee;
          [(2) the Environmental Protection Agency;
          [(3) the United States Coast Guard;
          [(4) the United States Navy; and
          [(5) such other Federal agencies that have an 
        interest in ocean issues or water pollution prevention 
        and control as the Secretary of Commerce determines 
        appropriate.
  [(c) Meetings.--The Committee shall meet at least twice a 
year to provide a public, interagency forum to ensure the 
coordination of national and international research, 
monitoring, education, and regulatory actions addressing the 
persistent marine debris problem.
  [(d) Monitoring.--The Secretary of Commerce, acting through 
the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration, in cooperation with the Administrator of the 
Environmental Protection Agency, shall utilize the marine 
debris data derived under title V of the Marine Protection, 
Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1972 (33 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.) 
to assist--
          [(1) the Committee in ensuring coordination of 
        research, monitoring, education and regulatory actions; 
        and
          [(2) the United States Coast Guard in assessing the 
        effectiveness of this Act and the Act to Prevent 
        Pollution from Ships in ensuring compliance under 
        section 2201.

[SEC. 2204. PLASTIC POLLUTION PUBLIC EDUCATION PROGRAM.

  [(a) Outreach Program.--
          [(1) In general.--Not later than April 1, 1988, the 
        Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
        Administration and the Administrator of the 
        Environmental Protection Agency, in consultation with 
        the Secretary of Transportation, shall jointly commence 
        and thereafter conduct a public outreach program to 
        educate the public (including recreational boaters, 
        fishermen, and other users of the marine environment) 
        regarding--
                  [(A) the harmful effects of plastic 
                pollution;
                  [(B) the need to reduce such pollution;
                  [(C) the need to recycle plastic materials;
                  [(D) the need to reduce the quantity of 
                plastic debris in the marine environment; and
          [(E) the requirements under this Act and the Act to 
        Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et seq.) 
        with respect to ships and ports, and the authority of 
        citizens to report violations of this Act and the Act 
        to Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et 
        seq.).
          [(2) Authorized activities.--
                  [(A) Public outreach program.--A public 
                outreach program under paragraph (1) may 
                include--
                          [(i) developing and implementing a 
                        voluntary boaters' pledge program;
                          [(ii) workshops with interested 
                        groups;
                          [(iii) public service announcements;
                          [(iv) distribution of leaflets and 
                        posters; and
                          [(v) any other means appropriate to 
                        educating the public.
                  [(B) Grants and cooperative agreements.--To 
                carry out this section, the Secretary of the 
                department in which the Coast Guard is 
                operating, the Secretary of Commerce, and the 
                Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
                Agency are authorized to award grants, enter 
                into cooperative agreements with appropriate 
                officials of other Federal agencies and 
                agencies of States and political subdivisions 
                of States and with public and private entities, 
                and provide other financial assistance to 
                eligible recipients.
                  [(C) Consultation.--In developing outreach 
                initiatives for groups that are subject to the 
                requirements of this title and the Act to 
                Prevent Pollution from Ships (33 U.S.C. 1901 et 
                seq.), the Secretary of the department in which 
                the Coast Guard is operating, in consultation 
                with the Secretary of Commerce, acting through 
                the Administrator of the National Oceanic and 
                Atmospheric Administration, and the 
                Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
                Agency, shall consult with--
                          [(i) the heads of State agencies 
                        responsible for implementing State 
                        boating laws; and
                          [(ii) the heads of other enforcement 
                        agencies that regulate boaters or 
                        commercial fishermen.
  [(b) Citizen Pollution Patrols.--The Secretary of Commerce, 
along with the Administrator of the Environmental Protection 
Agency and the Secretary of the Department in which the Coast 
Guard is operating, shall conduct a program to encourage the 
formation of volunteer groups, to be designated as ``Citizen 
Pollution Patrols'', to assist in monitoring, reporting, 
cleanup, and prevention of ocean and shoreline pollution.]

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

    Marine debris, defined as any persistent solid material 
that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, 
intentionally or unintentionally, disposed of or abandoned into 
the marine environment or the Great Lakes, is an environmental 
threat that is at once both ubiquitous in distribution yet 
nebulous to the average citizen. This characterization can be 
attributed to two simple factors. First, although no 
comprehensive abundance assessment has been compiled, marine 
debris can be found across every ocean and coastal region 
worldwide. Second, because marine debris is widely dispersed, 
impacts are felt locally and often escape the attention of 
national or even regional media attention. As such, overall 
public awareness of marine debris regarding its origins and 
sources, economic and environmental impacts, and costs to 
society remains poorly understood among the U.S. general 
public.
    From this perspective a person might begin to understand 
the motives of the Republican majority who supported ill-
advised language included in the manager's amendment to H.R. 
1171 to cut in one-half the authorized annual funding level to 
support the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 
Marine Debris Program to just $4.9 million. When Congress 
passed the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction 
Act in 2006 (the Act), our comprehension of the scope, costs, 
and impacts of marine debris was nascent. The authorized 
funding level of $10 million was viewed as an appropriate 
amount to stand up a new program and to build a firm foundation 
to evaluate future needs to address the threat. There was no 
debate that this funding level was a prudent first step.
    Today, we have a much better understanding of marine 
debris, its sources, persistence in the environment, and 
negative impacts on wildlife and habitat, and the challenges 
and costs in preventing its introduction to and subsequent 
removal from the marine environment. Cumulatively, marine 
debris adds up to a far greater challenge, affecting far more 
communities, and costing much more to address than estimated 
six years earlier. All of this information invalidates the 
Republican majority's view that less funding should be 
authorized; to the contrary, a compelling case can be made that 
the existing authorized funding level is itself woefully 
insufficient and only affirms that the Committee acted 
imprudently to cut authorized funding levels.
    First, we have learned that marine debris is a much larger 
and growing problem than first thought. Since 2006, as required 
under the Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration (NOAA), the Coast Guard, other Federal agencies, 
and a wide range of domestic and international, government and 
non-governmental partners have monitored, researched, and 
tracked marine debris. Our knowledge and comprehension of the 
scope of this threat has thus dramatically improved. A report 
released in December 2011 by the Scientific and Technical 
Advisory Panel to the U.N. Global Environment Facility affirms 
that ``marine habitats worldwide are contaminated with man-made 
debris'' and notes that ``emerging data on potential impacts 
and fate of marine debris makes a strong case for considering 
marine debris as a global environment problem.'' These 
statements reflect the near unanimous consensus among marine 
scientists. Moreover, we also know that we will assuredly 
encounter far more, not far less, marine debris in the 
foreseeable future. In fact, NOAA models predict that marine 
debris 7 emanating from the 2011 Japanese tsunami--a volume 
estimated by the Government of Japan to be 1.5 million tons--
will be washing up along the U.S. Pacific Coast for several 
years.
    Second, we have learned that marine debris is very costly, 
both for the economy and environment. Impact data gathered in 
the U.S. and abroad indicate that fishing, transportation, and 
tourism sectors, as well as governments and local communities, 
suffer from negative economic and financial impacts of marine 
debris. Marine debris is unsightly and unwelcoming to 
beachgoers, which can result in lost tourism revenue. This 
impact has led Los Angeles County to spend $18 million annually 
on debris removal, prevention, and education efforts. Overseas, 
the Netherlands and Belgium spend approximately $13.65 million 
per year to remove beach litter, roughly one-half of the $23.6 
million spent annually in Great Britain. Marine debris is also 
a significant ongoing navigational hazard for shipping, as 
reflected in the increasing number of Coast Guard rescues to 
vessels with fouled propellers or plugged water intakes. More 
locally in Washington State, total annual loss of Dungeness 
crab due to derelict fishing gear in Puget Sound has been 
estimated at $1.2 million which represents 30 to 40 percent of 
the annual commercial catch. NOAA also reports that derelict 
gill nets removed from Puget Sound between 2004 and 2007 were 
estimated to have killed commercial and recreational species 
valued at approximately $1.06 million. These examples, while 
just snapshots, clearly frame the economic and environmental 
impacts caused by marine debris.
    Third, we have learned that marine debris is very expensive 
to clean up. The Northwest Straits Marine Conservation 
Initiative in Washington State used a 2009 Federal grant of 
$4.6 million to remove 2,493 derelict gill nets from Puget 
Sound, at a cost of $1,845 per net. The Ocean Conservancy 
reports that the average cost to clean up a ton of marine 
debris washed up on a mainland beach ranges from $1,666 to 
$2,500 per ton. In addition, the National Fish and Wildlife 
Foundation reports that, since 2008, the Fishing for Energy 
Program a waste to energy partnership--has disposed of more 
than 700 tons of obsolete or derelict gear from high impact 
port areas nationwide. This volume equates to removal costs 
between $11.7 and $17.5 million for debris removed by this one 
initiative alone. In remote areas, debris removal costs can 
escalate dramatically. In testimony before a Senate 
subcommittee earlier this year, a NOAA witness relayed that it 
cost NOAA $1.2 million to remove just one 30-foot derelict 
sailboat run aground on Kure Atoll within the Northwest 
Hawaiian Islands. Furthermore, Gulf of Alaska Keeper, a public, 
non-profit organization that coordinates marine debris removal 
projects in Alaska, has recommended Congress appropriate no 
less than $50 million to assist Alaskan communities dealing 
with the removal of Japanese tsunami debris. California, 
Oregon, Washington and Hawaii are presently developing their 
own plans and funding requests to deal with this debris that 
will continue to be a persistent threat for years to come.
    In closing, all factors affirm that marine debris is a 
global problem with costly impacts that are expensive to 
address. More, not fewer, communities and marine dependent 
industries will have to cope with marine debris, especially 
communities located on the Pacific Coast. Yet, contrary to the 
evidence, the Republican majority has chosen to cut funding to 
support the one Federal program devoted exclusively to 
providing invaluable financial and technical assistance to 
local communities to address this threat. We have abdicated our 
responsibility to recommend funding levels that are 
commensurate with the demonstrated need in favor of the 
Republican ideology to cut Federal spending regardless of the 
circumstances. As a result, States and communities will see far 
fewer resources available to remove marine debris and will have 
to endure the brunt of the impact alone. This is unfortunate, 
and should this bill go forward to a conference with the 
Senate, these cuts should be reconsidered.

                                                       Rick Larsen.