WestSide Story

Save our Seas Act

Keegan Oldham, Senior Design Editor

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The “Save Our Seas Act” was passed in the House Sept. 27, 2018. This bill urged President Trump to move funds to begin researching ocean pollution, prevent land based pollution, and clean current marine life pollution. This kind of bill is unlike the Trump administration as it involves a large government program, something frowned upon by republicans. However, the House, Senate, and President Trump have all agreed to move forward with the plans to clean our oceans.

President Trump stated in a government briefing on the matter, “Every year, over 8 million tons of garbage is dumped into our beautiful oceans by many countries of the world. That includes China, that includes Japan, and that includes many, many countries. This waste, trash, and debris harms not only marine life, but also fishermen, coastal economies along America’s vast stretches. The bad news is it floats toward us. I’ve seen pictures recently, and some of you have seen them, where there’s a vast, tremendous, unthinkable amount of garbage is floating right into our coast, in particular along the West Coast,” he said. “And we’re charged with removing it, which is a very unfair situation. It comes from other countries very far away. It takes six months and a year to float over, but it gets here, and it’s a very unfair situation. It’s also unbelievably bad for the oceans.”

The Act will extend the Marine Debris act for an additional 5 years. It will also fund the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration $10 million dollars each year to research causation, prevention, and reduction of the pollution in the ocean. This decision will make a lasting impact on helping reverse the effects of climate change, although not completely resolving it. There is still much work to be done.

President Trump covered quite thoroughly what the bill would do, and although there was some media coverage, almost everyone didn’t know about it. Instead, media coverage focused on the drama within the Senate Judiciary Committee over Judge Kavanaugh. This highlights a huge issue with our media coverage and the American people. Instead of focusing on the major accomplishments of our nation we choose to look at potential problems. Our nation as a whole would accomplish much more if we were to push plans for the future forward, rather than delay them to keep living in the past.

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Save our Seas Act