Save Sea Turtles from Marine Debris

Within a couple days of each other, two critically endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles washed up on the Texas coast.

  • The first Kemp's ridley was found entangled by line and an entire trash can. If it hadn't been for beach goers who knew to call for sea turtle rescue, and the expedient efforts of the Galveston Island Beach Patrol and NOAA she would have drowned in the surf.
  • The second Kemp’s ridley, was found entangled in balloon strings and rope by one of our sea turtle nest patrol responders who immediately contacted NOAA.

Take action now to help prevent these tragedies!

Will you send a letter to your representatives asking them to support S. 756? S. 756 would reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Act to promote international action to reduce marine debris.

Both sea turtles are recovering at NOAA Fisheries Service Sea Turtle Facility in Galveston, Texas, but it could take them up to a year of rehabilitation before they are able to be released back into their habitat.

 

According to NOAA, for every sea turtle they find stranded from entanglement, there are hundreds more that drown offshore and don’t wash in with the tide. Sea turtles aren’t the only ocean animals affected by marine debris. According to a study from Plymouth University, plastic pollution affects at least 700 marine species, while some estimates suggest that at least 100 million marine mammals are killed each year from plastic pollution.

 

The amount of plastic in the ocean is set to triple in a decade, a major report has warned.

We have an opportunity right now to protect sea turtles and our oceans from plastic pollution and marine debris.

About the Save Our Seas Act of 2017 or the SOS Act of 2017

(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Marine Debris Act to revise the Marine Debris Program to require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to work with: (1) other agencies to address both land- and sea-based sources of marine debris, and (2) the Department of State and other agencies to promote international action to reduce the incidence of marine debris.

(Sec. 3) The bill also revises the program by allowing NOAA to make sums available for assisting in the cleanup and response required by severe marine debris events.

(Sec. 4) The bill urges the President to:

  • support funding for research and development of bio-based and other alternatives or environmentally feasible improvements to materials that reduce municipal solid waste;
  • work with foreign countries that contribute the most to the global marine debris problem in order to find a solution to the problem;
  • study issues related to marine debris, including the economic impacts of marine debris; and encourage the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative to consider the impact of marine debris in relevant future trade agreements.

(Sec. 5) The Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee must expand to include a senior official from the State Department and from the Department of the Interior.

(Sec. 6) This bill reauthorizes for FY2018-FY2022: (1) the Marine Debris Program, (2) an information clearinghouse on marine debris, and (3) enforcement of laws about discarded marine debris from ships.