Congressman Rick Nolan

Representing the 8th District of Minnesota
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Nolan’s Plastic Pollution Reduction Amendment – Included in the Save Our Seas Act – Passes House, Raises Awareness and Promotes Great Lakes Land-Based Marine Debris Action Plan

Jul 25, 2018
Press Release

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan’s plastic and micro-plastic reduction amendment was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives today as a part of the Save Our Seas Act. The Save Our Seas Act is designed to modernize and strengthen our Nation’s ability to research and combat marine debris. Nolan’s measure expresses the sense of Congress that there is great need to move ahead with and provide strong funding to tackle the devastating effects plastics and micro-plastics are having on the Great Lakes and the world’s oceans.

Nolan’s amendment was unanimously approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee back in June.

“The fact is, pollution in our waters by plastics and micro-plastics has reached crisis proportion here in America and around the world,” Nolan said.  Just recently, it was reported that a whale had washed up on a shore, and examiners discovered 80 plastic bags in its stomach. That’s heartbreaking. In the Great Lakes alone, there are 10,000 tons of plastic in the water and 80% of the litter on the Great Lakes’ shoreline is made up of plastic,” added Nolan. “The fact is, plastics pollution threatens the survival of our marine animals and plants, causes harm to boating, fishing, and other recreational and tourism activities, and damages our shipping and navigation economy.”

Specifically, Nolan’s amendment:

​- Expresses support by Congress and the American people for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Marine Debris Program - and more specifically, its Great Lakes Land-Based Marine Debris Action Plan.
- Promotes awareness of this vital program and action plan – most especially to the people who live in the Great Lakes region.

The Great Lakes Land-Based Marine Debris Action Plan was created in 2014 to establish a framework for actions to protect the Great Lakes – and its shorelines, people, and wildlife – from the terribly destructive effects of marine debris, including: plastics, micro-plastics, abandoned vessels, and other harmful pollutants.

Since 2014, NOAA has been working on an action plan that includes 53 specific steps that will be completed by 2019 - of which 29 have begun and 17 have been finished.

These actions include comprehensive testing, water and shore cleanup, education and awareness campaigns, public and private engagement, and recommending further actions to ensure that our water in the Great Lakes is clear of debris.

Watch Nolan’s House Transportation Committee remarks from June HERE.