President Donald Trump added his signature to the â€œSave Our Seas Actâ€ on Thursday, green-lighting an initiative to clean up eight million tons of debris from the planetâ€™s oceans.
â€œAs president I will continue to do everything I can to stop other nations from making our oceans into their landfills. Thatâ€™s why Iâ€™m pleased â€“ very pleased, I must say â€“ to put my signature on this important legislation,â€ Trump said asÂ he signedÂ the Save Our Seas Act into law at the Oval Office.
Sponsored by Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan,Â the billÂ aims to promote better domestic and international efforts at cleaning up garbage that is littered throughout the oceans. The new law will extend the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationâ€™s Marine Debris Program for another five years, and promote cohesion among different federal agencies on how to reduce marine debris.
The bill has received widespread bi-partisan support among lawmakers, with it passing both the House and Senate unanimously.
â€œEvery 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, that includes many, many countries,â€ the president explained. â€œThis waste, trash and debris harms not only marine life, but also fisherman, coastal economies along Americaâ€™s vast stretches. The bad news is it floats toward us.â€Â (RELATED: Jerry Brown Signs Ban On Drift Gillnets, Likely Increasing Stateâ€™s Dependence On Imported Fish)
The issue of marine debris has become an increasing problem on the international stage. National GeographicÂ reported in 2015Â that 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic is in the worldâ€™s waters, with 269,000 tons of it floating on the surface and around four billion plastic microfibers per square kilometer sitting deeper in the ocean.
Trump stated that previous administrationsÂ â€œdid absolutely nothingâ€ to address the problem of foreign governments dumping their waste into the ocean and it landing on American shores â€” leaving it up to the U.S. to clean up and pay. The president went on to say that the White House has notified other governments â€œvery stronglyâ€ of the changes to come.
Follow Jason onÂ Twitter.
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contactÂ [email protected].