H. R. 1171
To reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Research, Prevention,
and Reduction Act.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
March 17, 2011
Mr. FARR (for himself, Mr. YOUNG of Alaska, Mr. ROHRABACHER, Ms. BORDALLO,
Mrs. CHRISTENSEN, and Mr. PIERLUISI) introduced the following bill; which
was referred to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and in
addition to the Committee on Natural Resources, for a period to be subsequently
determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions
as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To reauthorize and amend the Marine Debris Research, Prevention,
and Reduction Act.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the `Marine Debris Act Reauthorization Amendments
SEC. 2. PURPOSES.
Section 2 of the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act (33
U.S.C. 1951) is amended to read as follows:
`SEC. 2. PURPOSES.
`The purposes of this Act are--
`(1) to address the adverse impacts of marine debris to the marine environment,
navigation safety, and the economy through investigation and source identification,
assessment, reduction, removal, and prevention;
`(2) to continue the Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee; and
`(3) to develop and maintain the Federal marine debris information clearinghouse.'.
SEC. 3. NOAA MARINE DEBRIS PROGRAM.
Section 3 of the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act (33
U.S.C. 1952) is amended by striking so much as precedes subsection (c) and
inserting the following:
`SEC. 3. NOAA MARINE DEBRIS PROGRAM.
`(a) Establishment of Program- There is established, within the National Oceanic
and Atmospheric Administration, a Marine Debris Program to--
`(1) investigate, identify sources of, assess, reduce, remove, and prevent
the occurrence of marine debris; and
`(2) address, and where practicable prevent, adverse impacts of marine debris
on the marine environment, navigation safety, and the economy.
`(1) INVESTIGATIONS AND ASSESSMENT- The Administrator shall, in consultation
with relevant Federal agencies, undertake marine debris investigation and
assessment efforts, with a focus on marine debris posing a threat to the
marine environment, navigation safety, and the economy, including--
`(A) investigation, analysis, and assessment of derelict fishing gear;
`(B) investigation, analysis, and assessment of plastics, as pertains
to the health of the marine environment;
`(C) the establishment of a process for maintaining an inventory of marine
debris types and their impacts found in the navigable waters of the United
States and the United States exclusive economic zone, including impacts
on the marine environment, navigation safety, and the economy; and
`(D) measures to identify the source, 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.
`(2) PREVENT, REDUCE, AND REMOVE OCCURRENCE AND IMPACTS- The Administrator
shall improve efforts to prevent, reduce, and remove marine debris, including
activities to address the adverse impacts of derelict fishing gear, including--
`(A) working with other Federal agencies to address land-based sources
of marine debris;
`(B) developing fishing gear modifications or alternatives to conventional
fishing gear posing a threat to the marine environment;
`(C) developing effective nonregulatory measures and incentives to cooperatively
reduce the volume of lost and discarded fishing gear and to aid in its
`(D) developing and implementing strategies, methods, priorities, and
a plan for preventing and removing marine debris in or likely to enter
United States navigable waters or the United States exclusive economic
zone, including development of local or regional protocols for removal
of derelict fishing gear and other marine debris.
`(3) NATIONAL AND REGIONAL COORDINATION- The Administrator shall undertake
national and regional coordination to assist States, Indian tribes, and
regional organizations to address marine debris issues that are particular
to their areas, including--
`(A) facilitating information exchange within and among States and Indian
tribes on issues relating to marine debris investigation and assessment,
prevention, reduction, and removal activities; and
`(B) serving as an expert resource to State, tribal, and local governments,
nongovernment organizations, fishing communities, industry, and other
entities with an interest in marine debris.
`(4) DEVELOPMENT OF TOOLS AND PRODUCTS- The Administrator shall develop
tools and products to improve efforts to address marine debris, and make
these available to researchers, the marine debris community, and the general
public. The tools and products may include--
`(B) protocols for monitoring marine debris;
`(5) INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION- The Administrator, acting through the Marine
Debris Program, may lead the development and implementation of a strategy,
in coordination with other relevant programs, that may be pursued by the
United States with other nations and in appropriate international and regional
forums, to promote international action to reduce the incidence of marine
`(A) the adoption of effective marine debris prevention and removal measures
in international and regional agreements, including fisheries agreements
and maritime agreements;
`(B) the development of standardized national reporting and information
guidelines that will assist in improving information collection and identification
and monitoring of marine debris;
`(C) consistent with the information clearinghouse established under section
6, the promotion of `best practices to address marine debris';
`(D) the establishment of public-private partnerships and funding sources
for pilot programs that will assist in implementation of marine debris
prevention and removal measures in international agreements and guidelines;
`(E) when appropriate, provision of assistance to the responsible Federal
agency in bilateral and multilateral efforts to effectively address marine
debris prevention; and
`(F) actions to implement the relevant recommendations of the National
Research Council report entitled `Tackling Marine Debris in the 21st Century'
and dated 2008.'.
SEC. 4. GLOBAL MARINE DEBRIS COORDINATION CONFERENCE.
The Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act (33 U.S.C. 1951
et seq.) is amended by redesignating sections 7, 8, and 9 in order as sections
8, 9, and 10, and by inserting after section 6 the following new section:
`SEC. 7. GLOBAL MARINE DEBRIS COORDINATION CONFERENCE.
`The Administrator, in coordination with representatives of the domestic and
nondomestic marine debris community, shall host a Global Marine Debris Coordination
Conference not less often than every four years, beginning in 2015. The Conference
shall be developed with a steering committee composed of domestic and nondomestic
marine debris experts, led by the Administrator.'.
SEC. 5. DEFINITION OF MARINE DEBRIS.
Section 8 of the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act, as
redesignated by section 4 of this Act, is amended--
(1) by moving paragraph (3) (relating to the definition of `United States
exclusive economic zone') to appear as the last paragraph of the section;
(2) by moving paragraph (6) (relating to the definition of `territorial
sea') to appear immediately before such last paragraph, as so moved;
(3) by amending the paragraphs after paragraph (2) as paragraphs (4) through
(4) by redesignating paragraph (2) as paragraph (3);
(5) by inserting after paragraph (1) the following new paragraph:
`(2) INDIAN TRIBE- The term `Indian tribe' has the meaning given that term
in section 4 of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act
(25 U.S.C. 450b).'; and
(6) by inserting after paragraph (3), as so redesignated, the following
`(4) MARINE DEBRIS- The term `marine debris' means any man-made object that--
`(A) intentionally or unintentionally, is discarded, disposed of, or abandoned;
`(B) enters the coastal or marine environment--
`(i) directly from a vessel, a facility, or shore; or
`(ii) indirectly, by being carried via a river, stream, or storm drain
or by other means.'.
SEC. 6. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.
Section 10 of the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act, as
redesignated by section 4 of this Act, is amended by striking `for each fiscal
year 2006 through 2010' and inserting `for each of fiscal years 2012 through