Panel sets markup on extending marine debris program

By Rob Hotakainen | 04/29/2024 06:32 AM EDT

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will also vote on red snapper and sea turtle bills.

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).

Legislation from Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) to reauthorize NOAA marine debris efforts is up for a vote this week. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee will vote this week on a bill that would extend NOAA’s marine debris program through fiscal 2028.

The bill, S. 3277, is sponsored by Alaska Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, who has made ocean cleanup a top priority. It’s also a big issue for his home state.

Sullivan cheered in February when Alaska became the home of the new Marine Debris Foundation, which Congress created in 2020. The foundation’s role is to encourage and administer private funding that help pays for NOAA’s cleanup efforts.


“There are only a few congressionally chartered foundations, and they have a strong history of becoming important, large enterprises that can employ thousands,” Sullivan told a joint session of the Alaska Legislature in February. “Think the American Red Cross, the American Legion, the National Parks Foundation.”