WASHINGTONU.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) applauded committee passage of Save Our Seas 2.0, bipartisan legislation led by U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) to combat marine debris. Murphy and Murkowski are both cosponsors of the bill. The legislation includes a Murphy-Murkowski drafted provision to fund a Genius Prize for Save Our Seas Innovation to be given out for the development of projects to replace single use plastic and innovations that remove and prevent plastic waste.

“Addressing plastic pollution is critical to protecting our oceans and coastlines, including the Long Island Sound in Connecticut. I’m glad to see this legislation pass Committee with our provision that sets up a genius prize to reward projects that clean up marine debris and replace single use plastics. I look forward to working with this group of bipartisan partners to pass this important bill,” said Murphy.

“With over half of the nation’s shoreline in our state, Alaskans in particular depend on our ocean resources. Keeping our oceans and shoreline clean is one of my top priorities, and I am always looking for opportunities to harness American innovation and ideas to tackle the challenges posed by marine debris,” said Murkowski. “This legislation encourages innovative methods and novel designs to help reduce plastic waste in our oceans and ultimately prevent marine debris altogether. Fostering innovation can help lead to healthier oceans that will benefit all of us. I’m proud to build on the good work of Senators Sullivan, Whitehouse, and Menendez.”

Earlier this year, Murphy voted to pass the related Save Our Seas 2.0: Enhanced Global Engagement to Combat Marine Debris Act out of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Save Our Seas 2.0: Improving Domestic Infrastructure to Prevent Marine Debris Act also passed out of the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.