WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) on Monday applauded U.S. Senate passage of the bipartisan Save Our Seas 2.0, legislation 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.

“This is a huge victory for Long Island Sound and for the long-term health and protection of our oceans. Connecticut’s economy depends on a vibrant Long Island Sound, and the Senate took a big step in doing that by unanimously passing this bill. I want to applaud Senators Whitehouse, Sullivan and Menendez for getting this bill across the finish line and was proud to work with Senator Murkowski to draft a portion of this bill creating a genius prize to reward projects that clean up marine debris and replace single use plastics. I will continue working to make sure this important bill gets signed into law,” said Murphy.

“I’m proud to be supportive of the Save our Seas 2.0, championed by Senators Sullivan and Whitehouse, which passed the Senate unanimously. Finding workable solutions to overcome the challenges posed by marine debris is a top priority,” said Murkowski. “I’ve been working to advance initiatives that will keep our oceans and shorelines clean, and the genius prize provision Senator Murphy and I secured in this legislation will build upon those efforts. By supporting American innovation and harnessing competition, we can develop solutions that lead to healthier oceans, shorelines, and coastal communities.”

Last 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. Murphy and Murkowski released the following statement after the legislation passed committee.