No, the U.S. Senate has yet to pass an Ocean Trash Bill, however there has been action taken in Congress to deal with ocean pollution in the past. In 2005, a bipartisan group of US Senators from coastal states introduced legislation in mid-February that included calling for the removal of thousands of tons of large debris in the ocean that wash up on US shores each year. The bill was introduced by Senators Inouye (D-HI) and Stevens (R-AL), and co-sponsored by Senators Lautenberg (D-NJ), Cantwell (D-WA), Snowe (R-ME), and Kerry (D-MA). The bill is intended to protect marine ecosystems and human health from debris, including discarded fishing gear, abandoned equipment, and cargo washed overboard. The bill would authorize up to $50 million over five years for a debris prevention and removal program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and up to $25 million over five years to strengthen Coast Guard enforcement of laws banning ship-based pollution. Although the bill was unsuccessful, it is a step in paving the way for ocean conservation.
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