Murkowski Blue Economy Bill Advances in Senate

BLUE GLOBE Act Heads to Full Senate

Yesterday the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee advanced Senator Murkowski’s (R-AK) bipartisan bill with U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)—both co-chairs of the Senate Oceans Caucus—which invests in data collection and monitoring in support of America’s blue economy. The Bolstering Long-Term Understanding and Exploration of the Great Lakes, Oceans, Bays, and Estuaries Act, or BLUE GLOBE Act, harnesses innovation, takes action to strengthen the federal maritime workforce, and drives the development of new marine technology—advancing data collection and supporting responsible stewardship of America’s oceans, bays, Great Lakes, and estuaries. 

“Building a strong blue economy in this country means intelligently linking growth, economic opportunity, and stewardship of our marine environment. Doing so will offer promising opportunities for supporting our coastal communities and residents, sustainably putting more nutritious seafood on dinner tables across the nation and developing better processes for managing transportation, energy development, and recreation in our coastal and marine zones,” said Senator Murkowski. “By improving monitoring of important bodies of water, we can better protect our marine ecosystems, our marine economy, and those who make their living on our oceans and coasts. The opportunities for safe, sustainable ocean livelihoods are immense.”

The Commerce Committee also advanced a bill introduced by Senator Murkowski, alongside Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), and Brian Schatz (D-HI), to fund the rescue and rehabilitation of marine mammals. Specifically, the legislation would reauthorize and modify the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program to provide funding to assist marine mammals that are entangled or become sick or injured in U.S. waters. The Alaska SeaLife Center in Seward, Alaska, has previously been the recipient of funds from the John H. Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance Grant Program.