Plastics in the Ocean: The Environmental Plague of Our Time
As the esteemed American comic strip character Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”This is how the authors of this Article feel about marine debris, especially plastics that end up in the ocean. Who do we have to blame? What can be done to address this problem? Are our laws up to the task? What else needs to be done? Whether the plastics come from land-based or ship-based garbage, we need not look any further than ourselves.
This Article describes how plastics enter the marine environment, as well as their sources and the damage they cause; the adequacy of U.S. laws that prevent marine pollution by plastics; the role of the shipping industry and ports to prevent pollution; and finally, the role of organizations like the North American Marine Environment Protection Association that bring together the maritime industry and the public to address this major environmental problem of our time.
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“Plastics in the Ocean: The Environmental Plague of Our Time,” by Joan M. Bondareff, Maggie Carey, and Carleen Lyden-Kluss* was published in the Spring 2017 edition of the Roger Williams University Law Review (Volume 22, Issue 2, Marine Law Symposium).
* Joan M. Bondareff, Of Counsel, Blank Rome, and Legal Counsel, North American Marine Protection Association (“NAMEPA”); Maggie Carey, Oceans Advisor, Alliance of Small Island States; Carleen Lyden-Kluss, Co-Founder and Executive Director, NAMEPA.