By: Nancy Wallace, Director, NOAA Marine Debris Program
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is saddened to learn of Senator Inouye’s passing. He was truly passionate about his home state of Hawaiʻi and protecting its beautiful natural resources.
Senator Inouye championed action on marine debris and was a driving force behind this program’s existence. In 2005, he introduced the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act in the Senate, a bill he once said he felt compelled to pass in order to bring focus to the issue.
When the Senator spoke before us in March 2011 at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference, he touted the Hawaiian tradition of “mālama,” (meaning “to care for”) the ocean and the land and emphasized the importance of working together to solve the marine debris problem. “We have the momentum, and it must continue,” he said.
That is the legacy he left for us.
Read Dr. Lubchenco’s statement on Senator Inouye’s passing.