I'm writing to urge you to support Senate Bill 1582 (Simitian), which would help keep our oceans clean by requiring that an Ocean Ranger be present on cruise ships to enforce environmental regulations and other laws.
A typical cruise ship on a one-week voyage generates an astonishing 50 tons of garbage, one million gallons of graywater (waste water from sinks, showers, galleys, and laundry facilities), 210,000 gallons of sewage, and 35,000 gallons of oil-contaminated water. Most of this waste is dumped directly into the ocean, some treated, some not. Improperly treated wastes released into the ocean can significantly hurt California's aquatic ecosystems and the people and industries that depend upon them.
The cruise ship industry not only has a poor record on self-policing around environmental laws; it also fails to adequately protect passengers from crime. Currently, the industry maintains the position that the ships are not obligated to investigate crimes, nor do they have the necessary technical expertise to do so.
The Ocean Ranger would serve essential functions, including:
providing environmental monitoring of waste discharge systems on cruise ships to ensure that California's zero-discharge laws are being followed; andproviding a law enforcement presence on cruise ships to investigate and report alleged crimes, and to maintain evidence for on-shore law enforcement agencies when appropriate.
Please support SB 1582 and help California protect our ocean waters through the enforcement of current environmental regulations on cruise ships.