Marine Debris Bill Passes Legislature, Proceeds to Governor

The Assembly today concurred in the Senate amendments to AB 1323 [Frazier] by a preliminary, bipartisan vote of 71—0, sending the RBOC-supported marine debris measure to the Governor for his consideration.

The meaure would enhance the removal of marine debris from the state's waterways. The bill would provide authority for any state, county, city, or other public agency having jurisdiction over a given location, or having authority to remove marine debris or solid waste, to remove and destroy marine debris that is floating, sunk, partially sunk, or beached in or on a public waterway, beach, or on state tidelands or submerged lands, subject to specific conditions:

  1. The marine debris meets the definition provided in the Harbors and Navigation Code and the value of the debris does not exceed the cost of removal and disposal.
  2. If the debris cannot be identified as belonging to an individual, a peace officer or authorized public employee securely attaches to the marine debris a notice stating that the marine debris shall be removed by the public agency if not claimed or removed within 10 days.
  3. If the debris can be identified as belonging to an individual, a 10-day notice is attached to the marine debris, and sent to the owner of the marine debris, if known, at the owner's address of record with the Department of Motor Vehicles, by certified or first-class mail. 
  4. The marine debris is not removed prior to the ten day notification period.