This legislation established a Submerged Land Enhancement Fund for removal of derelict structures and marine debris on inland waterways and estuaries. Introduced by the Department of State Lands, HB 2463 sets aside a portion of the revenues collected from leases, easements and registrations on state-owned waterways and make those funds available for cleaning up state-owned waterways and the territorial sea as well as doing other enhancement projects.
Our thanks to State Representative David Gomberg, who helped pushed this bill through committee.
“If there is abandoned debris in the riverways we want to get it out of there. We don’t want debris clogging up the rivers and ending up on our beaches,” Gomberg said. “This is a step to clear debris out of our public waterways. What comes downstream especially after big storms has an impact as it eventually comes to the ocean and to the beaches.” – via Lincoln County Dispatch.
Surfrider chapters in Oregon see a unique opportunity within the fund to address marine debris on inland waterways before it makes its way to the beaches and ocean environment. It’s rare that we get the occasion to work on sources of marine debris through legislation. Over 80 percent of ocean debris comes from land based sources. The House bill and related funds are an opportunity to keep rivers, beaches and oceans cleaner and prevent disasters like the one at Lighthouse beach from happening in the first place!