Laws Designed to Protect the Ocean From Pollution

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  • Mare Liberum

    The policy stated the principle that the sea was to be
    considered international territory and all nations were free to use it for trade.
  • Refuse Act of Navigable Waters

    Restricts and prohibits the dumping of trash off of all floating devices in the waters.
  • International Convention on Civil Liability for Oil Pollution Damage

    The convention laid down rules and requirements for oil tankers and what to do when a spill occurs and who is liable for such situations.
  • Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA)

    The act regulates the ocean dumping of all material beyond the territorial limit (3 miles from shore) and prevents or strictly limits dumping material that "would adversely affect human health, welfare, or amenities, or the marine environment, ecological systems, or economic potentialities”
  • The Clean Water Act (CWA)

    The Clean Water Act (CWA) establishes the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States and regulating quality standards for surface waters.
  • Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter

    It prevents the deliberate disposal at sea of wastes or other matter from vessels, aircraft, and platforms. It does not cover discharges from land-based sources such as pipes and outfalls.
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    The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

    The Law of the Sea Convention defines the rights and responsibilities of nations in their use of the world's oceans, establishing guidelines for businesses, the environment, and the management of marine natural resources.
  • The Helsinki Convention

    The Convention was signed by the countries bordering the baltic sea in order to ensure that trans-boundary waters are managed in a rational, environment-friendly manner,ensure that trans-boundary waters are used in a reasonable way, and to ensure conservation and restoration of ecosystems.
  • Ocean Dumping Ban Act

    The act banned ocean dumping of municipal sewage sludge and industrial waste (with limited exceptions).
  • Pollution Proction Act

    It states that "pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible; pollution that cannot be prevented should be recycled in an environmentally safe manner, whenever feasible."
  • Estuaries and Clean Waters Act

    The act encourages the restoration of estuary habitat through more efficient project financing and enhanced coordination of Federal and non-Federal restoration programs.
  • International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships

    Its aims are to prevent the spread of harmful aquatic organisms from one region to another, by establishing standards and procedures for the management and control of ships' ballast water and sediments.