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Push to stop cruise ship industry from dumping sewage in ocean

By Gary Bogue
Friday, October 23rd, 2009 at 7:38 am in Cruise ships, Ocean, Pollution.


Here’s an update from friends of the Earth on what’s being done to STOP cruise ships from dumping millions of gallons of sewage into California’s coastal waters, and in other fragile spots around the world. It’s about time!! /Gary

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from Friends of the Earth:
Senator Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Representative Sam Farr (D-Calif.) introduced legislation on Wednesday (Oct. 21) that would prevent cruise ships from dumping sewage and other waste into coastal waters.

“Cruise ships are currently allowed to dump raw sewage just three nautical miles from shore. This practice is not only disgusting, it can threaten the public health, coastal tourism, fishing economies, and marine ecosystems,” said Neesha Kulkarni, Legislative Associate at Friends of the Earth. “Advanced technology is available to treat this waste, but the cruise industry has failed to install this equipment on a majority of its ships. The Clean Cruise Ship Act would put a stop to this practice and hold the cruise industry accountable.”


The Clean Cruise Ship Act would establish a no-dumping zone in waters within 12 nautical miles of U.S. shores and strengthen outdated standards for treatment of waste outside of this zone. The bill would also establish an onboard monitoring program to ensure that ships comply with the law.

“Big cruise ships make for big pollution; it’s an unavoidable truth. Unfortunately, responsible disposal of that waste hasn’t always been a given. The cruise ship industry is way overdue to take responsibility for its actions,” Rep. Farr said. “The Monterey Peninsula saw what happens when things go wrong when thousands of gallons of wastewater were dumped off our coastline. It’s ironic that the cruise industry relies on a clean ocean and pristine coastlines for its livelihood, but doesn’t put in the effort to sustain them. This carelessness must not be allowed to continue.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, over the last decade the cruise industry has grown nearly twice as fast as any other travel industry. Average ship size has grown about 90 feet every five years and some ships now carry as many as 7,000 passengers and crew. In one week alone, an average cruise ship (3,000 passengers) can generate 200,000 gallons of sewage and 1 million gallons of graywater (water from showers, floor drains, and kitchens).

More information about cruise ship pollution and the bill can be found at

Friends of the Earth ( is the U.S. voice of the world’s largest grassroots environmental network, with member groups in 70 countries. Since 1969, Friends of the Earth has been at the forefront of high-profile efforts to create a more just and healthy world.

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One Response to “Push to stop cruise ship industry from dumping sewage in ocean”

  1. Nancy Turner Says:

    Dear Gary, I don’t know if this is the right place to write you, but I was unable to find any other place. I have a problem that I hope you can help me with. My husband was cleaning up around our rosebush today and found a turtle. It is about 4″ long, red stripes on the sides of his head. he was burrowed in the mulch under the bush. We assumed that he was a pet that got away and not a “wild” native turtle.My husband put him in a bucket with some water and a large rock to lay on. We went online looking for turtle care info, and we discovered that the turtle could indeed be a “wild”, so to speak, turtle. Now we feel terrible. We thought we were saving him from a certain death in the coming winter, if he had indeed been a pet. Now it seems that we disturbed a turtle minding his own business, napping under a rosebush. What to do? should we just put him back where we found him? Do you think he is a pet? can he survive outside if he is? Please let me know, as I had already offered him to the neighbors (they have school age kids and lots of pets). I don’t want to find him a home if he doesn’t need one and belongs outside. thanks, Nancy Turner, Antioch

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