Speaking for the cruise ship industry, Michael Crye [letters, June 10] said it has "adopted stringent waste management practices" to help combat maritime pollution, and that our Clean Cruise Ship legislation is "unnecessary." Unfortunately, the cruise ship industry has proven that the "trust us, we won't pollute" mantra is a lie.
In Monterey Bay, Calif., the site of the country's largest national marine sanctuary, a cruise line that had a voluntary agreement not to dump waste there dumped 36,000 gallons of wastewater and admitted to it five months later only after a direct inquiry by regulators.
Why didn't the company admit to the dumping? Because it "wasn't illegal, only a violation of a voluntary policy."
Mr. Crye complained that our legislation singles out an industry that "represents only 0.2 percent of the world's ships." In 2003, nearly 200 of those ships carried 8.3 million passengers to and through our nation's most beautiful and fragile marine ecosystems. What's more, a typical tanker or cargo vessel has a crew of 12 to 20, whereas a typical cruise ship carries more than 3,000 people and thus generates at least 150 times more wastewater per day.
Last July Mr. Crye and the International Council of Cruise Lines were invited to help us write this legislation, and they chose not to participate. Our bill ensures a sustainable future for both our oceans and the cruise and tourism industry. We wish Mr. Crye would work with us rather than against us.
U.S. Senator (D-Ill.)
U.S. Representative (D-Calif.)