Bill Posey’s Coastal Acidification Bill Passes the House

U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., was able to get his proposal fighting coastal acidification through the U.S. House last week.

The House passed Posey’s “National Estuaries and Acidification Research (NEAR) Act” on a voice vote on Wednesday. U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oreg. and U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., who lead the Congressional Estuary Caucus with Posey, were co-sponsors. Other backers in the House included U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla.

The bill “directs the Ocean Studies Board of National Academies to conduct a two year study examining the science of ocean acidification and its impact on our estuaries” and will, Posey’s office insisted, “create a better understanding of coastal acidification so we can better manage and mitigate its effects on our nation’s estuaries and other natural treasures.” The bill funds the study with $1 million.

Insisting the bill will help Indian River Lagoon and other bodies in Florida, Posey weighed in on Wednesday after his proposal cleared the House.

“Because estuaries are places where fresh water mixes with salt water from the oceans, preserving the delicate balance of nature is necessary but can also be challenging,” said Posey. “This critical legislation will help protect our estuaries by ensuring that we continue to study and monitor the effects of coastal acidification and I would like to thank Representatives Bonamici and Mast for their work on this issue and their important leadership in our bipartisan estuary caucus.”

“Healthy estuaries are critical to our environment and economy—supporting the businesses in our communities that rely on fishing and tourism to thrive,” Mast said. “This will go a long way to help protect marine life and promote healthier communities.”

The bill now heads to the Senate where, so far, there is no companion measure.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com

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