Florida Congressmen Back the Harmful Algal Bloom Essential Forecasting Act

This week, U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., introduced the “Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Essential Forecasting Act.”

Donalds weighed in on the bill on Wednesday.

“This bipartisan bill fosters the federal government’s’ resources in tackling the environmental and economic challenges brought on by HABs in Southwest Florida and throughout America. Over the last 60 years, these events have increased substantially, impacting local economies, our nation’s ecosystems, and the American people’s health,” Donalds said. “Safeguarding the American people’s health and our coastal ecosystems requires the vital collaboration of the federal, state, and local governments. This necessary legislation guarantees the federal government’s role in this mission.

“The bill amends the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 1998 to ensure that during a lapse in appropriations, essential services relating to HABs receive critical federal funding,” Donalds added.

The bill has six cosponsors including U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., and Greg Steube, R-Fla.

“Water is the lifeblood of Florida with our thriving ecosystem offering vital resources for our local economies, agriculture, tourism and recreation,” Steube said. “As we are no strangers to harmful algal blooms and the negative effects they have on our water quality, this bipartisan legislation takes an important step in prioritizing Florida’s environment despite ongoing partisan gridlock in Washington.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Science, Space, and Technology and the Natural Resources Committees. So far, there is no companion measure over in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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