Florida Senators Push Senate Leadership to Step Up to Fight Algae Blooms

Florida’s two U.S. senators–Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Bill Nelson–are urging the leadership in the Senate to pass a bill they insist will “help deliver relief to Florida communities plagued with algal blooms.”

Rubio and Nelson teamed up on Thursday to send U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, a letter on the matter. In the letter, Florida’s two senators called on the Senate leaders to bring America’s Water Infrastructure Act, also called the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), up for a vote as quickly as possible.

The legislation includes the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir project, which, Rubio’s office insisted, “would help to mitigate future environmental and human health impacts of lake discharges.”

“We write to ask that you bring the America’s Water Infrastructure Act, also referred as the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), for a vote in the Senate as soon as possible,” the senators wrote. “Communities in South Florida are under siege by massive algal blooms spreading from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. The Senate bill includes an important project, the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir, which would help to mitigate future environmental and human health impacts of lake discharges.

“Currently, the bill awaits full Senate consideration while Floridians are enduring an environmental and economic crisis caused by these pervasive, toxic algae blooms. We have a responsibility to our constituents to pass this legislation as quickly as possible,” Rubio and Nelson added. “The EAA Storage Reservoir is a critical piece of the puzzle for ending Lake Okeechobee discharges and the harmful algal blooms they help fuel. We urge you to bring the WRDA bill to the Senate floor as soon as possible so that we can advance this key project. Thank you for your consideration of this time-sensitive request.”

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