Freshman U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, R-Fla., is calling on the White House to step in to aid the Sunshine State as it continues to face the problems of red tide and toxic algae.

Rooney

Rooney, the vice chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee despite serving in his first term in Congress, sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Monday, urging him to declare a formal State of Emergency for Florida.

After sending the letter to the White House on Monday, Rooney explained why he thought a formal declaration was needed.

“The devastation we are experiencing in Southwest Florida is severely impacting our health, economy and ecology,” Rooney said on Monday. “Dead sea life, toxic algae, and red tide are crippling our area and although we are finally, thanks to our combined efforts, seeing progress on funding projects that will permanently fix our water quality, these projects will take years to complete. As conditions have worsened, we need to take action now.”

Rooney insisted that the White House issuing a formal declaration would loosen up federal funds for the Sunshine State and compared the red tide and toxic algae problems to other disasters currently impacting the nation

“Declaring a State of Emergency will make a host of funding and resources available that would otherwise not be possible,” Rooney said. “Our current conditions are every bit as disastrous to us as the recent wildfires are to California and flooding has been to Michigan.”

First elected in 2016, Rooney represents a solidly Republican district in Southwest Florida though he has drawn two opponents running in the Democratic primary. Financial advisor David Holden and businessman and former social worker Todd James Truax will meet in the primary on August 28. Pete Pollard is also running against Rooney as a write in candidate.

 

Kevin Derby can be reached at Kevin.Derby@floridadaily.com.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Nice that it has formally been requested, but this is not a new issue. This is not the first time this has been brought to the table. And the Florida Sugar companies that are the culprit of the algae problem by dumping their fertilizers in Florida waterways, have deep pockets and persuasive lobbyists.

    I have lived in Florida for 39 years. I grew up on the Gulf Coast and frequent the East Coast. I have seen many a Red Tide come and take tolls on fish over the years.

    However, now we are seeing larger mammals, which some are endangered and protected, being killed by the algae blooms. This is not acceptable. Red Tide has never, done what we are seeing. And the media continues to defend the Sugar Companies by not covering the devistation they have caused to several coastal cities on both the East and West coasts of Florida.

    The waterways are polluted, there is a green film that looks like somebody poured green paint in the water, they stink, they are toxic, and killing everything that swims or drinks from them. This must be stopped or soon the whole Gulf, Keys, and East Coast will be a cesspool. We are also starting to see more and more cases of flesch eating bacterias in warmer waters.

  2. Something needs to be done! Our water is our life in this state! You take our water beaches and tourism away and we don’t have much left! Too many animals have already died! People are getting Sick! It is getting out of hand with no end in sight! There needs to be a way yo clean lack O water before we dump it into our coastal waters! Please Help we have no one to turn to!

  3. Hows the money treating you now
    Always about money…. smh. Now you are with out good water and life is being killed… no one speaks up until its to pate… or the luttle people who speak up are made quiet. Unfortunately you all should be made to clean up. Out of the state of florida and the companies. Massive fines to the companies.
    Fertializers and major cities are killing the great lakes too. But no one care until the last drop is gone

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