House Passes Florida Congresswoman’s Proposals to Fund NOAA’s Efforts Against Toxic Algae

Now in her second term on Capitol Hill, U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., was able to get two proposals combating toxic algae though the U.S. House as part of the “Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act” which includes funding the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Murphy was able to get her proposal for $1.75 million for the NOAA to oversee the economic impact toxic algae has on Florida and the nation. This marks the first time since 2006 that such a study has been conducted.

“The purpose of the study is to increase public awareness about the serious consequences of harmful algal blooms, which will push policymakers at the federal, state and local levels to dedicate more attention and resources to address this problem,” Murphy’s office noted.

Along with U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-Fla., U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, D-Fla., Murphy was able to get increase NOAA funding from $10 million to $12 million in order “to support research into ways to address the public health, economic, and environmental consequences of harmful algal blooms.

“Florida families are at the frontlines of the dangers associated with the rise of harmful algal blooms across our shores. We need the best available data on the potential health and economic hazards associated with this environmental crisis,” said Murphy on Wednesday. “These bipartisan measures will move us a step closer towards solutions that will help reverse the way algal blooms are endangering the health of all Floridians and the well-being of local businesses that drive our tourism industry.”

“Our bipartisan legislative items included in this bill will directly improve the lives of all Floridians, as we continue to combat harmful algae bloom forming in our state,” said Soto. “We will continue to prioritize funding that upholds the voices of Central Florida’s families.”

“The measures authored by Congresswoman Murphy are essential to the future health of Florida’s waters. Proposed funding from these measures will support research and data that will help guide our state toward solutions that address the impacts of harmful algal blooms. Residents, visitors, our environment, and our economy will benefit,” said Temperince Morgan the executive director of the Nature Conservancy in Florida.

The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate.

 

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

 

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