WASHINGTON, DC – Today Congressman Bill Posey (R-Rockledge) helped usher through the House of Representatives bipartisan legislation (S.1254) to reauthorize and enhance research into the causes of algae blooms and hypoxia events which are harmful to natural habitats like the Indian River Lagoon located along Florida's East Coast. Posey partnered with Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) to amend the bill on June 5th in the House Science Committee to better enhance the coordination research across federal, state and local agencies to avoid duplication and ensure better accountability of resources.
“This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will reauthorize robust funding for important research leading us to a better understanding of the causes, effects and steps we can take to prevent and address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia events,” said Congressman Posey. “The overall health and water quality of our Indian River Lagoon and all of our nation’s waters will be improved with this important legislation.”
Specifically, the bill will reauthorize $20.5 million per year through 2018 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to distribute as grants to local governments and organizations to conduct research into algae blooms and hypoxia events.
Recent algal blooms have had an adverse impact on the Indian River Lagoon’s health which is evident in the loss of more than 47,000 acres of sea grass since the spring of 2011. The lagoon has also experienced a number of unexplained fish kills, along with manatee, dolphin and pelican deaths.
“This bill gives researchers another tool to help us better understand, anticipate, control, and mitigate harmful algal blooms like those we have seen in the Indian River Lagoon and in communities across the country,” said Posey.