Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Announces More Than $1.7 Million Awarded to Mote Marine

Aug 7, 2019
Press Release


SARASOTA – Congressman Vern Buchanan today announced that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded more than $1.7 million to Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota.

“Today’s announcement is great news for Mote Marine and our community,” Buchanan said. “Dr. Michael Crosby and his entire team work tirelessly to combat red tide, improve water quality, and protect our coral reefs. I remain committed to continuing my fight in Washington for Southwest Florida’s environment.”

NSF announced two awards to Mote Marine:

  1. An amount of more than $277,000 for a project under Dr. Erin Muller’s direction to research coral disease susceptibility.
  2. An amount of more than $1.49 million for a project under Dr. Michael Crosby’s direction to strengthen well-prepared, highly-qualified students from underrepresented minority groups in the Sarasota area who pursue careers or graduate studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). 

Last month, Buchanan joined Dr. Crosby and other medical specialists at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. The group praised Buchanan’s amendment passed by the U.S. House instructing the National Institutes of Health to designate $6.25 million to research the long-term health effects of red tide and other Harmful Algal Blooms on humans.

Buchanan is also a co-sponsor of the Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act, which requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to examine the impacts of ocean acidification and instructs the secretary of commerce to determine which communities will suffer economic damage.

Last year Florida suffered one of the worst bouts of red tide in the state’s history. The bloom, which finally dissipated this past February, had plagued the coast for more than 15 months. Southwest Florida is uniquely vulnerable to red tide, as it has seen this algae bloom more than twice as often as any other area in the state.                     

Last month, Buchanan also toured the Robinson Preserve in Manatee County to monitor the blooms impacting the area. In 2018, a Buchanan proposal to increase funding for red tide research by $8 million was signed into law.

In February, Buchanan chaired a hearing on some of the most pressing water quality issues affecting the Sunshine State. Last year, Buchanan also backed a proposal that was signed by President Trump to provide more than $100 million to combat Harmful Algal Blooms such as red tide.