Congressman Vern Buchanan

Representing the 16th District of Florida

Buchanan Announces More Than $1.9 Million Awarded to Mote Marine

Sep 6, 2019
Press Release
Funding Dedicated to Combatting Red Tide

SARASOTA – Congressman Vern Buchanan today announced that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded more than $1.9 million to Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota for red tide research.

“This funding announcement is great news for our community,” Buchanan said. “Mote Marine works tirelessly to counter red tide and improve Florida’s water quality. I will continue my push in Congress to deliver resources to fight the plague of red tide and protect Southwest Florida’s environment.”

Specifically, the funding for Mote Marine comes as a part of the NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science Competitive Research Program. In 2018, a Buchanan proposal to increase NOAA’s competitive external research for red tide by $8 million was signed into law.

The project will occur under the direction of Dr. Michael P. Crosby, president and CEO of Mote Marine.

In July, Buchanan joined Dr. Crosby and other medical specialists at Sarasota Memorial Hospital to discuss the health effects of red tide. 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.              

In July, Buchanan also toured the Robinson Preserve in Manatee County to monitor the blooms impacting the area.

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.