Buchanan Co-Sponsors Bill to Provide Millions to Combat Red Tide
Economy, Marine Life and Environment at Risk
WASHINGTON — Congressman Vern Buchanan, who recently secured $8 million for research into Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), announced today he has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation to combat the devastating impact of these toxins on Gulf Coast communities.
“Our economy, environment and marine life is under siege by this crisis and we need all hands on deck to help Florida deal with the problem,” Buchanan said.
The Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act (HR 4417), provides more than $100 million to combat HABs like red tide and establishes a process to declare an “Event of National Significance.” That declaration would trigger disaster-like funding for affected communities.
The bill also reauthorizes the Harmful Algal Bloom Federal Interagency Task Force; formally adds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to the task force; and permits private donations to be used to fund recovery for events of national significance.
The House bill was introduced by Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.). The Senate has already passed a similar version of the bill.
Earlier this summer, Buchanan and Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) sent a letter to House leadership urging them to take up the Senate-passed measure. Buchanan and Hastings are co-chairs of the 29-member Florida congressional delegation.
Buchanan also has cosponsored legislation (HR 6645) that directs the existing Task Force to assess the current water crises plaguing Florida and to work closely with state and local stakeholders to determine an immediate action plan.