Buchanan Helps Pass Bill to Provide $15 Million to Fight Red Tide
WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan helped pass legislation this week to authorize an additional $15 million over five years to identify and develop improved strategies for early detection, prevention, and reduction of the frequency and damaging effects of harmful algal blooms (HABs), including red tide.
“Red tide poses a serious threat to our environment, marine life and economy,” said Buchanan, who noted that harmful effects of the current blooms killing sea life and hurting the economy along the gulf coast. “We need to understand more about the toxins in red tide so we can stop the damaging effects. I strongly support efforts to prevent and mitigate this and other algal blooms.”
The House this week passed the Water Resources and Development Act of 2018 (WRDA), which includes $3 million a year for the Corp’s Engineering Research and Development Center to identify and develop technology to detect prevent and manage red tide and other HABs, including the blue-green algae bloom smothering Lake Okeechobee.
Buchanan is a cosponsor of 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.
Furthermore, the government funding bill signed into law earlier this year included legislation Buchanan introduced to provide the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) an additional $8 million to reduce the threat of algal blooms, including red tide.