Dear Friend,We’re excited to announce that the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act was introduced in the Senate yesterday by two ocean champions - Senators Bill Nelson (D-FL) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and a senior Republican leader, Senator Rob Portman (R-OH)!
As you know, the intensity, frequency and duration of toxic algal booms polluting coastal waters has gotten worse every year. Recent blooms in waters near Florida and Ohio serve as reminders to how devastating these events are. A seemingly perpetual Harmful Algal Bloom off the Gulf coast of Florida has killed over 240 manatees, a senseless tragedy for this threatened species. Another in Lake Erie killed thousands of fish and turned miles of beach and coastal areas into huge no-go zones for people, pets, and animals. Harmful algal blooms (HABs) like these also cause ocean dead zones, such as the well known one in Gulf of Mexico, which is expected to be as large as the state of New Jersey this year.
The Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act will develop and advance technologies and techniques for minimizing the occurrence of toxic algal blooms; improve capabilities to detect, predict, monitor, control, mitigate, and respond to HAB events, and seek ways to reduce their duration and intensity.
Your activism in the past has helped us build significant latent support for this good ocean bill. Today, you are joined by a strong bipartisan coalition of Senate leaders. In addition to Senators Nelson, Portman and Cantwell, the bill’s original cosponsors include Commerce Committee Chairman Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), ocean champion Senators Mark Begich (D-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Roger Wicker (R-Miss), Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).
We’ll be working hard to make the connections necessary in the Senate and in the House to pass this bill and improve coastal water quality. We’ll need the voice of the ocean community as well, so please invite your friends to join our email list!
For the oceans,