Hey Champs, the Harmful Algal Blooms (aka Toxic Tides) bill is on the move and our Champions in the Senate made that happen. The Senate Commerce Committee just completed a successful markup of the Toxic Tides bill (S. 952) followed by a unanimous vote in favor of the legislation. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) provided the leadership that moved this bill forward, with strong support from Committee Chairman Rockefeller (D-WV) and Subcommittee Chairwoman Cantwell (D-WA). With your support, we have helped and held up these Senators and they are helping the oceans. Together we are making a difference. Now we move on to the full Senate action on the bill. More on this in the coming days.
As you know, we are fighting so hard on this issue because harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia are a serious and growing problem in our ocean, coastal waters, and lakes including the Great Lakes. They threaten public health, wildlife, fisheries, recreation, and tourism, and are getting worse. We need to help communities understand, predict, control, and prevent dangerous and deadly marine and freshwater HAB and hypoxia events. This legislation is a key step forward.
We will now be shifting some of our focus to the House of Representatives. We've learned that key House members are writing a bill that should be introduced after the August recess. Our goals for the House are to (1) have a strong bill introduced in early September, (2) have a committee hearing of the bill scheduled, and (3) build broad bipartisan support. We will be working the halls of Congress in the coming weeks (including working with our House Champions who are providing tremendous leadership on the issue).
So rest up over the last few weeks of summer because come September we will need your help to push this bill over the finish line!
For the oceans,
The Ocean Champions Team
P.S. Please share this email with your friends and family who love to surf, swim or enjoy the ocean -- and ask them to join our fight to stop toxic tides.