Press Releases

Miami, FL - U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and 15 Republican Members of the U.S. House of Representatives from Florida urged President Obama to reconsider his Administration’s denial of Governor Rick Scott’s request for a federal disaster declaration in response to the toxic algal blooms in the state’s waterways.
 
After visiting the Treasure Coast to view the Lake Okeechobee discharges and observe the algal bloom, Rubio wrote to President Obama on July 7 in support of Governor Scott’s initial request, which was denied by the Administration last month. Scott filed an appeal earlier this week.
 
In June, Rubio supported the Martin County Board of County Commissioner’s vote to declare a state of emergency and ask the president for help. He also expressed concerns about the long-term health of people who come in contact with the algae in a July 6 letter to CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.
 
Below is the full text of the letter Rubio and 15 Representatives sent to President Obama yesterday evening in support of the Governor’s appeal.
 
August 18, 2016
 
Dear Mr. President:
 
We write with urgency and in support of Governor Rick Scott’s August 14, 2016 appeal for federal emergency declaration in response to the toxic algal blooms in Florida’s waterways.  This disaster continues to negatively affect our estuaries and the economic livelihoods of Floridians. 
 
Although Governor Scott declared a state of emergency, which provided resources to the areas hard pressed by the algal blooms, more must be done.  Discharges from Lake Okeechobee have not stopped, and the bloom in the lake continues to grow.  With the constant discharges, and summer weather providing the conditions to continue the algae overgrowth, an end to this disaster is not in sight.  These waters are home to seagrasses and countless marine life which are vital to the ecosystem.  A federal disaster declaration will go a long way in providing treatment options to mitigate the ecological effects and also make whole those businesses and property owners who have suffered economic losses due to the discharges.
 
The federal government has an important role to play in ensuring Florida’s waters are able to rebound from this disaster.  We respectfully request that you approve Governor Scott’s appeal for federal emergency declaration. 
 
Sincerely,
 
Marco Rubio
United States Senator
 
Mario Diaz-Balart
Member of Congress
 
David Jolly
Member of Congress
 
Thomas Rooney
Member of Congress
 
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
Member of Congress
 
Dennis Ross
Member of Congress
 
Ander Crenshaw
Member of Congress
 
Ron DeSantis
Member of Congress
 
Daniel Webster
Member of Congress
 
Carlos Curbelo
Member of Congress
 
Curt Clawson
Member of Congress
 
Richard Nugent
Member of Congress
 
Bill Posey
Member of Congress
 
John Mica
Member of Congress
 
Vern Buchanan
Member of Congress
 
Ted Yoho
Member of Congress