Latest News

Rubio, Nelson Introduce Bill to Address Harmful Algal Blooms in South Florida

Aug 23, 2018 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today introduced the South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act, legislation that would direct the Interagency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) to assess the causes and consequences of HABs in Lake Okeechobee and around Florida’s south and southwestern coast to determine the federal resources available to solve these challenges. After completing the required assessment, the Task Force would be required to develop an Action Plan in coordination with the state and local stakeholders that would:

  • Address monitoring needs identified in the assessment;
  • Develop a timeline and budgetary requirements for deployment of future monitoring assets;
  • Identify requirements for development and verification of HAB predictive models; and
  • Propose the development of an early warning system for alerting local communities to HAB risks to human health.

“Congress has a chance to bring much needed relief to communities impacted by harmful algae outbreaks in Florida,” Rubio said. “By directing this existing, federal Task Force to assess the situation in southern Florida, this bill will focus federal resources on understanding both our blue-green algae and red tide problems and on developing an Action Plan with the state to solve these challenges once and for all. I urge my colleagues to act quickly and pass this bill.”
“These toxic algae blooms are choking Florida’s waterways, crippling our economy and making people sick,” Nelson said. “We need all hands on deck to help, and this bill will provide scientists and researchers the resources they need to understand what’s causing these harmful algae blooms – and what needs to be done to stop them.”
An extended timeline of Rubio’s efforts to fight the South Florida algal blooms can be found here.