Bipartisan Legislation Aims to Address Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia

Photo of a 2009 algal bloom on the southeast shore of Pelee Island, Ontario. Photo credit: Tom Archer

U.S. House Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and David Joyce (R-OH) introduced bipartisan legislation to better prepare for, mitigate and respond to harmful algal blooms, especially in coastal communities and the Great Lakes region.

In a harmful algal bloom event, algae grow rapidly and release dangerous toxins that end up in shellfish, fish, marine mammals and birds and threatens fisheries, drinking water, human health, local economies and aquatic ecosystems.

The Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2017 helps combat harmful algal bloom events, especially in coastal and Great Lakes communities.

The bill improves upon existing law by:

  • Increasing inter-agency, regional, state, and local collaboration to address harmful algal bloom and hypoxia events;
  • Establishing a process for declaration of an “Event of National Significance”, which triggers disaster-like funding to be available for affected communities; and
  • Allowing private donations to help fund recovery in an event of national significance.

You can read a section-by-section summary of the legislation here.



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