Politics

Bill Nelson and Bill Posey Team Up to Pass Bill Fighting Algae Outbreaks

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: June 19, 2014 3:55 AM
Bill Nelson and Bill Posey

Bill Nelson and Bill Posey

A bill authorizing federal funds to fight algae outbreaks in Florida waters is headed to President Barack Obama’s desk, thanks to two legislators from the Sunshine State.  

The bill, which was drafted by U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., sends $82 million of federal funds to study how to battle large algae blooms and support communities trying to fend them off. The proposal ensures the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will send $20.5 million annually through 2018 to local governments coping with algae outbreaks. The bill stood in jeopardy last week when an unknown Republican senator blocked the measure but the hold was quickly lifted.

Weighing in on the need for the bill, Nelson pointed toward how algae have impacted  the Caloosahatchee River and waters in the Fort Myers area.

“This will help battle the algae that’s been choking off life in Florida’s waterways,” Nelson said on Tuesday after final passage in the Senate. “At the end of the day, this will be good for the environment and the economy.”  

The bill passed the Senate earlier in the year but the House version was amended two weeks ago. U.S. Rep. Bill Posey. R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., changed the bill to ensure better coordination between various federal, state and local government agencies to fight algae outbreaks.

“This bipartisan, bicameral legislation will reauthorize robust funding for important research leading us to a better understanding of the causes, effects and steps we can take to prevent and address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia events,” Posey said.

Posey pointed toward Indian River Lagoon which has lost more than 47,000 acres of sea grass over the last three year to algae, killing fish, pelicans, dolphins and manatee.

“The overall health and water quality of our Indian River Lagoon and all of our nation’s waters will be improved with this important legislation,” Posey said. “This bill gives researchers another tool to help us better understand, anticipate, control, and mitigate harmful algal blooms like those we have seen in the Indian River Lagoon and in communities across the country.”

Posey took to the House floor early last week and noted Indian River Lagoon has a $3.5 billion economic impact and must be protected.

Obama is expected to sign the bill.



Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

Comments (3)

Pat Lavins
11:16AM JUN 19TH 2014
Bill "Birther" Posey has done nothing beneficial for the community during his multiple terms. The fact that he is speaking up now is a sign of just how desperate that he is to win re-election.

The voters are well aware that Bill "Birther" Posey has an abysmal voting recorrd in regard to any environmental issue.
C Breeze
6:53AM JUN 19TH 2014
"Bill Nelson?"...Who's he??...Ohh!,..He's that "Lobby Darling!"...Is there an election pending or something ? Is "Billy" gonna ride on a rocket again ?!? Maybe "Billy" & Posey should RATHER spend that money on eradicating the Burmese Python from the Everglades thereby saving every living species there from certain extinction... But, not to worry "Billy", I'll continue to take care of the algae in my pool... (Wake up folks !..."Billy" & Posey are just playing "pre-election 'climate change' games" for their Lobby benefactors... You know folks,...it's "money, money, money" time of the election cycle for pettifogging politicians again: "Gotta keep those 'campaign coffers' filled you know !"
Pat Lavins
11:18AM JUN 19TH 2014
C. Beeze ios confused. Senator Nelson is not on the ballot. He easily won re-election in 2012. It is Bill "Birther" Posey who is fighting for his political life because he has no track record in ever voting for anything beneficial to the environment or the people of his community.

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