WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressmen Brian Mast (R-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) have worked with their House colleagues to found a new bipartisan Congressional caucus to give the Indian River Lagoon a stronger voice and presence in the U.S. Congress. A total of twenty-three House Members have joined with Reps. Mast and Posey in forming the new Congressional Estuary Caucus, including Representatives Rick Larsen (D-WA), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ).

“Our waterways are central to the quality of life and the economy on the Treasure Coast. Keeping our water clean is an issue that transcends party lines—it affects all of our families,” Rep. Mast said. “I’ve committed to work with members of both parties to keep our water clean, and this caucus will provide an essential bipartisan forum to protect the Indian River Lagoon.”

“Our Lagoon is important to our quality of life, our local economies, tourism, our natural beauty, and provides a critical habitat to many indigenous species of wildlife and plant life,” Rep. Posey said. “This new caucus will help promote and protect our nation’s estuaries like the Indian River Lagoon by giving our communities a platform in Washington to educate our leaders on the important role that our estuaries play.”

The Indian River Lagoon stretches 156 miles along Florida’s east coast through five counties. More than 2,000 species of plants, 600 species of fish, 300 species of birds, and 53 threatened or endangered species inhabit the Indian River Lagoon for at least some portion of their lives, and scientists have shown our Lagoon to be one of the most biologically diverse estuaries in North America, with approximately 4,000 species documented to occur.

Rep. Mast serves as Vice Chairman of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. As Vice Chairman, he has stated that his top priority will be protecting Treasure Coast waterways. He is also a member of the Everglades Caucus and the Bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus.