The federal government, through the Army Corps of Engineers, has played a huge role in perpetuating the human health crisis caused by Lake Okeechobee discharges and they need to take responsibility for the damage by helping to pay for the cleanup.
This week we made big progress to do exactly that:
Congress passed my bill to make federal funding available to communities impacted by harmful algal blooms and ensure the continuation of a federal program aimed at combating harmful algal blooms. In total, the bill authorizes more than $100 million to be spent to combat harmful algal blooms. Now, states and local governments will be able to access federal resources when Harmful Algal Blooms have a detrimental impact on a state's environment, economy or public health!
Our coalition fighting for clean water also grew substantially this week as I helped lead a group of more than 60 Members of Congress in lobbying the Administration for full funding of programs designed to combat toxic algal blooms. Securing these resources is essential, especially as we move toward construction of the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir and other projects!
Finally, after increasing the size of the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge to increase the land and habitats that are protected, we also voted to rename the area after environmentalist Nathaniel Reed, who passed away in July. He led conservation fights throughout the United States and was one of our state's most influential environmental leaders.
The government needs to stop prioritizing special interests over human health and put an end to the crisis once and for all! Our bipartisan progress this week will help deliver the federal resources needed to end this environmental disaster.