WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representatives Brian Mast (FL-18) and Bill Posey (FL-8)’s National Estuaries and Acidification Research (NEAR) Act today passed the House of Representatives. The bipartisan effort to protect local estuaries – including the St. Lucie – authorizes a $1 million study by the National Academies of Science to research the effects of ocean acidification and identify ways to mitigate the consequences of acidification.

“Healthy estuaries are critical to our environment and economy—supporting the businesses in our communities that rely on fishing and tourism to thrive,” Rep. Mast said. “This will go a long way to help protect marine life and promote healthier communities.”

The U.S. House of Representatives also passed 3 additional clean water bills passed supported by Rep. Mast:

  • The COAST Research Act (H.R. 1237) – authorizing a total of $50.5 million through 2021 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) to research and monitor the effects of ocean and coastal acidification.
  • The Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act (H.R. 1716) – requiring NOAA to identify coastal communities dependent on marine resources and evaluate the economic impacts of ocean acidification on the fishing industry.
  • The Ocean Acidification Innovation Act (H.R. 1921) – authorizing NOAA to conduct prize competitions to incentivize innovation in an effort better understand, research, monitor and adapt to acidification.