Water-Related News

House passes South Florida Coastal Clean Waters Act, requiring study of HABs

A bill aiming to protect Florida's waterways from harmful algal blooms passed nearly unanimously through Congress this week and will now head to the president's desk.

The South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act will for the first time require a federal task force to research algae blooms in Florida and make a plan to prevent them.

According to U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Fla., the Act amends the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act, which was reauthorized in 2018 by legislation written by Mast and former Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla.

The bill directs a harmful algal bloom task force to research causes, consequences and potential solutions to algal blooms in the Greater Everglades region, including how ongoing South Florida ecosystem restoration efforts are impacting the distribution of algal blooms, according to Mast.

The task force will then be required to submit a plan to Congress for reducing, mitigating and controlling Florida algal blooms.