FORT MYERS, Fla - Lawmakers in the nation's capitol gave final approval Tuesday to a bill that will help battle toxic algae outbreaks in Southwest Florida and across the country.
The legislation, sponsored by Florida's democratic senator Bill Nelson, provides $82 million in new research into the causes and control of large algae blooms. The bill will also provide additional resources to communities impacted when an algae outbreak occurs.
“This will help battle the algae that’s been choking off life in Florida’s waterways,” Nelson said. “At the end of the day, this will be good for the environment and the economy.”
"I think this type of research is going to be very useful," said Jennifer Hecker, Director of Natural Resource Policies for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida.
Nutrient rich runoff during our rainy season is frequently blamed for the large algae blooms. Hecker hopes the upcoming research will help environmentalist better respond to the algae once a bloom is discovered.
President Obama is expected to sign the measure into law. Its passage comes just one week after the president signed another bill that contains some $800 million for Everglades restoration projects on the Caloosahatchee River.