Latta introduces legislation to address harmful algal blooms

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Ohio Fifth District Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced on Thursday the Great Lakes and Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act, bipartisan legislation to examine the causes and current mitigation efforts of algal blooms in the Great Lakes, their tributaries and surface fresh waters.

“The health of our Great Lakes is imperative,” said Latta. “With 84 percent of North America’s fresh surface water, these vital resources supply 40 million Americans with drinking water and generate tens of billions of dollars in fishing and tourism. While quality work and research have been done to mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms in our Great Lakes, a comprehensive information system for this research to be submitted, studied and better understood does not exist. The Great Lakes and Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act would create this much needed information system to track and study the causes of toxin producing algal blooms, the factors and conditions that cause them to bloom in excess, and the effectiveness of mitigation efforts to ensure these waters remain healthy.”

Algal blooms, and especially toxin producing Harmful Algal Blooms, are a serious problem threatening the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Erie. The Great Lakes and Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act requires the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to create an electronic database for the voluntary submission of research and information regarding algal blooms causes and mitigation efforts in the Great Lakes by accredited entities. NOAA will also be required to report these important findings to Congress.

 

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