Budget bill includes money for red tide
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s office touted the inclusion of $8 million in the latest federal budget bill to combat red tide outbreaks like the one that has lingered off the coast of Southwest Florida.
“Red tide poses a serious threat to our environment, marine life and economy,” Buchanan said, adding that legislation he promoted will allow for greater research with the goal of reducing the problem. “We need to understand more about the toxins in red tide so we can stop the damaging effects.”
Harmful algae blooms cause $82 million in economic losses to the seafood, restaurant and tourism industries each year in the United States, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Buchanan’s measure on harmful algal bloom funding was included in an appropriations bill that funds the federal government through September 2018, his office said in a news release. The funding bill, which averted another government shutdown, was signed by President Donald Trump Friday afternoon after he had earlier threatened to veto it.
Michael P. Crosby, president and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, said in the release that the funding will “significantly bolster the scientific community’s research to detect, respond to and develop innovative technologies to lessen the impacts from some of the country’s most challenging harmful algal blooms — red tide — on our environment, marine life and human health.”