Yesterday, 11 Members of Congress sent a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller Gene Dodaro requesting the examination of multiple issues concerning the federal government’s response to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia (state of low oxygen in the water), including how it is helping state and local governments address the problem, what adaptation methods are being employed, and the plans they have for studying and addressing the role of climate variability and extreme weather events in exacerbating HABs and hypoxia.
The letter was signed by House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX); Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS); Science Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK); Environment Subcommittee Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Roger Marshall (R-KS); Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH); Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL); Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR); Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL); Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL); and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL).
“Federal agencies, along with states, international organizations, and others, play a significant role in researching, forecasting, monitoring, and responding to HABs and hypoxia,” said the Members in the letter. “As federal agencies continue to conduct HAB and hypoxia-related activities to address these growing threats to our nation’s public health, environment, and economy, Congress must ensure that taxpayer dollars are used effectively and efficiently.”
A copy of the full letter can be found here.