(Washington, DC) – Yesterday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report on harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia. The report was originally requested in April 2020 by 11 Members of Congress including Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK), Environment Subcommittee Chair Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL), Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL), and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL). In the report, GAO recommends further action to address harmful algal blooms and hypoxia. GAO specifically calls on the co-chairs of the existing interagency working group, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to address HABs and hypoxia with six recommendations for executive action.
“This report makes it abundantly clear that we must do more to address the threat of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia,” said the Members. “These toxic blooms are an environmental challenge across all 50 states of the U.S., and their prevalence, frequency, and severity are increasing. The negative impacts of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia are far-reaching, affecting public health, the environment, and our economy. This report will be a key resource as Congress continues to work to address these growing threats and we thank the GAO for its work in putting it together.”