Latta, Cartwright Introduce Bipartisan Legislation Addressing Algal Blooms in the Great Lakes
Congressman Bob Latta (R-OH) and Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA) have introduced legislation to examine the causes of algal blooms in the Great Lakes and evaluate mitigation efforts. The bill, the Great Lakes & Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act, authorizes the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to compile research and information on algal blooms in the Great Lakes, their tributaries, and surface fresh waters. It also requires that findings be reported to Congress and be made available to the public.
“The health of our Great Lakes is critical to our region and important to the entire country,” said Rep. Latta. “As more research is conducted on the causes of algal blooms and the best way to mitigate their effects, this bipartisan legislation empowers NOAA to create a comprehensive information center that can be a valuable resource as we tackle this issue. Being able to access pertinent data will help us develop and implement the most effective methods to ensure healthy water in our Great Lakes, their tributaries, and surface fresh waters.”
“Access to clean drinking water is a basic right,” said Rep. Cartwright. “This bill establishes a central database to research the causes of and corrective actions against harmful algal blooms. I look forward to working with my colleagues on this important piece of legislation.”
Algal blooms are a serious problem threatening the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Erie. The Great Lakes & Fresh Water Algal Blooms Information Act requires NOAA to create an electronic database for the voluntary submission of research and information by accredited institutions relating to the cause of algal blooms and mitigation efforts. Under the legislation, findings must be reported to Congress and be made publicly available. The Great Lakes region contains 84 percent of North America’s fresh surface water, providing 40 million Americans with drinking water, and generating tens of billions of dollars in fishing and tourism revenue.
Latta has long-championed protecting the Great Lakes including authoring the Drinking Water Protection Act, which was signed into law last Congress.