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House Approves Waltz-Sponsored Water Quality Bills

On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed four water quality bills sponsored by Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) to definitively assess and manage stressors on coastal communities dealing with ocean acidification.

“Improving water quality is a critical priority for Florida’s coast,” Waltz said. “Waterways are essential to our community’s growth and prosperity. We need to prevent red tide and harmful algal blooms, not just monitor or react to these issues. These bills give us the tools necessary to keep our waterways beautiful.”

The COAST Research Act of 2019 (H.R. 1237) establishes an advisory board of individuals from relevant industries, non-governmental organizations and state and local governments to advise the National Science and Technology Council’s and the Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Acidification.

The National Estuaries and Acidification Research Act of 2019 (H.R. 988) requires the Ocean Studies Board of the National Academies of Science to assess stressors in estuarine environments and report its findings to Congress.

The Ocean Acidification Act of 2019 (H.R. 1921) creates federal competition for agencies belonging to the Interagency Working Group on Ocean and Coastal Acidification for innovation or adaptation management development.

The Coastal Communities Ocean Acidification Act of 2019 (H.R. 1716) would require the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to assess the socioeconomic impacts of ocean acidification and to work with states like Florida on this issue. The assessment would identify relevant communities, assess economic vulnerabilities and identify harmful ocean acidification impacts on communities.

“So much of our community’s culture depends on our coast,” Waltz said. “I’m thankful the House is stepping up to address this issue so Florida can maintain healthy oceans for generations to come.”

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