The Indian River Lagoon

Our Indian River Lagoon is one of the nation’s most diverse estuaries.  It greatly enhances our communities and contributes significantly to our local beauty and economy.  I raised my family along the Lagoon.  It’s important we do all we can to care for our Lagoon and maintain its health and vitality.

Harmful algal blooms over the past 4 years have contributed significantly to degradation in our Lagoon. I was pleased to lead a bipartisan effort in the House to amend a Senate bill in the House Science Committee to enhance research coordination across all level of government. The research funded through this legislation contributes to our efforts to better understand the causes of and prevention of harmful algal blooms.  This bill was unanimously approved by the House.

I actively supported reauthorization and funding for the National Estuary Program, which assists local communities in maintaining nationally significant estuaries like the Indian River Lagoon by funding research, planning, and restoration initiatives.

Funding for the Prescott Marine Mammal Rescue Assistance matching grant program is also important in giving us a better understand the cause of death for dolphins and manatees. When the Administration proposed cutting 2014 funding for the Prescott program, I stepped up to support funding for the program and that funding was restored.

Ultimately it’s up to all of us – our communities, local, state and federal leaders – to work together and take responsibility for our Lagoon and support efforts to preserve and restore the health of our Lagoon. Many of our local communities and counties have taken steps to address issues related to the Lagoon.  There are very helpful resources available at http://www.sjrwmd.com/waterbodies/whatyoucando.html.