Buchanan Advances Red Tide, Manatee Rehab Funding

Todays News

Photo courtesy Rep. Buchanan's Facebook.

A budget approved by the U.S. House of Representatives could bring more funding to combat red tide on the Gulf Coast.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, this week announced he had successfully secured $2.5 million for the National Water Quality Program that will be earmarked for research into harmful algal blooms. That comes after a number of significant red tide blooms that impacted the region over the past five years. 

In the 2022-’23 fiscal year alone, Manatee County cleared nearly 5 tons of dead fish and debris from area beaches attributed to red tide outbreaks.

The funding was one of two major ecological proposals Buchanan secured in the House budget. He also championed $1.15 million dedicated for the rescue and rehabilitation on manatees.

“These commonsense proposals will help ensure the survival of the iconic Florida manatee and combat red tide, which for too long has wreaked havoc on marine life, our waters and the many businesses that rely on Florida’s tourism-based economy,” said Buchanan. “I am very pleased to see these measures pass with broad bipartisan support and look forward to working to see them enacted into law.”

The money for both projects, per the House budget, would be directed through an Interior and Environmental funding bill.

Buchanan has also pushed for the past two years to put manatees back on the endangered species list, Sea cows were redesignated as merely threatened as of 2016. 

He also is continuing to work to treat red tide blooms impacting communities as federal disasters, similar to hurricanes.

Photo courtesy Rep. Buchanan's Facebook.

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