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Congress Reauthorizes National Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Legislation

On June 17, 2014, Congress passed a reauthorization of the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act (HABHRCA)—legislation last reauthorized in 2004. HABHRCA is critical for protecting the public from these environmental events, as well as furthering NOAA’s goals to maintain healthy oceans and build resilient coastal communities and economies.

the U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC

United States Capitol Building located in Washington, D.C. Credit: Architect of the Capitol, Executive Office of the President.

In a roll call vote, the Senate concurred with the House amendment to S.1254, a bill to amend the HABHRCA of 1998. The new bill will update NOAA’s statutory authority and reauthorize appropriations through fiscal year 2018. The bill now goes to the President for him to sign into law.

With the reauthorization of HABHRCA, Congress recognizes that harmful algal blooms and hypoxic events pose significant hazards to coastal communities, ecosystems, and economies. Working under the authority granted by this legislation, NOAA’s National Ocean Service (NOS) programs will advance the scientific understanding and ability to detect, monitor, predict, prevent, and control harmful algal blooms and hypoxic events. This legislation also strengthens NOS’s role in broader ecological forecasting.

For more information, contact Rob.Magnien@noaa.gov.

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Shorter web link for sharing: http://coastalscience.noaa.gov/news/?p=12525

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