Washington D.C.– Today, the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment unanimously approved H.R. 2484, the Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act of 2011, legislation that authorizes a targeted research plan to improve efforts to monitor, prevent, mitigate and control both marine and fresh water algal bloom and hypoxia events. 

“Harmful algal blooms (HABs) affect nearly every State in the U.S., and the complexity in understanding and responding to these events has eclipsed our current research and response structure,” said Subcommittee Chairman Andy Harris (R-MD).  “Important to my District, the Chesapeake Bay is a national environmental treasure that so many Marylanders depend on for jobs.  During these tough economic times, it is important that we continue research on the latest technologies to prevent further damage to one of Maryland’s most important economic engines.”

HABs are an abundance of freshwater or marine algae that can produce toxins and cause harm to the surrounding environment.  Different types of algae, the causes of their explosive growth, and the effect they have on the ecosystem varies so greatly that there is no single, national solution to deal with HABs.  Not only do HABs and hypoxia represent an important environmental issue, but they can also have a direct detrimental effect the livelihoods of Americans who rely on clean, healthy waterways. 

H.R. 2484 represents Chairman Harris’ first bill in Congress.