U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), chairman of the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard, will convene a hearing entitled, “Harmful Algal Blooms: The Impact on Our Nation’s Waters,” at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 28, 2018. The hearing will examine Harmful Algal Bloom events in the U.S. and provide an update on current research, technology, and monitoring techniques.
- Dr. Don Anderson, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Director of the Coastal Ocean Institute
- Mr. Ivory Engstrom, Director of Special Projects, McLane Research Labs, Inc.
- Mr. Bryan Stubbs, Executive Director and President of the Board, Cleveland Water Alliance
- Mr. Patrick Neu, Executive Director, National Professional Anglers Association
*Witness list subject to change.
Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard
This hearing will take place in Russell Senate Office Building, Room 253. Witness testimony, opening statements, and a live video of the hearing will be available on www.commerce.senate.gov
Mr. Bryan StubbsExecutive Director and President of the Board, Cleveland Water Alliance
Thank you, Mr. Chairman—and thank you, Senator Baldwin. This hearing comes as my state is grieving over senseless gun violence—yet again—and though I'm here, my heart is with Jacksonville.
Florida is also facing environmental and economic harm where toxic algae is coating both coasts, killing all manner of sea life, making people sick and hurting businesses.
I’ve been to Stuart and smelled the stench.
I’ve talked to parents who worried about letting their children play outside.
I’ve met with business owners who are worried about what the algae will mean for their bottom lines.
And I've got a stack of letters from Floridians here about the impact they are facing. Mr. Chairman, I'd like to enter these all into the record—but let me just read a line from one written by Christine Miller, the new owner of the Snook Hut Bait and Tackle shop in Cape Coral: "All those hundreds and thousands of dead fish due to the red tide and algae bloom decided not to go alone—they have taken all my business along with them."
Our storied white sand beaches should be lined with tourists, but instead they are lined with dead and rotting sea life, casualties from a massive noxious red tide event that’s lasted ten months and counting.
Over two thousand tons of dead fish and sea life have been removed from nearly one hundred and fifty miles of Florida’s world-renowned beaches this year alone.
Dead tarpon. Dead manatees. A dead whale shark.
The pictures are horrifying enough, but I can tell you it’s worse in person. As a fifth-generation Floridian, it breaks my heart to see our beaches and rivers fouled like this.
This is not a partisan issue. I’ve worked for years with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to secure funding for research on algae blooms and projects to restore the Everglades to send the water south as Mother Nature intended.
That’s why I’m pushing so hard for the House to act on the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Act.
Senator Portman and I introduced this bill last year – and it passed the Senate unanimously.
Last week, I joined my colleague Senator Rubio in filing a bill to require a coordinated scientific strategy to address toxic algae in South Florida and the Everglades.
These are each pieces of the broader puzzle.
And as we act at the federal level to restore and clean up the environment, the state must not add more fuel to the fire.
I’d like to thank the chairman for convening this hearing today.
I’d also like to welcome our witness Patrick Neu. He lives in Wisconsin but he also comes to fish down in my state of Florida. I know he’ll have a unique perspective on this issue. Mr. Neu, I look forward to hearing from you and the rest of our distinguished panel.
Witness Panel 1
Dr. Don AndersonSenior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Director of the Coastal Ocean Institute
Mr. Ivory EngstromDirector of Special ProjectsMcLane Research Labs, Inc.
Mr. Bryan StubbsExecutive Director and President of the BoardCleveland Water Alliance
Mr. Patrick NeuExecutive DirectorNational Professional Anglers Association
NATIONAL OCEANIC AND ATMOSPHERIC ADMINISTRATION U.S. DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE