U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who spent much of Friday in Captiva surveying area damage from blue-green algae and red tide, afterward moderated a roundtable discussion with local officials to discuss water quality issues and the local economic impacts of the devastating algal outbreaks.

“Today I saw firsthand the impacts that toxic algae and red tide are having on communities in Southwest Florida,” Rubio said. “We are making progress, but we must continue to ensure the right resources are available for the communities affected by these blooms and work to solve our underlying water quality and infrastructure challenges.”

Watch a video following Rubio’s visit here

On Thursday the state’s Republican junior senator introduced the South Florida Clean Coastal Waters Act, according to a written statement from his Senate office staff.

The legislation would direct the Interagency Task Force on Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) to assess the causes and consequences of HABs in Lake Okeechobee and around Florida’s south and southwestern coast. The idea is to determine federal resources available to solve these challenges.

Rubio also recently secured $1 million in Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funds for areas affected by harmful algal blooms.

An extended timeline of Rubio’s efforts to fight the South Florida algal blooms can be found here


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