Sherrill and Bipartisan, Bicameral Group of Members Request GAO Study on Harmful Algal Blooms

May 1, 2020
Press Release

Parsippany, NJ -- Environment Subcommittee Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11) joined with ten Members of Congress in sending a bipartisan, bicameral letter to Government Accountability Office (GAO) Comptroller Gene Dodaro requesting that the GAO examine the federal government’s response to harmful algal blooms (HABs) and hypoxia (state of low oxygen in the water).

The Members requested that the study review how the federal government is helping state and local governments address the problem, what adaptation methods are being employed, and the plans they have for studying and addressing the role of climate variability and extreme weather events in exacerbating HABs and hypoxia.

“Harmful Algal Blooms are a serious environmental and economic threat to New Jersey,” said Chairwoman Sherrill. “Businesses are suffering in our community due to the pandemic, and we must continue to work together to ensure we are taking every possible step to protect our natural resources like Lake Hopatcong and the businesses they support. This bipartisan request to GAO will help the federal government prioritize research and help state and local governments respond to HABs.”

“Federal agencies, along with states, international organizations, and others, play a significant role in researching, forecasting, monitoring, and responding to HABs and hypoxia,” said the Members in the letter. “As federal agencies continue to conduct HAB and hypoxia-related activities to address these growing threats to our nation’s public health, environment, and economy, Congress must ensure that taxpayer dollars are used effectively and efficiently.”

The letter was signed by House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX); Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS); Science Committee Ranking Member Frank Lucas (R-OK); Environment Subcommittee Chairwoman Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) and Ranking Member Roger Marshall (R-KS); Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH); Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL); Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR); Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL); Congressman Francis Rooney (R-FL); and Congressman Michael Waltz (R-FL).

PDF iconA copy of the full letter can be found here.