Senate passes bill for research on algae harm to fish

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday that would require the administration to report to Congress on the harmful effects too much algae are having on fish.

Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) introduced S. 1254, the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Research and Control Amendments Act, which would require the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere to establish a national harmful algal bloom and hypoxia program and report a plan for Congress to address the issue.

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According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the bill would authorize the appropriation of $92 million between 2014-2018 for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to mitigate the effects of harmful algal blooms and hypoxia in certain bodies of water.

The issue is important to the ecology of the Mississippi River, Gulf of Mexico and Great Lakes among others. When there are too much dead algae in a body of water it can reduce oxygen levels and kill fish.

The Senate passed the bill through a unanimous consent agreement, sending it to the House for further action.

Before adjourning for more than one week, the Senate also confirmed dozens of military nominees.