12/03/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2019 01:23
Late last month, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced that his administration will distribute more than $13 million to fund a new initiative to reduce and prevent future harmful algal bloom outbreaks in New Jersey. NMMA applauded the program, which will fund science-based prevention, mitigation, study, and response efforts across the state.
'The presence of harmful algal blooms in New Jersey's waterbodies severely impacts our public health and economy,' said Governor Murphy. 'The rise of harmful algal blooms is a global challenge and our initiative to reduce future blooms will allow us to protect the health of our residents, as well as the economies of our lake communities. I am grateful for the continued collaboration with our local, state, and federal partners to proactively address this environmental challenge and become a national model for reducing the occurrence of harmful algal blooms.'
In 2019, there were over 70 suspected and 39 confirmed harmful algal blooms in New Jersey, which is higher than the previous two years. The new initiative includes three components to prevent harmful algal blooms from forming in New Jersey's waters. The first component provides more than $13 million in funding to local communities to reduce harmful algal blooms.
The second element of the initiative is to build upon the state's scientific expertise and enhance its capacity to respond to harmful algal bloom events. This includes establishing a team of experts from across various sectors to evaluate the state's strategies to prevent HABs and pursuing additional monitoring, testing and data management capacity.
The third component increases the Department of Environmental Protection's ability to communicate with affected communities. The Department will host two regional harmful algal bloom summits in early 2020 to better share information ahead of the warmer months when harmful algal blooms begin to appear. To assist with this effort, the Department will also develop new web tools to better communicate HAB incidents. The Department will continue to assist local governments with stormwater and septic discharge compliance and investigate facilities near waterbodies to ensure compliance with discharge permits.
For more information, please contact NMMA director of state government relations, Libby Yranski at [email protected]