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Algae bloom bill signed by Obama

President Obama signed a bipartisan bill Monday that combats toxic algal blooms, a proposal pushed by U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Beaverton and other members of Congress.

Toxic algae blooms — also called red tides or brown tides — can harm lakes, streams and oceans, affecting fish, manatees, dolphins, sea lions, and birds. People swimming in contaminated areas have gotten sick as a result, and some of their pets have even died.

The legislation is important to Oregon, because the state has been hit with harmful algal blooms on the coast, Lost Creek Reservoir, the Rogue River, Dexter Reservoir, Fern Ridge Lake, Walterville Pond and Tenmile Lakes.

Bonamici worked with Ocean Champions, an advocacy group based in Northern California, on the bill. The national cost of algae blooms is $100 million a year, Ocean Champions estimates.

The bill will improve the nation’s ability to predict and respond to algal blooms, helping scientists find ways to reduce their intensity and frequency, which have been increasing across the U.S.

Steve Law can be reached at 503-546-5139 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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