Fact Check: Brian Mast’s Leadership To Combat Toxic Algae Began On Day 1 Fact Check: Brian Mast’s Leadership To Combat Toxic Algae Began On Day 1

Environmental Groups The Everglades Trust and Bullsugar.org have both endorsed Congressman Brian Mast for re-election and praised his leadership:

“Congressman Mast Has Done More To Address The Health Threats To His Constituents And Damage Caused By Discharges Than His Predecessors Accomplished In Decades” – Bullsugar.org

“Brian Mast Is The First Member of Congress Representing This District To Step Up In Such A Powerful And Immediate Fashion To Address The Devastating Conditions That Have Been Plaguing The Northern Estuaries And Everglades For Decades” – The Everglades Trust

Bullsugar.org went as far as to say that “if all Florida Members of Congress were this strong, we might not have an algae crisis on our hands.”

But Lauren Baer keeps insisting that the Congressman praised by local environmental groups for his leadership has really just tricked them all and is actually “an election-year environmentalist.”

So, who should voters trust? Let’s check the facts.

Lauren Baer registered to vote in the 18th District of Florida on September 28, 2017 – less than one week before announcing her campaign for Congress. Here is a list of the steps Congressman Mast had already taken to address the water issues before Lauren Baer even lived in the 18th District (in chronological order, starting the week he was sworn into office):


January 2017

  • Wrote a letter to President-Elect Trump Calling For Robust Funding in His Budget Proposal To Combat Harmful Algal Blooms
  • Secured A Spot On The Transportation & Infrastructure Committee that Oversees the Army Corps of Engineers
  • Secured the Vice Chairmanship of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee That Oversees the Army Corps of Engineers
  • Joined The Climate Solutions Caucus
  • Joined The Everglades Caucus
  • Brought Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster To Stuart To Witness The Water Issues Firsthand


February 2017

  • Wrote a Letter To President Trump Urging Full Funding For The Central Everglades Restoration Program (CERP)
  • Co-Founded The Congressional Estuary Caucus


March 2017

  • Testified Before Congress About The Need To Fund Water Infrastructure Projects In South Florida
  • As Vice Chairman, Hosted A Hearing On The Federal Role In Improving Water Infrastructure
  • Wrote A Letter To President Trump Calling For The Federal Government To Fund and Expedite Completion of Florida Water Infrastructure Like The Herbert Hoover Dike
  • Signed A Letter Urging Full Funding For The Land and Water Conservation Fund
  • Signed A Letter Urging Support For The National Estuary Program
  • Lobbied Committee Leadership For Robust Funding For CERP And CEPP


April 2017

  • Introduced Legislation To Force The Federal Government To Pay For The Damage Caused By Lake Okeechobee Discharges (Federal Do No Harm Act)
  • Lobbied Committee Leadership For Continued Support For CDC Research On The Human Health Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms
  • Lobbied Committee Leadership For Continued Support For NOAA’s Coastal Science Programs


May 2017

  • Introduced Legislation To Expedite Completion of The EAA Southern Storage Reservoir (Everglades FIRST Act)
  • Invited (& Later Hosted) Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke To See The Everglades and Lake Okeechobee Firsthand
  • Joined With Bipartisan Florida Members In Opposition To An Administration Proposal To Eliminate The South Florida Geographic Initiative


June 2017

  • Asked Committee Leaders To Include Language Supporting Climate Change Research In The Congressional Appropriations Bill For The Department Of The Interior
  • Lobbied Strongly Against Offshore Drilling in Florida


July 2017

  • Passed Legislation For $150 million To Directly Help The Everglades, Including More Than $80 Million To Expedite Rehabilitation Of The Herbert Hoover Dike
  • Wrote & Passed Amendments To Secure Funding To Combat Harmful Algal Blooms
  • Lobbied The Army Corps and South Florida Water Management District To Expedite Their Review Of S.B. 10 (The EAA Southern Storage Reservoir)
  • Called On The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers To Not Discharge Water After Discovery Of Massive Algal Bloom on Lake Okeechobee


August 2017

  • Introduced Legislation Incentivizing The Development Of Technology To Combat Harmful Algal Blooms (HABS Act of 2017)
  • Introduced Legislation Requiring the Inter-Agency Task Force On Harmful Algal Blooms To Focus Specifically on Florida And Develop The First-Ever Comprehensive Federal Plan To Combat Harmful Algal Blooms in Florida


September 2017

  • Passed Another 9 Amendments He Wrote To Secure More Than $20 Million In Funding To Combat Harmful Algal Blooms, Research Human Health Impacts and Mitigate Toxic Agricultural Runoff:
    • $8 Million To Develop New Technologies To Mitigate The Impacts of Harmful Algal Blooms
    • $5.6 Million To Promote Environmentally Sustainable Agriculture and Toxic Runoff Mitigation
    • $2 Million To Expand Prevention and Monitoring of Harmful Algal Blooms
    • $1.5 Million For Research On Contaminated Seafood and Human Health Impacts Of Toxic Water
    • $1.1 Million To Research Water Quality Impacts of Land Use and Runoff
    • $1 Million In Grants For Mitigation And Removal of Toxic Substances
    • $1 Million To Research The Human Health Impacts of Exposure To Harmful Algal Blooms
    • $1 Million To Research Harmful Algal Bloom’s Impact on Animals and Exposure to Disease From Toxins
    • $400,000 For The CDC’s Safe Water Program