State of emergency declared over Florida’s red tide

Gov. Scott declares red tide emergency in 7 Florida counties

Lee County will get the most funding under the new order, as Scott added another $900,000 in grants for cleaning up all the dead wildlife on its beaches to bring its total state funding to more than $1.3 million.

"I am issuing an emergency declaration to provide significant funding and resources to the communities experiencing red tide so we can combat its bad impacts", said Governor Rick Scott in a statement on Monday.

Gov. Rick Scott, a man who over the past eight years cut almost $700 million from Florida's environmental agencies (many of whom oversee algae outbreaks) declared a state of emergency today to combat our current algae outbreak.

The counties with health and safety concerns include Lee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier and Manatee, where the algae bloom has killed fish, turtles, manatees and potentially 11 dolphins and a whale shark, The Tampa Bay Times reports.

Accompanying the emergency declaration is a "significant amount of funding" and "resources", according to Scott's office. The first recorded instances was in the 1840s, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. "Today, I am issuing an emergency declaration to provide significant funding and resources to the communities experiencing red tide so we can combat its bad impacts", Scott said.

Scott is ordering $100,000 for additional scientists to help with clean-up efforts and another $500,000 to help local communities and businesses struggling with lost income as tourists flee.

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Scott says the state will deploy all state resources to the seven counties impacted and do everything possible to help business recover.

Scientists statewide and with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration are trying to understand the lengthy lifespan of this year's bloom, which began in October 2017.

A series of other changes in agencies are in effect.

Under the declaration, more than $100,000 will be given to Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota to increase local efforts to save animals affected by red tide.

The governor's office said enhanced water monitoring and testing would continue to help FWC track the toxic algae bloom.

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