Science

Florida Declares State Of Emergency As Red Tide Spreads

Florida Declares State Of Emergency As Red Tide Spreads”

"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, reports ABCNews.

The algae turns the water toxic for marine life, and in recent weeks beachgoers have been horrified to find turtles, large fish like goliath grouper and even manatees wash up dead.

Rick Scott declared a state of emergency today over the ongoing harmful red tide bloom that is killing tons of marine life on the state's west coast. The order declared an emergency in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

As part of the order, more than $100,000 has been alloted for biologists and scientists assisting with saving animals and cleaning up the beaches.

"The pressure, the wear and tear on our human resources, on our stranding operations, as well as the supplies, have been completely used up", explained President and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Dr. Michael Crosby.

This can be fatal, which is why red tides are often associated with fish kills.

Scott issued an executive order providing emergency funding and resources that would help communities rescue and protect wildlife and clean up the pervasive algae.

Another $500,000 will go to VISIT FLORIDA, so the agency can support local tourism officials in mounting a campaign to try to bring visitors back to the red tide zone - which stretches more than 100 miles from Sarasota almost to the tip of the state. The dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, or K. brevis, is the alga responsible for red tide, while blue-green algae is caused by different types of cyanobacteria, namely Microcystis aeruginosa, which is believed to be to blamed for the massive bloom in Lake Okeechobee, according to researchers from the University of Florida.

A scientist from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) took samples of waters near of Ft.

Scientists also are studying the possible use of naturally produced compounds from seaweed, parasitic algae and filter-feeding organisms that could be introduced to fight red tides. The governor also directed another $900,000 in grants to help Lee County's clean-up efforts.

Red tide algae bloom has been documented along the Florida Gulf Coast for decades and happens almost every year.

They said while they can't go out in the Gulf and stop the red tide from blooming, they hope to be able to work with the Florida Department of Health, as well as the Army Corp of Engineers and other agencies, to eventually stop red tide.



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