Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Gov. Scott declares state of emergency over toxic algae bloom

The Russians are coming… to hit Florida's midterms Democratic senator claims Voters head to the polls during the US presidential election in St. Petersburg Florida
Sandra Phillips | 15 August, 2018, 14:05

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

Unlike July's emergency order aimed at curbing the state's blue-green algae bloom stemming from Lake Okeechobee, today's announcement focuses on Florida's other disgusting algae problem, red tide.

Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon due to impacts of red tide in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough, and Pinellas Counties.

"In addition to the emergency order, I am also directing a further $900,000 in grants for Lee County to clean up impacts related to red tide - bringing total red tide grant funding for Lee County to more than $1.3 million", Scott said.

A news release from Scott's office said his order will free up $500,000 for the state's tourism agency, Visit Florida, to establish an emergency grant program and a new marketing campaign to help local communities hit hard by the bloom and subsequent fish kills "continue to bring in the visitors".

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.

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Lingering Red Tide bloom moves north, killing fish near mouth of Tampa Bay.

Red tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic algae, with blooms, in higher than normal concentrations frequently occurring in the Gulf of Mexico, that can produce toxic chemicals to marine life and humans.

In humans, red tide can cause respiratory irritation, Weisberg said, but it's usually temporary unless the person suffers from severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic lung disease.

County health departments, according to Scott's office, are actively posting signage warning beachgoers and boaters of red tide-affected areas. Said they are ready to help but can't until the state asks for it. Why aren't state leaders asking for help?

"Red tide" refers to the natural phenomenon of toxic algae blooms and resulting wildlife die-off that has occurred many times along Florida's coasts. The current intensity and duration of red tide is something Florida has not experienced since 2006.

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