Florida Governor Declares Emergency Over Red Tide For 7 Counties

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"The City continues to coordinate with our partners at the county and state levels as we combat the effects of red tide and the threats it presents to the health and safety of our residents and guests".

This year's red tide crisis has attracted national attention.

The Governor of Florida issued a state of emergency in response to this year's excessive red tide, the toxic algae bloom spreading across the West Coast of the Sunshine State and leaving beaches covered with piles of dead marine wildlife.

The state executive order 18-221 was announced August 13 - after Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties - sending aid to responders in their efforts to combat red tide. The Sunshine State has not seen a bloom of this magnitude in more than a decade. The current outbreak developed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Southwest Florida, and covers about 120 miles of coastline and has recently moved north.

Red tides occur on an nearly yearly basis off Florida, starting out in the Gulf of Mexico where swarms of microscopic algae cells called Karenia brevis feed on deep-sea nutrients and are sometimes carried by currents close to shore, usually in the fall.

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Research funding was welcomed by Michael Crosby, president and chief executive of the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. "This includes making additional FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) biologists and scientists available to assist in clean-up and animal rescue efforts".

Executive order 18-221 will allocate $1.5 million in funds to state agencies, including $100,000 to Mote Marine Laboratory to assist local scientists in saving distressed animals, $500,000 to the stats's public/private marketing arm Visit Florida to combat the disgusting images of dead fish, and $900,000 to Lee County to actually clean up the dead fish.

Humans exposed to Red Tide toxins suffer respiratory problems, burning eyes and skin rashes.

The situation has gotten so bad that Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for several counties. Once it's near land, it intensifies because of pollution from septic tanks, sewage leaks and fertilizer from farms and suburban lawns. The first one targeted the blue-green algae bloom in Lake Okeechobee and its adjoining waterways. Scott has tried to focus blame on the federal government and his opponent, Sen.

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