Gov. Scott Issues Emergency Order for Red Tide

James Marshall
August 14, 2018

Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday for several counties dealing with the nine-month-old red tide algae bloom which has hurt Florida's economy.

Scott spokesman McKinley Lewis said those two counties were included because they are considered "at risk" of being hit by the bloom in the near future.

This year's red tide crisis has attracted national attention. The Sunshine State has not seen a bloom of this magnitude in more than a decade.

The pungent algae bloom began in October and stretches about 150 miles (240 kilometers) from Naples in the south to Anna Maria Island in the north and appears to be moving northward.

"As Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay area continues to feel the devastating impacts of red tide, we will continue taking an aggressive approach by using all available resources to help our local communities", Scott said in a prepared statement.

"More than double the number of animals being impacted at this time of the year from the Red Tide, and we are seeing large loggerhead sea turtles being effected and that is because this Red Tide has lasted into the nesting season", explained FWC biologist Robbin Trindell.

The executive order issued by Scott will make additional biologists and scientists available to assist with clean-up and animal rescue efforts. "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. "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". Once it's near land, it intensifies because of pollution from septic tanks, sewage leaks and fertilizer from farms and suburban lawns. Scott has tried to focus blame on the federal government and his opponent, Sen.

Scott and other politicians who have accepted campaign contributions from the sugar industry have been blamed by some critics for being part of the problem not the solution.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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