TwitterFacebookPinterestGoogle+

Gov. Scott: State Prepared to Deploy Resources, Funding to Atlantic Coast Communities Impacted by Red Tide

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott reiterated the State of Florida’s commitment and readiness to deploy any needed resources or funding to communities impacted by naturally-occurring red tide. Governor Scott’s announcement today follows confirmation by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) that red tide is present in low to medium concentrations in an isolated area of the Atlantic Ocean off Palm Beach County. To date, Governor Scott has directed grant funding of more than $10 million to support efforts in impacted counties to mitigate and combat red tide. In August, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 18-221 declaring a state of emergency due to impacts of red tide. Red tide is naturally-occurring algae that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. For more information on red tide in Florida, click HERE.

Governor Scott said, “With red tide now observed on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, we aren’t wasting any time combatting this natural phenomenon. Over the past 61 years, scientists at FWC have documented red tide in Florida’s Atlantic waters nine times, and now, just as we’ve done on the Gulf Coast, we are absolutely committed to quickly deploying every available resource our Atlantic Coast communities may need to combat and mitigate red tide. Over the past months, we have directed more than $10 million to impacted counties for mitigation and clean-up efforts and with yesterday’s news, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and FWC are already in contact with impacted Atlantic Coast communities to make sure they have what they need. While red tide is nothing new to Florida, we won’t spare any resources to combat the current impacts and make sure that all of our communities quickly recover.”

In July, at Governor Scott’s direction, DEP launched a grant program for red tide and blue-green algae mitigation and clean-up which has provided a total of $10 million in funding specifically for red tide. This is in addition to the nearly $2.2 million to test innovative technologies to mitigate the effects of red tide, including expansion of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Ozone Treatment System, $1.2 million announced for FWC’s redfish hatchery, $100,000 for Mote Marine Laboratory’s red tide response, and $500,000 for VISIT FLORIDA to create an emergency grant program to assist local tourism development boards in counties affected by the naturally-occurring red tide. In total, DEP is providing funding to support efforts to battle red tide and blue-green algae in the following counties:

  • More than $3.3 million for Pinellas County;
  • $750,000 for Manatee County;
  • More than $190,000 for Collier County;
  • Nearly $1.5 million for Sarasota County;
  • More than $330,000 or Charlotte County;
  • More than $5 million for Lee County; and
  • $700,000 for Martin County.

THE STATE OF FLORIDA HAS TAKEN THE FOLLOWING ACTIONS ON RED TIDE:

 

FISH AND WILDLIFE

  • On September 26th, Governor Scott called in to the FWC Commission Meeting following the letter he sent on September 20th urging the Commission to take the following action on red tide:
    • Create the Florida Center for Red Tide Research, a new resource for local communities impacted by red tide;
    • Re-establish the Florida Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force; and
    • Request an increase of funding for red tide research during the upcoming 2019 Florida Legislative Session.
  • FWC and DEP have provided an additional nearly $2.2 million to Mote Marine Laboratory for the initiation of its field testing of a specialized clay focused on quelling red tide and expansion of its Ozone Treatment System which takes water containing the algae that causes red tide and filters it, returning clean water back to areas impacted by this naturally-occurring algae.
  • At Governor Scott’s direction, FWC has partnered with world-renowned experts and scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Mote Marine Laboratory, the University of South Florida and DEP to focus on using a form of specialized clay to quell the effects of red tide. See the announcement HERE.
  • FWC is providing $1.2 million to enhance research and production of redfish at the FWC Stock Enhancement Research Facility at Port Manatee. Learn more HERE.
  • DEP and the FWC have provided $100,000 in additional funding to Mote Marine Laboratory to support efforts to rescue distressed marine animals, such as dolphins, sea turtles and manatees.
  • Continuation of enhanced water monitoring and testing by DEP and FWC to give scientists the best possible data to work with.
  • At Governor Scott’s direction, FWC has mobilized all available resources to mitigate naturally occurring red tide, and Executive Director Eric Sutton has waived rules through an executive order to expedite the removal of dead fish – regardless of applicable bag, size, or possession limits or of season or area closures – from shoreline, inshore or nearshore areas in the following counties: Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas.
  • FWC law enforcement officers have been actively helping with animal rescue and red tide reconnaissance work.
  • Additional biologists and scientist are available to support local government’s response to red tide and protect wildlife.
  • FWC is performing increased aerial surveys of the red tide bloom.
  • FWC is operating the toll-free fish kill hotline. To report fish kills, contact the FWC Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 orsubmit a report onlineReports from this hotline help FWC researchers track and better understand the impact of red tide in Florida.
  • FWC remains available to local agencies and partners in affected areas, including area business and tourism groups in Southwest Florida. Any local agency or group that has any questions or concerns can contact Susan Neel from the FWC at 850-528-1755.
  • FWC continues to partner with the Florida Department of Health (DOH) to advise residents and visitors of any potential health impacts. Residents and visitors can contact DOH’s aquatic toxin experts at 850-245-4250 or contact their local health department for any concern about health safety.
  • FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory work together to monitor Karenia brevis. This cooperative effort is designed to help mitigate the adverse impacts of red tide. This joint research program that includes red tide monitoring, research and public outreach and education has resulted in better tools and ongoing monitoring for red tides along the Gulf Coast.
  • In partnership with FWC, the Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides (CPR) at the University of South Florida offers a new Harmful Algal Bloom tracking tool that generates a 3.5-day forecast of the bloom trajectories.
  • To protect public health, FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute’s Harmful Algal Bloom group closely monitors the status of Karenia brevis on Florida’s coasts, providing technical support to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), the agency that regulates approved shellfish harvesting areas.
  • Since 2000, FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute established a Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program, which is a volunteer program for citizens to help collect water samples from routine collection points and sites reported for suspected harmful algal blooms. The timely sampling by volunteers allows researchers to provide an early warning of offshore algal blooms and investigate reported events as they occur. The Program needs volunteers to collect samples from all coastal Florida counties. To view more information visit, Red Tide Offshore Monitoring Program or use the Volunteer SignUp Form.

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

  • DEP has provided $13 million in funding to support efforts to battle impacts of red tide and blue-green algae in the following counties:
    • More than $3.3 million for Pinellas County;
    • $750,000 for Manatee County;
    • More than $190,000 for Collier County;
    • Nearly $1.5 million for Sarasota County;
    • More than $330,000 or Charlotte County;
    • More than $5 million for Lee County; and
    • $700,000 for Martin County.
  • DEP continues to perform enhanced water testing, beach cleanup and public outreach, as well as the deployment of additional biologists to assist communities dealing with naturally occurring red tide.

 

HEALTH AND SAFETY

  • DOH has reached an agreement with Mote Marine Laboratory to start air quality monitoring for red tide beginning October 8th. The first three counties to be sampled will be Pinellas, Sarasota and Lee.
  • Florida’s County Health Departments (CHD) have taken the following actions:
    • DOH-Lee has posted and is maintaining red tide signs at more than 180 beach access points along the Lee County coastline. The red tide signs provide details on respiratory issues, health precautions, and resources for FWC, Mote Marine Laboratory and current beach conditions. Environmental staff and CHD leadership are in contact with city and county leadership, as well as local partners, in order to coordinate efforts and messaging. A press release detailing the effects of red tide and resources for mediation was sent out to local media partners. Additional resources, like website materials, social media posts, etc., have been shared with local partners for their use and distribution to their partners. More substantial red tide signs were purchased in August and staff replaced the damaged/missing signs along the beach access points, as well as added additional signs at popular fishing sites and boat ramps. More than 300 total signs have been posted in Lee County.
    • DOH-Manatee has hosted a discussion with community partners to understand current roles and share resources. The CHD has a distribution list setup to share information quickly with key personnel. They are also helping to coordinate discussions to help our partners meet on a periodic basis.
    • DOH-Sarasota leadership and environmental staff have been in contact with city and county government and Visit Sarasota in order to coordinate messaging and provide template signage, website links, and creative materials. The CHD has also worked with the county in order to post signs at every beach, provided rack cards to the county and Mote for distribution.
    • DOH-Charlotte has posted signage along the beaches to advise visitors and tourists about the water conditions. The CHD has performed outreach to their community partners, as well as local government, to share informational resources, creative materials and public health messaging. They also are coordinating efforts and assisting their sister agencies, as needed.
    • DOH-Pinellas is currently working with the county government to update a red tide webpage that provides public health and safety information. Environmental staff are in constant communication with central office subject matter experts to discuss outreach and other best practices, should they be needed.
    • DOH-Hillsborough is working with their community and county officials to finalize a joint information system, and continues to monitor the situation.


BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY

  • At the direction of Governor Scott, VISIT FLORIDA began developing a marketing campaign to assist Southwest Florida communities that will start following this year’s red tide blooms.
  • VISIT FLORIDA created a $500,000 Tourism Recovery Grant Program for Red Tide to assist local tourism development boards in counties affected by the naturally-occurring red tide.
  • VISIT FLORIDA launched a Red Tide Recovery Marketing Program offering six months complimentary VISIT FLORIDA marketing partnership, which includes an enhanced web listing on VISITFLORIDA.com, public relations and social media resources and the opportunity to have a presence in the official Florida Welcome Centers with brochure distribution, lobby booth displays and showcase participation.
  • The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) has activated the Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program to provide short-term, interest free loans to affected businesses.
  • DEO continues to encourage impacted businesses to submit a business damage assessment survey at http://www.FloridaDisaster.biz. Surveys help DEO and their partners determine additional resources that may be made available to help the business community recover.
  • Following requests by Governor Rick Scott, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a disaster declaration on red tide. Please find the announcement from the SBA on red tide HERE.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

VIDEO NEWS

National Politics

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Border official resigns amid uproar over migrant children

HOUSTON (AP) — The acting head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection resigned Tuesday amid…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Fox’s Hannity, Carlson enjoy Trump rally ratings bonanza

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson enjoyed a ratings…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Robert Mueller to testify publicly before 2 House committees

WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify publicly before Congress on…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Latinos for Trump Team Announced, Includes Orlando's Bertica Cabrera Morris

MIAMI, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Vice President Mike Pence announced the launch of Latinos for…

STATE & LOCAL POLITICS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

TRUMP VISITS ORLANDO: Florida Democrats and Activists to Hold Win With Love Rally

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) – Florida Democrats will hold a counter rally with thousands of…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Governor Ron DeSantis Highlights Computer Science and STEM Achievements in Pinellas County

LARGO, Fla. – Today, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Ridgecrest Elementary School in Pinellas County to…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Governor Ron DeSantis Announces Plan to Evaluate Security of Elections Systems in Florida and a Total of $5.1 Million for Election Cybersecurity

Tallahassee, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the Florida Department of State (DOS)…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Andrew Jeng Enters Florida House District 43 Race in Osceola County

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Former Kissimmee City Commission candidate and tech business owner Andrew Jeng…

FNN SPORTS

MORE SPORTS NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Orlando City Beats New England 2-1, Advances to US Open Cup Quarterfinals

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN SPORTS) - Orlando City hosted an aggressive New England Revolution at Exploria…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

“90 for 90” campaign to celebrate 90 years of Golf Legend Arnold Palmer

ORLANDO, Fla. – In honor of what would have been Arnold Palmer’s 90th birthday this…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

U.S. Army Colonel Hal Kushner Named Honorary Pace Truck Driver for the Coke Zero Sugar 400

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Retired U.S. Army Col. Hal Kushner, an area resident who served…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Warriors beat Raptors 109-104 to even NBA Finals

TORONTO (AP) — The Golden State Warriors relied on a champion’s heart to overcome their…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Analysis: Why the Raptors will win the NBA Finals

TORONTO (AP) — Last time Kawhi Leonard played Golden State in the playoffs, he was…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Adam Silver reveals advice he’s given to Zion Williamson

TORONTO (AP) — NBA Commissioner Adam Silver says he has already offered presumed No. 1…

BUSINESS NEWS

MORE BUSINESS NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Getting to Know Sutherlin Nissan Co-Owner “U.S. Marine”

WINTER PARK, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - “U.S. Marine,” the man who owns Sutherlin Nissan, pretty…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Trump Delays Imposing Tariffs on Auto Imports and Parts

WASHINGTON (AP) — Caught in a sprawling trade dispute with U.S. rival China, President Donald…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

US to Add 30,000 Seasonal Worker Visas as Soon as This Week

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration plans to allow 30,000 more foreign workers temporarily into…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Shark Tank Star Daymond John, DWTS's Lindsay Arnold, Joey Fatone to Host Runway to Hope 2019 Gala

ORLANDO, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - Runway to Hope co-founder Attorney Mark NeJame announced on Facebook Wednesday…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Bank of America Raising Hourly Minimum Wage to $20

NEW YORK (AP) — Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Pinterest sets sites on $1.5B in first public share offering

NEW YORK (AP) — Pinterest, among a gaggle of tech companies planning to go public…

ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

  • NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Taylor Swift says she’s kicking off Pride Month by asking Tennessee’s Republican U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander to protect LGBTQ rights and support the Equality Act.

MORE ENTERTAINMENT NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Cardi B pleads not guilty to new charges in strip club brawl

NEW YORK (AP) — Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B was arraigned Tuesday on new felony charges…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Gooding due in court as lawyer seeks groping case dismissal

NEW YORK (AP) — Cuba Gooding Jr. is due in court as his lawyer seeks…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

blink-182 and Lil Wayne Join Forces for Co-Headlining Summer Tour

LOS ANGELES, Ca. (LiveNation) — Multi-platinum, award winning artists blink-182 and Lil Wayne announced they’ll be hitting the road together…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Kevin Spacey appears at court for hearing in groping case

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — Sporting a gray suit and glasses, Kevin Spacey appeared Monday at…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Taylor Swift asks Tennessee senator to support Equality Act

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Taylor Swift says she’s kicking off Pride Month by asking Tennessee’s…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

A diminished ‘Godzilla’ still bests ‘Rocketman,’ ‘Ma’

NEW YORK (AP) — The latest iteration of the Godzilla franchise took over the top…

LIFESTYLE, TRAVEL & TOURISM

  • LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - 26th Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival Blooms for 90 Days at Walt Disney World Resort (Photo courtesy Walt Disney World)

MORE LIFESTYLE NEWS

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Getting to Know Sutherlin Nissan Co-Owner “U.S. Marine”

WINTER PARK, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - “U.S. Marine,” the man who owns Sutherlin Nissan, pretty…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

“90 for 90” campaign to celebrate 90 years of Golf Legend Arnold Palmer

ORLANDO, Fla. – In honor of what would have been Arnold Palmer’s 90th birthday this…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Florida Republican Party Chairman, State Senator Joe Gruters to Keynote Orlando Republican Women Federated June Event

APOPKA, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - As the 2020 election season builds momentum, the Florida Republican…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

Flagler County Republican Club Launches 2020 Election Season with Sweet Contest

PALM COAST, Fla. (FNN NEWS) - The Flagler County Republican Club's (FCRC) annual Blue Ribbon…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

[PHOTOS] 2019 Cannes Film Festival: ‘Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood’ Stars Electrify the Red Carpet

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) - Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood premiered…

An error occured during creating the thumbnail.

[PHOTOS] 2019 Cannes Film Festival: Model Winnie Harlow Wows on the Red Carpet

CANNES, France (FNN NEWS) - Game-changing model Winnie Harlow, who rocked the world several years ago…