We all remember how devastating Red Tide was to our area in 2018 and how we were on pins and needles this year anticipating its return. On Wednesday several state agencies met to discuss the efforts the state is implementing to combat Red Tide.
Since 2019, the state has allocated over $14.5 million to the Center for Red Tide Research at FWC, which was created in 2019. Additionally, Governor DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 1552, which established the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, a partnership between FWC and Mote Marine Laboratory to develop technologies and approaches to control and mitigate red tide and its impacts. Senate Bill 1552 provided a $3 million annual appropriation to the initiative for six years, totaling $18 million.
During the roundtable discussion DEP Interim Secretary Shawn Hamilton said algal blooms have the ability to impact environmental health as well as the economic health of our communities. “Today, we were able to hear directly from stakeholders about their needs and ways we can enhance our collaborative efforts to combat red tide. Effectively addressing these impacts requires an all-hands-on-deck approach at both the local and state levels.”
Florida Chief Science Officer Dr. Mark Rains added that “The Blue-Green Algae Task Force is committed to working with the Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force to identify gaps in our understanding and develop strategies based on sound science and thorough research to mitigate both the short- and long-term effects of harmful algal blooms.”
Stay up to date on what the state is doing to prtect Florida’s waterways HERE.