Gov. Scott declares red tide emergency in 7 Florida counties

Clark Diaz
August 16, 2018

Tourists and residents alike have been chased away from Florida's famous beaches by an ominous-sounding ecological occurrence: red tide.

Part of the order provides for additional biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to "assist in clean-up and animal rescue efforts".

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 order extends to Collier, Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

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"While we fight to learn more about this naturally-occurring phenomenon, we will continue to deploy all state resources and do everything possible to make sure that Gulf Coast residents are safe and area businesses can recover", Scott said. Lee County, at the center of the outbreak, has received a total of $1.3 million for its cleanup efforts, according to Scott's statement, while tourism agency Visit Florida has been granted $500,000 in an effort to bolster flagging tourism across areas of the state affected by red tide. "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.

"I am issuing an emergency declaration to provide significant funding and resources to the communities experiencing red tide so we can combat its awful impacts", said Governor Rick Scott in a statement on Monday.

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.

The state's Department of Health issues beach warnings to impacted areas.

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Red tide locations in southwest Florida.

"I called on the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to help with the algae & red tide crisis here in Florida", Nelson tweeted. What is going on?

The red tide ― a harmful bloom of algae that occurs naturally ― began past year and has spread through the Gulf of Mexico, now spanning some 150 miles.

How is red tide affecting Florida?

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