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Pinellas residents hope Florida legislators keep promise to fight red tide

Posted at 3:06 PM, Mar 05, 2019

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County businesses, residents and local leaders have one thing on the top of their minds as the Florida legislature reconvenes in Tallahassee; red tide.

Business owners, homeowners, and local leaders want to know what will be done this session to stop the disaster we saw on our beaches. Politicians promised action. Now, people who live in work in areas that were ravaged by red tide want to know: Will they deliver?

Florida’s population is expected to grow by nearly a million people over the next three years and by nearly 3 million people over the next decade! Some scientists say that will only make issues with red tide worse.

Several Pinellas County residents tell ABC Action News they feel confident that the Florida legislature will invest money into red tide research, forecasting and solutions to keep the toxic algae blooms from growing.

Pinellas County's issues with red tide stretched from September to late November. Red tide caused issues in Florida for nearly the entire 2018 year. Pinellas County picked up and disposed of 1,862 tons of dead fish.

Governor Ron DeSantis and several state legislators have vowed to make red tide funding a priority in the 2019 session.

Pinellas County is also hosting a red tide summit on March 28th from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort. The idea is to bring experts, citizens, businesses and local leaders together to brainstorm ways to improve water quality and learn about new technological advances to fight red tide.