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Gov. Ron DeSantis signs red tide bill into law

$3 million a year will go toward tackling red tide
What's fueling the red tide?
Posted at 2:00 PM, Jun 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-21 05:35:26-04

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Tackling red tide: it's something Governor Ron DeSantis says he takes seriously. Thursday, he signed a red tide mitigation and technology development initiative into Florida law. The bill establishes a coordinated effort to prevent, control and mitigate red tide.

DeSantis says Florida will commit $3 million a year for the next 5 years from the general revenue fund to help FWC and Mote Marine for the purpose of prioritizing red tide prevention.

The Governor also recently established a blue-green algae task force and a brand new Center for Red Tide Research which will accomplish many tasks including a study that will explore the potential long-term health impacts on those exposed to harmful algal bloom toxins.

“Innovative technologies will play a vital role in our continued efforts to address water quality issues facing our state and I’m confident this partnership between FWC and Mote Marine will advance our knowledge in this area,” said Governor DeSantis.

The Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative is required to submit an annual report, beginning January 15, 2021, containing an overview of the initiative’s accomplishments and priorities to the Governor, the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection and the Executive Director of FWC.

Businesses in Pinellas and Sarasota Counties tell ABC Action News these initiatives are a good start. They all agree that they'd like to see more money and research invested into tackling the problems associated with red tide, which killed billions of fish and cost Florida's tourism industry millions of dollars last year.