Red Tide Crisis in Florida, State of Emergency Declared


The emergency order Scott issued Monday applies to mitigation efforts in adversely affected counties including Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier.

The algae turns the water toxic for marine life, and in recent weeks beachgoers have discovered turtles, large fish, and even manatees washed up dead.

Gov. Rick Scott, a man who over the past eight years cut almost $700 million from Florida's environmental agencies (many of whom oversee algae outbreaks) declared a state of emergency today to combat our current algae outbreak.

"This system gets rid of the red tide, gets rid of the toxins, gets rid of the excess organic matter that's decomposing, and it deoxygenates the water, so it's really a win-win situation", said Mote Marine Laboratory senior scientist Richard Pierce.

This can be fatal, which is why red tides are often associated with fish kills. Scott has also ordered $500,000 go to Florida's tourism board to help local people and businesses recover from the drop in vacationers. The dinoflagellate Karenia brevis, or K. brevis, is the alga responsible for red tide, while blue-green algae is caused by different types of cyanobacteria, namely Microcystis aeruginosa, which is believed to be to blamed for the massive bloom in Lake Okeechobee, according to researchers from the University of Florida.

Willian enjoying Chelsea's 'Samba style' under Maurizio Sarri
The Frenchman added: "Now the system is something different, especially the way we play now". This is what we will try to do this season".

"Red tide" refers to the natural phenomenon of toxic algae blooms and resulting wildlife die-off that has occurred many times along Florida's coasts.

A scientist from Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) sampled coastal waters west of Ft. Lee County will use this additional funding to enhance the county's efforts to clean local waterways from impacts caused by red tide.

Governor Rick Scott's declaration of a state of emergency will bring some relief.

At 10 months, the current bloom is a long one but not as long as the 17-month red tide that beset southern Florida from the end of 2004 until early 2006, or the red tide just a few years before that, which lingered along southwest florida for 21 months. "We are looking for signature types of nitrogen, like those in the lake, to see if they scoot right through and into the Gulf, where the red tide is".

FWC has mobilized all available resources to mitigate 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 all seven counties included in the governor's order.