Governor Rick Scott today directed an additional $3 million to Pinellas County through DEP’s red tide emergency funding, bringing the total of state funding for red tide to Pinellas County to $6.3 million. In addition to this funding, the Governor is allocating another $3 million to DEP’s red tide emergency funding to ensure other communities have access to the resources they need to combat the impacts from this naturally-occurring phenomenon.
Governor Scott said, “As our coastal communities continue to combat red tide, we are taking action to ensure they have the resources they need. In total, we have provided more than $20 million to respond to this year’s red tide, including funding for cleanup efforts, additional scientific testing and marketing through VISIT FLORIDA.”
This year, Florida has provided more than $20 million to combat the effects of red tide:
- $16.3 million has been made available for communities impacted by red tide through the grant program that was launched in July by DEP;
- Nearly $2.2 million has been awarded to test innovative technologies to mitigate the effects of red tide, including expansion of Mote Marine Laboratory’s Ozone Treatment System;
- $1.2 million has been provided to enhance the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) redfish hatchery;
- $100,000 has been provided for Mote Marine Laboratory’s red tide response;
- $500,000 for VISIT FLORIDA to create an emergency grant program to assist local tourism development boards in counties affected by the naturally-occurring red tide; and
- $765,000 was directed by Governor Scott yesterday to the FWC to support red tide response by funding additional personnel and field and laboratory equipment.
DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein said, “DEP is proud to continue to partner with local communities to help them address the impacts of red tide. Thanks to Governor Scott’s leadership, we’ve been able to provide $13.4 million in grants to local communities throughout Florida, helping to minimize the impacts from red tide.”
DEP has awarded more than $13.4 million in funding to support efforts to battle red tide in the following counties, not including the additional $3 million in grant funding now available:
- Committed more than $6.3 million for Pinellas County;
- $750,000 for Manatee County;
- More than $265,000 for Collier County;
- Nearly $1.5 million for Sarasota County;
- More than $330,000 for Charlotte County;
- Committed $500,000 for Palm Beach County;
- $100,000 for St. Lucie County;
- Nearly $75,000 for Brevard County;
- Committed $522,000 for Indian River County;
- Committed nearly $100,000 for Miami-Dade County; and
- $3 million for Lee County.
To help mitigate the effects of red tide, DEP and FWC have been in contact with each impacted county on the east and west coasts to ensure they have every resource needed to combat red tide. Additionally, DEP and FWC continue to monitor for red tide along Florida’s coastlines, and are prepared to deploy resources to areas impacted by red tide. Red tide is naturally-occurring algae that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. Since 1957, Florida scientists have documented red tide on Florida’s Atlantic Coast nine times. In August, Governor Scott declared a state of emergency due to the impacts of red tide. For more information on red tide in Florida, click HERE.