Florida Declares Emergency As Red Tide Blooms

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Rick Scott declared a state of emergency today over the ongoing harmful red tide bloom that is killing tons of marine life on the state's west coast.

Executive order 18-221 will allocate $1.5 million in funds to state agencies, including $100,000 to Mote Marine Laboratory to assist local scientists in saving distressed animals, $500,000 to the stats's public/private marketing arm Visit Florida to combat the terrible images of dead fish, and $900,000 to Lee County to actually clean up the dead fish.

VISIT FLORIDA will also create a $500,000 emergency grant program to assist local tourism development boards in counties affected by the naturally-occurring red tide.

Lee County will get the most funding under the new order, as Scott added another $900,000 in grants for cleaning up all the dead wildlife on its beaches to bring its total state funding to more than $1.3 million. The current outbreak developed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Southwest Florida, and covers about 120 miles of coastline and has recently moved north.

Part of the reason why the red tide is so prominent this season is because there are some leftover blooms from a year ago, Bob Weisberg, a professor of physical oceanography at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science, told ABC News.

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

How is red tide affecting Florida?

This summer, that means the devastating red tide is happening at the same time as a toxic blue-green algae bloom spreads in the Caloosahatchee River and St. Lucie Estuary.

Apple, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. "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". Researchers also continue to study whether pollution and human activity may be intensifying the effects of red tide. Fish and other wildlife have been washing up dead on beaches throughout Florida, including more than 300 sea turtles, manatees and even a whale shark that may have been killed by the phenomenon.

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