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Gov. Scott Issues Emergency Order for Red Tide

15 August 2018

Gov. Rick Scott issued the executive order declaring the state of emergency on Monday.

According to Gov. Rick Scott, Red tide is a naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida's Gulf Coast since the 1840's and occurs almost every year.

The state's tourism-marketing agency, VISIT Florida, also is getting $500,000 to administer an emergency grant program to help small businesses in local communities that depend at least in some part on business from visitors.

"I am issuing an emergency declaration to provide significant funding and resources to the communities experiencing red tide so we can combat its bad impacts", Scott said in a statement on Monday. "Today, I am issuing an emergency declaration to provide significant funding and resources to the communities experiencing red tide so we can combat its bad impacts".

According to Scott, the Mote funding will allow the organization to deploy more scientists to save animals. For marine life, red tide has caused widespread fish kills and killed other marine life.

The negative effects can affect humans when the waves break and release the toxins into the air, leading to respiratory irritation and for those with chronic respiratory conditions symptoms can be more severe.

The state's Department of Health issues beach warnings to impacted areas. Part of the reason why red tide is so prominent this season is because there are some leftover blooms from previous year, Bob Weisberg, a professor of physical oceanography at the University of South Florida's College of Marine Science, told ABC News.

Scott spokesman McKinley Lewis said those two counties were included because they are considered "at risk" of being hit by the bloom in the near future. What is going on? "This is a real crisis - we need all hands on deck!"

"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.

Experts say the most devastating Red Tides usually follow active hurricane seasons like the one experienced in 2017 with hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Gov. Scott Issues Emergency Order for Red Tide