Governor Rick Scott announced that the State of Florida will direct a nearly $2.2 million investment towards testing technologies that reduce the impact of red tide. The efforts used include clay field experiments and other innovative approaches including the expansion of Mote Marine Laboratory Ozone Treatment System.
The Mote Marine Laboratory has continuously tested the Ozone systems at their aquarium located in Sarasota and most recently in canals in Boca Grande. Red Tide is naturally-occurring algae that has been documented along Florida's Gulf Coast since the 1840's and occurs nearly every year.
"As our state continues to battle naturally-occurring red tide along our Gulf Coast, we will stop at nothing to help our communities deal with this issue," Scott said.
Last week Scott wrote a letter urging the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to create a new Florida Center for Red Tide Research and reconvene the Harmful Algal Bloom Task Force.
Since the red tide began impacting the shores, he said, more than $14 million in grants and other funding was directed to combat this natural phenomenon.
Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory, welcomed the significant support from Scott to build on the impactful research collaborations with FWC.
"The primary focus of this initiative will be to determine the most effective and ecologically sound methods for mitigating adverse impacts from the harmful algae, K. brevis, along the southwest Florida coast and canal systems," Crosby said.
In August, Governor Scott issued Executive Order 18-221 declaring a state of emergency due to impacts of red tide. To date, Governor Scott has directed grant funding totaling $13 million for communities impacted by red tide and blue-green algae.