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Florida pours additional $3 million to fight impacts of red tide

Dead marine animals wash ashore at South Lido Key Beach. Photo taken on Aug. 4, 2018 by Dylan Jon Wade Cox.
Dead marine animals wash ashore at South Lido Key Beach. Photo taken on Aug. 4, 2018 by Dylan Jon Wade Cox. (Photo by Dylan Jon Wade Cox)

An additional $3 million in grant funding is being allocated to communities along Florida's Gulf Coast that have been affected by the red tide bloom that's wiping out wildlife and devastating beaches.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the funding on Tuesday, noting that it comes from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which already provided $3 million in grant funding in July to assist areas affected by a toxic blue-green algae bloom.

[RELATED: These Florida maps show where red tide, blue-green algae are the worst] 

     “Today I am directing DEP to provide an additional $3 million in grant funding to support our local communities as they respond to these damaging blooms. As we provide this funding, VISIT FLORIDA and the Department of Economic Opportunity are continuing to support impacted businesses. We will continue to do everything we can to support the communities and businesses impacted by red tide,” Scott said.  

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Officials plan to use the funding to rescue distressed marine animals, continue water testing, increas aerial surveys and more.

The funding allocated to assist communities affected by red tide and blue-green algae is as follows:     $750,000 for Manatee County, more than $190,000 for Collier County, nearly $100,000 for Sarasota County, $2 million for Lee County, and $700,000 for Martin County.

[READ: Bill Nelson, Rick Scott point fingers at each other about Florida's environmental woes]

Red tide has been in bloom along Florida's Gulf Coast since October in what officials say is the most persistent outbreak in decades. While Scott and other leaders are spending money on cleaning up fish kills and trying to get local tourism to rebound, finding a solution to end the Karenia brevis bloom has proven to be more difficult.

For more information on what the state is doing to improve the red tide and blue-green algae situation Florida is facing, click here.


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