"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", said Governor Rick Scott in a statement on Monday, reports ABCNews. Bill Nelson. On Aug. 3, Scott directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to "mobilize all available resources" to address red tide impacts in Southwest Florida's coastal communities. While scientists today acknowledge the natural roots of Florida's red tides, they also are investigating the possibility that persistent blooms, like the one besetting the Gulf Coast this summer, might be getting a "booster shot" from man-made pollutants that spill into the ocean. "The city continues to coordinate with our partners at the county and state levels as we combat the effects of red tide and the threats it presents to the health and safety of our residents and guests".
The map above shows the shore being plagued by the red tide algae in Florida. "To distinguish K. brevis blooms from red tides caused by other species of algae, researchers in Florida call the former the "Florida red tide".
The algae turns the water toxic for marine life, and in recent weeks beachgoers have been horrified to find turtles, large fish like goliath grouper and even manatees wash up dead.
In Sarasota County, officials said Friday that since August 1 they have removed more than 66 tons of fish from county beaches.
- From rescues to recoveries, the staff at Mote Marine Laboratory has worked nonstop since the bloom of red tide hit Bay Area beaches and waterways. In addition, the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium will receive $100,000 in extra funding to increase its response to the red tide.
This is their spawning period and there's been numerous reports of dead snook, from Charlotte to Manatee counties.
The toxins generated by red tide can be harmful to people and marine life.
In humans, red tide can cause respiratory irritation, Weisberg said, but it's usually temporary unless the person suffers from severe or chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma or chronic lung disease. And it's not just the red tide and saltwater that people should avoid - toxic blue-green algae polluted the freshwater Caloosahatchee River and area canals earlier this summer.