This week, Gov. Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) will send $400,000 to Lee County to help fight red tide, raising the total funds sent there to $1.1 million. Scott issued an executive order last month which had DEP create a $3 million grant program to help local governments fight red tide and algae blooms.
“I am using my executive authority to provide additional funding to allow communities in Lee County to better clean our waterways,” Scott said this week. “We will continue to implement real solutions to help our local communities deal with both the algal issues caused by federal water discharges from Lake Okeechobee and this year’s red tide bloom. I encourage more local governments to apply for this important funding.”
DEP Secretary Noah Valenstein also weighed in on his department’s role in helping local governments fight red tide and algae blooms.
“DEP is pleased to be able to continue our partnership with Lee County to address the impacts of both blue-green algae from federal Lake Okeechobee discharges and from the naturally-occurring red tide. We continue to look for ways to support local communities and focus on both short and long-term solutions to help combat and mitigate algal blooms,” Valenstein said.
“Last week, Governor Scott directed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and DEP to enhance water testing, beach cleanup, public outreach as well as the deployment of additional biologists to assist communities dealing with naturally occurring red tide,” the governor’s office noted. “DEP had previously awarded $700,000 to Lee County to combat blue-green algae and remove it from various tributaries and canals along the Caloosahatchee River. Lee County will use this additional funding to enhance the county’s efforts to clean local waterways from impacts caused by red tide. Red tide is a naturally occurring algae that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year.”
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