Advertisement
  1. Florida Politics
  2. /
  3. The Buzz

Ron DeSantis signs red tide bill, but environmentalists worry there’s not enough prevention in it

The bill has drawn criticism from environmentalists, who argued during the legislative session that the proposal had a limited focus on prevention, with the primary attention directed at controlling and mitigating outbreaks.
Workers clean up thousands of small fish on North Redington Beach, Tuesday, September 11, 2018 as a result of Red Tide in the Gulf. The smell was pungent. [SCOTT KEELER | TIMES]
Published Jun. 21

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday an initiative between the state and Sarasota-based Mote Marine Laboratory that includes $3 million a year for the next five years to research the causes and impacts of red tide.

The bill (SB 1552) creates the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative as a partnership between the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory.

“We will see tremendous progress towards solutions to control and mitigate this phenomenon,” DeSantis said Thursday at Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

The initiative comes after Florida’s Gulf Coast was inundated by one of the longest recorded algae outbreaks last year. The source of the annual outbreaks in Florida and the Gulf of Mexico is blooms of a single-celled organism called Karenia brevis algae, which produces toxins that kill fish, birds, sea turtles, manatees and dolphins and can cause shellfish poisoning in humans.

The bill has drawn criticism from environmentalists, who argued during the legislative session that the proposal had a limited focus on prevention, with the primary attention directed at controlling and mitigating outbreaks.

The initiative will have to start providing annual updates on its accomplishments starting January 2021. The bill also requires Mote to use some of the money to engage with other “pertinent” state and international marine science and technology development organizations to study ways to control the impacts of red tide.

The funding comes in addition to $6.6 million for red tide research included in the state budget, which DeSantis said Thursday he will sign Friday or Monday.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Lagoa, left, and Robert Luck, right, were appointed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta by President Trump. Florida Supreme Court
    Ok losers, who needs access to our state politicians, anyway?
  2. Fox News host Tucker Carlson (left) and former national security adviser John Bolton Associated Press
    Carlson said Bolton was “one of the most progressive people in the Trump administration.”
  3. Wreckage left behind by Hurricane Michael. News Service of Florida
    Entire school systems are still recovering from long-standing damage and dealing with the disruptive aftermath of the storm.
  4. An aerial view of the AmericanAirlines Arena, of the Miami Heat. American is set to leave as the named sponsor by the end of 2019. DRONEBASE VIA AP
    BangBros, best known for filming sex scenes in vans, announced it had submitted a $10 million bid to replace American Airlines as title sponsor of the county-owned arena.
  5. From left, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. raise their hands to answer a question Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, during a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) DAVID J. PHILLIP  |  AP
    This time, the Democratic debate showed clear policy differences. But which ones were factual?
  6. An architect's rendering shows part of a planned research center and hospital on N McKinley Drive in Tampa for the Moffitt Cancer Center. During the 2020 legislative session in Tallahassee, the center will seek an increased share of Florida's cigarette tax to finance the McKinley Drive project and other improvements. Moffitt officials said Thursday that the increase initially would finance $205 million, to be paired with $332 million they have already allocated for the project. Moffitt Cancer Center
    Florida lawmakers are the key to unlocking the money, which would pay for more hospital beds and research space.
  7. The Agency for Persons with Disabilities [Special to the Times]
    Potential changes could affect virtually every client that receives services through the state’s disabilities program, to save tens of millions from the agency’s bottom line.
  8. Florida Supreme Court Justices Barbara Lagoa, left, and Robert Luck, right, were appointed to the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta by President Trump. Florida Supreme Court
    Justices Barbara Lagoa and Robert Luck have been serving on Florida’s highest court since January.
  9. From left, Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., entrepreneur Andrew Yang, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke and former Housing Secretary Julian Castro are introduced Thursday, Sept. 12, 2019, before a Democratic presidential primary debate hosted by ABC at Texas Southern University in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) DAVID J. PHILLIP  |  AP
    It’s the the third time the Democratic presidential candidates met to debate, and the first time that all three front runners, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, shared the same stage.
  10. Tampa City Council member Bill Carlson wants the city's Community Redevelopment Areas to have an executive director that answers to council members, not Mayor Jane Castor. JONES, OCTAVIO   |  Tampa Bay Times
    Council members voted Thursday to advance a plan to hire an executive director to manage the city’s Community Redevelopment Areas, removing that position from Mayor Jane Castor’s control.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement