DeSantis Signs Bill to Mitigate Harmful Effects of Red Tide
Submitted by Nancy Smith on June 21, 2019 - 5:50am
Gov. Ron DeSantis traveled to Sarasota Thursday for a ceremonial signing of SB 1552: Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, a bill that establishes a partnership between the Fish and Wildlife (FWC) Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory to develop technologies and approaches to control and mitigate red tide and its impacts.
The legislation supports the objectives of Executive Order 19-12, signed by DeSantis two days into his term on Jan. 10, 2019. The executive order called for expedited action to protect and restore waterbodies of the state. Additionally, the governor’s recommended budget prioritized increased research and a focus on science, and the exploration of innovative technologies to address and mitigate harmful effects of red tide and blue-green algal blooms.
“Innovative technologies will play a vital role in our continued efforts to address water quality issues facing our state and I’m confident this partnership between FWC and Mote Marine will advance our knowledge in this area,” said DeSantis. “I thank the Florida Legislature for their support in addressing these environmental challenges that increasingly threaten our fragile ecosystems and the way of life for so many Floridians.”
Senate President Bill Galvano added, “Our economy, health and quality of life are tied to the well-being of our environment. ... I appreciate Governor DeSantis’ support for this important legislation and for his ongoing advocacy for innovative, science-based solutions that will help Florida address ongoing environmental concerns that impact communities across our state.”
Michael P. Crosby, Ph.D., Mote Marine president and CEO, thanked the governor and Legislature for the opportunity to meet the challenges. “Governor DeSantis stated in his inaugural address that the quality of our water and environmental surroundings are foundational to our prosperity as a state, and that together we will fight red tide. Clearly, he doesn’t just talk, he follows through with action. Mote welcomes the opportunity to serve in a leadership role for the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative, in partnership with FWC and a number of our partners. This initiative provides vital and consistent funding for science-based solutions to impacts from red tide that negatively affect our state’s environment, economy and way of life.”
The bill provides for an annual appropriation of $3 million beginning in the 2019-2020 fiscal year and through the 2024-2025 fiscal year from the General Revenue Fund to FWC for the purpose of implementing the bill.