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Florida has money and resources ready as red tide that has lingered along the Gulf Coast has been detected in Palm Beach County’s coastal waters, Gov. Rick Scott’s office said Tuesday. 

As the impacts of red tide have consumed headlines, the economic and environmental angles have been covered at length.  But at ground zero for the toxic algae bloom, the emotional impact is palpable. 

Florida is waiting on Congress to authorize two efforts that could help address algal blooms plaguing the state's coastal and inland waterways.

Stephen Splane / WUSF Public Media

Another part of Florida is dealing with an outbreak of the toxic algae bloom known as red tide.

Media outlets report that red tide has now showed up in northwest Florida. 

WMFE

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is pumping another $4 million into efforts to help local communities suffering from red tide and a massive algae outbreak, raising spending to $13 million for the water problems.

The agency’s money will be used in Pinellas, Manatee, Collier, Sarasota, Lee and Martin counties.

Stephen Splane / WUSF Public Media

Florida Gov. Rick Scott was confronted by dozens of protesters during a southwest Florida campaign stop. 

The Sanibel and Captiva Chamber of Commerce reports businesses on the two islands lost $19 million in just July and August. Thursday, US Senator Bill Nelson met with business owners to talk about solutions. 

The federal government, with the help of Mote Marine Laboratory, is continuing to investigate a significant spike in dolphin deaths in the Gulf of Mexico -- and they want to know if red tide is playing a part in it.

Red tide arrived in Pinellas County over the weekend with numerous reports of dead fish along beaches from Fort DeSoto to Clearwater. 

As Florida struggles with 'red tide' algae blooms on the west coast and blue-green algae in inland waterways, a federal program to help communities deal with harmful algae outbreaks is set to lose its Congressional authorization at the end of September.

It's been a long time since Florida's Gulf Coast has seen a red tide outbreak this severe.

Everglades advocates are telling Congress to get moving on a major restoration project needed to help prevent future algae blooms like the ones currently choking inland and coastal waterways in Florida. 

WMFE

Political broadsides continue over who is to blame for ongoing water-quality problems across South Florida, as Gov. Rick Scott on Friday ordered more action to address red tide in coastal communities. 

WMFE

Toxic algae again is blooming in Florida waterways.

The algae began in Lake Okeechobee and is spreading after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers initiated flows to the adjoining Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

Amy Green/WMFE

A $3 million grant program for local governments to clean toxic algae blooms in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries has been started by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office Monday announced the grant program, which follows his July 9 executive order declaring a state of emergency for Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties because of algae outbreaks.

Leaking septic tanks may be causing prolonged algae blooms like the one currently killing fish and wildlife near Lake Okeechobee.

Last week, Gov. Rick Scott ordered a state of emergency for seven counties around Lake Okeechobee as a result of toxic algae blooms. Now the Army Corps of Engineers is releasing water from the lake because the algae has spread to both Florida coasts, hurting home values, tourism and local businesses. 

On the heels of a toxic algae bloom spreading across South Florida, Bay County health officials are reminding residents and visitors to be careful in area waters through a health campaign.

Amy Green/WMFE

The White House on Tuesday backed Florida’s effort to secure federal funding for a reservoir intended to move water away from Lake Okeechobee and reduce discharges that residents blame for repeated toxic algae outbreaks spreading on both coasts.

Amy Green/WMFE

As calls grow for state action to deal with toxic algae blooms in Southeast and Southwest Florida, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced funding is in place to speed repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee.

Amy Green/WMFE

Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants discharges of polluted water out of Lake Okeechobee redirected elsewhere.

Satellite images this month show a harmful red tide algal bloom festering in the Gulf of Mexico-- mere miles away from the shorelines of Southwest Florida. But birds have been telling us this for over a month.

 

 


The Gulf County bay scallop season is now open to harvesters, after state wildlife officials postponed the season for about two months.

Toxic algal blooms have been happening more often in the rivers off Lake Okeechobee. One of the main causes is phosphorous runoff from wastewater and farmland. But a new filter may make algal blooms caused by wastewater a thing of the past. 

A blue-green algae bloom in Doctors Lake is posing a serious health risk to swimmers.

Blue-green algae blooms that devastated Florida's coasts last summer contained as many as 28 types of bacteria, some of which can harm humans.

A new report by the American Civil Liberties Union is raising questions about the state’s handling of last summer’s toxic algae blooms in South Florida. 

Toxic Algae Found To Be Growing Global Concern

Oct 26, 2016

New research shows toxic algae blooms like those that plagued Florida’s coastal estuaries this summer are a growing global problem.

Research from the U.S. Geological Survey shows toxic algae blooms have been reported nationwide and are implicated in human and animal illness and death in at least 43 states.

With state lawmakers tussling over water policy ahead of next year’s legislative session, the governor is reiterating his bid for cleaner water.  He’s also asking the feds for money to clean up algae.

NASA EARTH OBSERVATORY

A new state report estimates that half the lake area in Florida contains elevated levels of algae.

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