//Florida Bill Funds Red Tide Mitigation

Florida Bill Funds Red Tide Mitigation

Bill filed to support Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative led by Mote Marine Laboratory
Today, Florida House Representative and Majority Whip Michael Grant (District 75) sponsored House Bill 1135 to establish the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative. This Initiative will focus on the development of innovative technologies and approaches critically needed for control and mitigation of red tide impacts that can cause devastation to marine life and harm local economies. A companion Senate Bill is expected to be introduced soon.
This independent, coordinated effort among public and private non-profit research entities will build upon the already highly productive cooperative red tide research program between Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Mote, and will utilize applied science in order to develop and test innovate approaches and technologies to determine the most effective and ecologically sound methods for mitigating adverse impacts from red tide. The Initiative will have Mote collaborating with FWC, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, universities and other institutions to ensure the best and brightest scientists from Florida and around the world are brought together for developing new mitigation technologies.
This Initiative would be allocated $3,000,000 per year from new appropriations beginning in 2019-2020 fiscal year, with a continuous annual appropriation at this level through the 2024-2025 fiscal year.
“Our Gulf Coast region endured a challenging season of red tide,” said Majority Whip Grant. “This legislation supports the best scientific minds by augmenting their red tide mitigation research and technology development, and empowering our communities with the ability to fight the next potential outbreak.”
The companion bill in the Florida Senate is being introduced by Senator Joe Gruters. “I’ve been in Sarasota for 41 years, and I’ve never seen red tide as bad as it has been in the last year,” said Gruters. “Consistent funding is essential for effective research and red tide mitigation technology development, and I am happy to support this Initiative that will have Mote leading this vital work for our region’s environment, economy and quality of life.”
Earlier this week, Mote hosted the Bay Area Legislative Delegation for a discussion on red tide. The delegation, made up of state legislators from Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties, unanimously passed a motion to make the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative a priority for the upcoming legislative session.
“We are so pleased that our legislators are making red tide research a priority for this year, and recognize that the Florida Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Initiative will be a game-changer for the region,” said Mote President & CEO Dr. Michael P. Crosby. “This Initiative will not only utilize applied science and innovation to fight Florida red tide, but will also stimulate Florida’s economy through technology transfer that helps transform ecological challenge to economic opportunity.”
About Mote: Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium is an independent, nonprofit, 501(c)3 research institution founded in 1955. Mote began and flourished through the passion of a single researcher, Dr. Eugenie Clark, her partnership with the community and philanthropic support, first of the Vanderbilt family and later of the William R. Mote family.
Today, Mote is based in Sarasota, Florida, with five campuses stretching from Sarasota to the Florida Keys. Mote has more than 20 world-class research programs studying oceans locally to internationally, with an emphasis on conservation and sustainable use of marine resources. Mote’s vision includes positively impacting public policy through science-based outreach and education. Showcasing the Lab’s research is Mote Aquarium, open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 365 days a year. Learn more at mote.org.

Aerial image of a bloom of Florida red tide taken in August 2018 by Dr. Vincent Lovko, Mote Staff Scientist and Manager of Phytoplankton Ecology Program. Photo credit: Mote Marine Laboratory
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