BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — Red Tide is still being seen and felt on the Space Coast. Wednesday, federal and state officials gave an update about its statewide impact and when it possibly will be over.
- Officials conducting more tests to battle red tide
- LINK: FWC interactive red tide map
- VIDEO: Dr. Kelli Hunsucker with Florida Tech on what residents need to know about red tide
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This as more testing is being done as well as research to battle the problem.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is collecting around 100 water samples daily in beachside areas across Florida, monitoring the places feeling its affects.
Officials want to assure residents red tide is a common, natural phenomenon, which rarely impacts Florida's East Coast.
Wednesday, Eric Sutton, FWC Executive Director and Drew Bartlett, Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary of Ecosystems Restoration, spoke on the Space Coast about the issue that’s been plaguing the western Sunshine State for more than a year.
"It's a really successful algae," Sutton said. "So any nutrients it encounters onshore or offshore, it's going to utilize. There's a lot we know, a lot we don't know."
What is known is that thousands of dead fish have washed up on Brevard-area beaches over the past few weeks.
The DEP has given Brevard County $75,000 to clean it all up.
FWC'S interactive map shows high levels of red tide persisting in the Cocoa Beach area Wednesday, so it's possible more fish kills could be on the way.
"I don't want to minimize the impacts the east coast is feeling, but because they deal with it so infrequently, I think cooler heads need to prevail and be patient," Sutton urged.
Sutton added their scientists are studying ways to fight red tide.
Gov. Rick Scott announced Wednesday that $765,000 will go toward funding additional FWC scientists and field and laboratory equipment to support efforts to mitigate the impacts of naturally-occurring red tide.
He also announced that DEP has committed nearly $1.3 million in grant funding to Atlantic coast communities to support efforts to mitigate the impacts of red tide. This includes a commitment of more than $522,000 to Indian River, $500,000 to Palm Beach, $100,000 to St. Lucie, almost $75,000 to Brevard and $100,000 to Miami-Dade counties.
Red tide has been documented along the Florida Gulf Coast since the 1840's and happens nearly every year in the Gulf of Mexico.