TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency to deal with red tide.

The state of emergency declared Monday covers Sarasota, Manatee, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, along with Collier and Lee counties.

Red tide this year has been ongoing for months and has resulted in fish kills and respiratory issues along the Gulf Coast.

Beaches that are usually full on the weekends have been empty due to the bloom, and some businesses say they’re seeing a decline in customers.

The emergency declaration will help provide significant funding and resources to the communities experiencing red tide so they an combat its terrible impacts.

This includes making additional FWC biologists and scientists available to assist in clean–up and animal rescue efforts, more than $100,000 for Mote Marine Laboratory, and $500,000 for VISIT FLORIDA to establish an emergency grant program to help local communities continue to bring in the visitors that support so many Florida businesses.