11 appointed to Red Tide task force
ENGLEWOOD- The Red Tide Task force is back after 15 years, with a promise of sustained funding. 11 researchers and scientists will be looking at the causes of Red Tide algae blooms with a re-instated task force.
“That has been inactive and it has not had funding in 15 years,” DeSantis said. “And so I said we needed to get this going again, we asked the legislature for $4.8 million dollars, they delivered $4.8 million dollars.”
The task force will work alongside the new Red Tide initiative led by Mote Marine Lab.
“That will focus on mitigating and combating the effects of red tide,” DeSantis said. “While this task force, the red tide task force is looking at the causes of Red Tide.”
Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick is on the new task force, and says sustained funding even when there is no algal blooms will be the key to success.
“I’d like to say we won’t have a bloom for three more years,” Dr. Barbara Kirkpatrick said. “Maybe it will be a year I don’t know, but we want to be ready, we want to be able to have those tools in the tool box now and not be surprised when we get the next bloom.”
Governor DeSantis says he’s worked with the army corps to alter the discharge schedule at lake Okeechobee, and the small change has been positive so far.
“If we look at the water quality and where we were at this time last year,” Chris Whitman said. “As compared today, it’s night and day, our fisheries are thriving, waters beautiful. I’m hearing from fishing guides up and down both coasts of Florida about how great the water looks.”
DeSantis says ensuring clean water in the state will continue to be a top priority.
“When I came into office,” DeSantis said. “I had all these things on my plate, and this was one of the top things that we did, so I would say a lot of the publics been involved and the message has been received, and I think we’re in a different posture as a result so keep it coming.”
The task force will hold their first meeting in September.