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Environment

Amid Red Tide Outbreak, DeSantis Praises Sarasota Research Facility's Efforts

Governor Ron DeSantis and guests tour research facility
WUSF Public Media
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the recently opened Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Facility at Mote Marine Aquaculture Research Park in Sarasota.

In 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law an initiative between the state and Sarasota-based Mote Marine Laboratory that includes $3 million a year for six years to develop strategies to mitigate the impacts of red tide.

Governor Ron DeSantis made a stop in Sarasota Tuesday to tour the Mote Marine Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Center.

The facility recently opened in partnership with the state to fight the impacts of red tide.

"This facility will use nearly 150,000 gallons of treated and recirculated seawater for safe and controlled testing of mitigation technologies,” DeSantis said. “The opening of this facility is an important step in enhancing our long-term research efforts to combat red tide. It's really impressive to see just the variety of ways in which they're tackling this."

DeSantis toured the facility, which includes laboratories to develop technology to lessen the harmful effects of algal blooms.

"Red tide naturally occurs,” said DeSantis. “We can't tell people, ‘oh there's not going to be any.' But if you have successful mitigation strategies and technologies, you really make it to where this is not going to have the impact that it had in 2018 or the impact that it’s had more recently in the Tampa Bay area."

DeSantis faced criticism last month for not declaring a state of emergency when massive fish kills devastated parts of Tampa Bay.

According to state data, high concentrations of a bloom of the red tide organism persists in Pinellas and Sarasota counties.

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