Red tide impacting tourism in Tampa Bay area

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Red tide impacting tourism in Tampa Bay area

Marina Hawkins, Staff Writer & Photo Team Member

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Sept. 9, 2018

Plant City, Fla.–The infamous “Red Tide” has quietly been killing untold numbers of manatees, turtles, millions of fish and other marine animals, while making human eyes itch, coughing and breathe in an unbearable stench. August has been a rough month for tourism in Florida, with red tide turning blue waters to a rusted brown and many dead fish washing up onto the shores.

Mcshane, who traveled from Ellicott City, Md. with her parents for a week long vacation in Tampa Bay, was excited to have fun except for when she got to the beach she came to an empty beach and she wondered if it was even safe for her to be there.

Red tide has caused tourism to the state’s beach to fall tremendously, which has led to business downfall as well.

Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., had big decisions to make when it comes to the animals dying and businesses struggling. Scott is also facing pressure from citizens who want answers and immediate action. Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has given $3 million in a grant to help local communities affected by red tide. Florida’s tourism agency will receive $500,000 to create an emergency grant program to help promote travel in red tide areas, and Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Fla. will receive $100,000 to help with animal rescues.

Counties affected by the dangerous red tide in Florida are Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota. These counties will be provided money and resources by the state grant to fix the problems red tide has caused.