Much-needed funding for environmental issue
On May 4 Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis spoke at a press conference to announce almost $14 million of state funds that are being earmarked to tackle the state's red tide problem.
Red tide refers to the problems caused by karenia brevis algae (also known as k-brevis) which is known to form in the ocean off Florida's Gulf Coast. The organism causes the red tides, which can result in massive numbers of death in fish, marine mammals, sea turtles and sea birds.
It is also dangerous to humans and can cause neurotoxic shellfish poisoning and have respiratory impacts, especially for those with asthma and other chronic respiratory conditions.
Funding for environmental initiatives
Funding for initiatives to manage Florida's red tide is the latest in a number of projects that have received funding from Governor DeSantis and the state's leadership.
Earlier this week he promised that $30 million that will be directed towards slowing the rate of death of manatees in Florida. The manatee population has been dying off at a staggering rate - 1101 of the majestic creatures died in 2021, a big increase over the previous high of 830 in 2013.
Environmental matters, not just those related to manatees and the state's wildlife and oceans, are front-of-mind for many in the state.
Governor DeSantis recently proposed funding of $276 million over the next 3 years to help tackle the effects of climate change in the state, including rising sea levels and heightened risk of extreme weather events.
When he announced the funding, the governor was keen to point out that in funding environmental initiatives, he's not entering into a debate about global warming as the cause:
"What I've found is when people start talking about things like global warming, they typically use that as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing things that they would want to do anyways. And so, we're not doing any left-wing stuff." - Gov. Ron DeSantis
Whether climate change and global warming is related to Florida's red tide problem or not, it seems positive that the governor is willing to devote funds to resolving the issue and others that benefit the state's environment and its wildlife.
Do you believe the state's leadership devote sufficient money to environmental matters? Have you witnessed the effects fo the state's red tide? Let me know in the comments section below.