Florida Gov. Rick Scott issues emergency order over red tide

Sen. Bill Nelson D-Fla. speaks during a roundtable discussion with education leaders from South Florida at the United Teachers of Dade headquarters Monday Aug. 6 2018 in Miami

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The governor also includes Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, even though so far the Red Tide has not put in a confirmed appearance in either location.

"As Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay area continues to feel the devastating impacts of red tide, we will continue taking an aggressive approach by using all available resources to help our local communities", said Scott in a statement.

Gretchen Lovewell, Mote Marine Lab's program manager for the team that investigates dead and stranded animals (C) and stranding technician, Jessica Blackburn take a break from a necropsies of a Loggerhead (L) and Kemp's Ridley turtle in Sarasota, Florida, August 7, 2018.

Florida's Lee County posted warning signs about red tides at about 170 beach access points, the office said, adding that the signs have details on respiratory issues, health precautions, and current beach conditions. "Today, I am issuing an emergency declaration to provide significant funding and resources to the communities experiencing red tide so we can combat its awful impacts".

Scott is ordering $100,000 for additional scientists to help with clean-up efforts and another $500,000 to help local communities and businesses struggling with lost income as tourists flee.

The City of Sarasota says small businesses that have been affected by red tide may be eligible for short-term, interest-free loans of up to $50,000 through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

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Officials say almost 300 sea turtles have died because of the toxic bloom.

Work crew clean up dead fish on Coquina Beach in Bradenton Beach, Florida, on Monday Aug. 6, 2018.

Florida sees red tide - an algae outbreak that can kill marine life and sicken humans - almost every year, but the current flare-up has become severe enough to warrant a state of emergency declaration from Florida Gov. Rick Scott. It produces a chemical that can impact human breathing, kill fish and make shellfish unsafe to eat.

Beachgoers found large fish, turtles, and manatees dead on the coast, and some researchers have blamed red tide.

"Having lived in South Florida for many years, I know how impactful these naturally occurring red tide events can be to local communities", said Eric Sutton, executive director of the FWC, said in the release.

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