SARASOTA, FL (STL.News) Governor Ron DeSantis was joined by leaders in the state’s efforts to combat red tide to celebrate the ribbon cutting of the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Facility at Mote Marine Laboratory. This cutting-edge experimental facility at Mote Aquaculture Research Park in Sarasota will allow scientists to test compounds and technologies prior to pilot field implementation.
“The new Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Facility at Mote Marine Lab will provide scientists the ability to research red tide, and hopefully lead to new technologies that prevent and mitigate harmful blooms,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud that we were able to create this facility through a state partnership between FWC, DEP and Mote Marine, and I look forward to putting it to work.”
“The concept of mitigating the effects of red tide is certainly a complicated ecological issue,” said FWC Executive Director Eric Sutton. “Through the support of Governor Ron DeSantis and the Legislature, we now have the world’s foremost scientific experts collaborating to determine the possibilities of mitigation.”
“Science, innovation and partnership are all critical components of our efforts to combat harmful algal blooms,” said DEP Interim Secretary Shawn Hamilton. “Making water quality in this state one of his top priorities, the Governor has secured the resources to ensure science remains at the forefront of environmental policy and management. DEP looks forward to continued collaboration between state and local partners, as well as research institutes like Mote.”
“The State of Florida has again demonstrated today that it is a national leader in the utilization of science and engineering to decrease the negative impacts of harmful algal blooms on our environment, economy and quality of life,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, President & CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory. “The best and brightest minds in research and technology development are now able to utilize this incredible facility because Governor DeSantis and our state legislature fully embraced a vision for pushing the frontiers of science forward to benefit society. Mote is honored and proud to be leading this initiative in collaboration with FWC, along with over 20 partnering institutions from around the world.”
In his first legislative session, Governor DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 1552, which established the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, a partnership between FWC and Mote Marine Laboratory to develop technologies and approaches to control and mitigate red tide and its impacts. Senate Bill 1552 provided a $3 million annual appropriation to the initiative for six years, totaling $18 million.
Upon taking office, Governor DeSantis outlined a bold approach to tackle Florida’s critical water issues in his Executive Order 19-12 (Achieving More Now for Florida’s Environment), including the reactivation of the long-dormant Red Tide Task Force. Under the Governor’s direction, the Red Tide Task Force adopted an initial short-term, top-priority focus on some key issues associated with red tide including public health, communications, management and response and research. The Task Force continues to meet at least quarterly to further the state’s efforts to combat red tide. Additionally, the state has dedicated more than $14.5 million to the Center for Red Tide Research since 2019.