Florida Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried urges Governor Desantis to announce state of emergency over Red Tide

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 5:51 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS/WCJB) - Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried is calling on Governor Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency in response to the ongoing red tide blooms on the state’s West Coast.

Fried said an emergency declaration is necessary to free up additional state resources that could aid in mitigating the toxic algal blooms.

“This is something that is too big for our local governments to bear on themselves,” said Fried, “so this has to be a partnership between the state and the local...which unfortunately we haven’t seen as much with this governor as we may have seen in years past.”

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Governor Desantis’ office released a statement saying that the state has already been engaged with impacted local governments and has provided resources to assist in the clean-up of dead fish.

The governor’s Office also explained why it has refrained from issuing an emergency order thus far.

“In 2018, a state of emergency was declared which freed up a funding source to provide financial support to local communities to assist in cleanup efforts,” stated Jared Williams, DeSantis’ Deputy Communications director, “for the time being, DEP has identified a funding source and is already working to provide grants to assist local communities with cleanup efforts.”

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