TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Cap News Services) – Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried is calling on Gov. 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, between just the resources to clean up the waters, look at different treatment opportunities. 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,” said Fried.
In a statement, the governor’s office told Cap News that the state has been engaged with impacted local governments and has provided resources to aid and assist in the clean up of fish kills.
The governor’s office also explained why it has so far refrained from issuing an emergency order.
“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. For the time being, DEP has identified a funding source and is already working to provide grants to assist local communities with cleanup efforts,” said DeSantis Deputy Communications Director Jared Williams.