MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — In recent years, the Tampa Bay area has been plagued by a few serious outbreaks of red tide. It impacts tourism, our economy and many other aspects of our lives as Floridians.

Congressman Vern Buchanan held a routable discussion on the impacts of red tide as well as sharing his goals for solutions on Friday morning.

Red tide has caused dead fish to wash ashore in droves along Manatee County beaches for several months now.

“It’s not just about the beaches, it’s about real estate, it’s about jobs, it impacts who we are especially when you look at most of the population on our coast so it’s a big deal,” said Rep. Buchanan.

The congressman has proposed the “Protecting Local Communities from Harmful Algal Blooms Act.” If passed, it would designate red tide as a major disaster.

“This change would require FEMA to provide technical and financial assistance to states suffering from outbreaks of red tide,” he said.

Congressman Buchanan says within the past two weeks, Manatee County has raked up three and a half tons of dead fish off the beach.

The congressman also says his proposal to increase funding for red tide research by $8 million was signed into law in 2018.