Soon after Governor DeSantis took office in January he promised to establish water task forces on both blue green algae and red tide. In April, the Governor announced the appointments of five expert researchers and leading scientists to the newly established Blue-Green Algae Task Force.
The focus of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force is to support key funding and restoration initiatives and make recommendations to expedite nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries. The Task Force will identify opportunities to fund priority projects with state, local and federal funding. These recommended projects will build upon DEP’s updated Basin Management Action Plans (BMAP) data. The Task Force will also review and prioritize projects that will provide the largest and most meaningful nutrient reductions in key waterways.
At the beginning of August, the Governor announced the appointments of 11 expert researchers and leading scientists to the recently re-organized Red Tide Task Force. “The Red Tide Task Force will focus on the causes of Red Tide and will be supported by FWC’s Center for Red Tide Research, which received $4.8 million in the budget,” said Governor DeSantis. “My administration will continue to press forward to find solutions and empower our brightest minds to help protect our environment. The issues of Red Tide are complex, but with the appointments of these leading scientists and researchers, we hope to make a difference.”
The Red Tide Task Force will complement the Blue Green Algae Task Force and the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, which is the partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute within FWC and Mote Marine Laboratory.