Demonstrators at Gov. Scott event want action on red tide

Image 1 of 7

Outside the Sarasota Fairgrounds where Governor Rick Scott was set to take the stage, protestors were setting the stage for environmental change.

Residents like Nadine Mrowicki want Gov. Scott to address the issue of red tide that she says affects more than water.

“This is not only our water, our marine life, our health, it’s the economy of the southwest gulf," she said. 

Even Republican voters like Vic Heinold believe more can be done.

“The government has to step in and if it’s regulation or if it’s just better management systems, they have to fix it," Heinold said. "It’s not going to fix itself.”

The red tide bloom that started last November has lingered off the coast since. Researchers say the events are more powerful in recent years because of human activities like fertilizing and farming.

“Once the pollution from the sugar cane factories, from the phosphate farms, from the pesticides and fertilizers, the developers, all of that interacts with the red tide bloom and it explodes," said Chris Hleuka, a Manasota Key resident. "That’s what we’re experiencing right now. 

The deadly drift is already claiming more than average amounts of marine life. This week, at least a dozen dead sea turtles washed ashore on Manasota Beach. 

With an emergency order issued two weeks ago by the governor, the protestors want to see a solution soon.

"The money that's been appropriated needs to be working right now. We need to be putting requirements on these developers that they can't dump in the water," said Hleuka.

They're hoping these pleas can turn the tide.