DeSantis signs red tide research bill at Mote Marine Laboratory

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Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a red tide research bill on Thursday, a year after it devastated Florida's Gulf coast and created one of the worst red tides in the state's history.

The governor made a stop at Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota to officially sign the bill into law, devoting $18 million over the next six years to a partnership between Mote and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"The bill provides $18 million over the next six years to develop, test and implement innovative, effective and environmentally sustainable technologies and approaches for controlling and mitigating the impacts of red tide," DeSantis said.

A 15-month algae bloom peaked last year, killing marine life including fish, dolphins, manatees, sea turtles and a whale shark.

Dr. Michael Crosby, Mote's President and CEO, said this research will help scientists identify red tide earlier and contain its spread.

"Together we will develop innovative technologies and approaches to address the impacts of red tide on our environment, our quality of life and our economy," Dr. Crosby said.

Last year's red tide bloom is also blamed for hurting Florida's tourism industry and causing some health problems for beach-goers.