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Emergency Authorizations Implement Measures To Address South Florida Algal Blooms


On July 9, 2018, Governor Rick Scott issued an Emergency Order in Glades, Hendry, Lee, Martin, Okeechobee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties to help combat algal blooms caused by Lake Okeechobee water discharges from the Army Corps of Engineers. This emergency declaration allows the Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District to waive various restrictions and regulations to store water in additional areas south of the Lake, which will help alleviate the Army Corps of Engineers’ water discharges that are causing harmful algal blooms in Florida’s rivers and coastal estuaries. This emergency action furthers the Governor’s previous action of directing the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to identify additional opportunities to move water south from Lake Okeechobee  View the Executive Order here

Water Management

For the latest information on efforts to lower levels in Lake Okeechobee and move water into the Everglades Water Conservation Areas (WCAs), visit the South Florida Water Management District’s “ Managing High Water Levels in the Wet Season” web page. These measures are moving forward on an expedited basis to help reduce the severity of and need for regulatory releases that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is making from the lake to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries.

Monitoring and Sampling

At the Governor’s direction, the department is augmenting its existing sampling efforts by deploying additional staff to more rapidly survey and sample areas impacted by blooms. DEP is working with the department's Florida Coastal Office and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) on that coordinated effort.

Harmful Algal Bloom Management Grants

The Executive Order directed DEP to establish a grant program to provide local governments with funding to contract clean-up services.

As directed, DEP has established a grant program to help eligible counties provide targeted algal bloom clean-up efforts to quickly reduce and address impacts to significantly impacted areas, such as marinas, boat ramps and other public access areas.

Additional information about this grant program and the grant application are available here.

Other Efforts

Through separate grant funding available through the department’s Clean Marina Program, DEP is also providing booms to marinas to help exclude the algae, protecting public health and safety and helping lessen the negative effects of algae on these important economic drivers in these communities.

You can find more information about all of the state’s emergency actions here:

October 2, 2018  Gov. Scott: State Prepared to Deploy Resources, Funding to Atlantic Coast Communities Impacted by Red Tide

September 24, 2018 Gov. Scott: Nearly $2.2 Million Investment to Expand Mote Marine Laboratory Ozone Systems, Clay Testing Combating Red Tide

September 27, 2018 Gov. Scott: Pinellas and Lee Counties to Receive Another $3 Million for Red Tide Cleanup

September 18, 2018  Gov . Scott Directs Additional $4 Million for Counties Impacted by Red Tide

August 31, 2018 Gov. Scott Directs an Additional $3 Million to Help Counties Impacted by Red Tide

August 23, 2018   Gov. Scott Announces $1 Million to Support Innovative Environmental Solutions Contest

August 22, 2018   Gov. Scott Announces Additional $3 Million to Help Counties Impacted by Red Tide

August 13, 2018  Gov. Scott Issues Emergency Order for Red Tide

August 10, 2018   Gov. Scott: With Federal Action Uncertain, Florida Lays out Clear Plan for Lake Okeechobee

August 7, 2018 Gov. Scott Provides an Additional $400,000 to Lee County to Clean Local Waterways

August 3, 2018 Gov. Scott: Expedited Water Project Will Help Reduce Harmful Lake Okeechobee Discharges

August 3, 2018 Gov. Scott Directs FWC, DEP to Deploy to Southwest Florida to Further Mitigate Red Tide

August 1, 2018 Gov. Scott Announces More Action to Combat Algal Blooms

July 23, 2018 Gov. Scott: DEP Launches Grant Program to Help Local Governments Clean Up Algal Blooms

July 12, 2018 Gov. Scott: DEO Activates Emergency Business Damage Assessment on Algal Blooms

July 9, 2018 Gov. Scott Issues Emergency Order to Combat Algal Blooms in South Florida

Last Modified:
October 28, 2020 - 11:25am

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