New facility unveiled in fight against red tide

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Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday toured the new Mote Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Facility in Sarasota. (Credit: Mote Marine Laboratory)

Red tide is moving further south, as evidenced by new photos showing fish kills off the beach of Cayo Costa between Captiva Pass and Boca Grande.

We’ve been watching the Tampa area for several days to see if their problems are headed our way, and Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday unveiled some new technology to help fix the problem.

The Mote Red Tide Mitigation & Technology Development Facility will use treated and recirculated seawater to test red tide technologies. DeSantis said it’s a big milestone for long-term red tide research.

“Protecting water resources is one of the most important issues facing our state,” the governor said during a press conference at the Mote facility in Sarasota.

“The opening of this facility is an important step in enhancing our long-term research efforts to combat red tide.”

The facility will become a hub to test-drive ways to combat harmful algal blooms.

“This facility here, this 29,000-square-foot facility, holds well over 160,000 gallons of recirculating water. It’s a cutting-edge facility in which we are doing multi-tier testing of mitigation tools and technologies,” said Dr. Michael P. Crosby, president and CEO of Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium.

Everything from clay to spent grain from beer.

“During the next year, we are going to start working more on engineering to scale up how we deploy all of these technologies,” Crosby said.

While the problem in our backyard gets big attention, so should the fight to solve it.

“The State of Florida has again demonstrated today that it is a national leader in utilizing science and engineering to decrease the negative impacts of harmful algal blooms on our environment, our economy and our quality of life,” Crosby said.

DeSantis believes what researchers are doing to combat red tide may also have implications for other types of algal blooms like blue-green algae.

Watch the governor’s press conference below or click here.

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