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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis rebuked claims that he is politicizing red tide during a Wednesday press conference where he outlined steps taken to mitigate an ongoing bloom that has killed hundreds of thousands of marine animals in Tampa Bay.
DeSantis also defended his position not to declare a state of emergency over red tide, arguing it was unnecessary and could bring adverse economic impacts to other parts of Florida by spooking away tourists.
Red tide has lingered off the coasts of Sarasota, Manatee and Tampa Bay for months, but its effects became apparent after Tropical Storm Elsa blew hundreds of thousands of dead fish toward St. Petersburg.
Fish kills also were reported on Sarasota and Manatee beaches, although not to the extent of Pinellas County, where crews have cleaned up more than 1,200 tons of dead sea life, according to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.
More: ‘Thousands of dead fish just floating’: Signs of red tide bloom worsen in Sarasota, Manatee
Kriseman and various environmental groups have called for DeSantis to declare an emergency over the red tide bloom in Tampa Bay to help cover the cost of cleanup efforts.“We are asking the governor, please, Pinellas County, St. Petersburg, we need your […]