Red tide: Volunteers asked to clean up Holmes Beach shoreline

Volunteers are asked to meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday on 52nd Street.

HOLMES BEACH, Fla. – The Holmes Beach Police Department is asking for volunteers to help clean up the shoreline of marine life killed by red tide.

Volunteers are asked to meet at 8 a.m. Tuesday on 52nd Street.

Last week, several volunteers stepped up to help with clean-up in Holmes Beach too. Many said they felt like they had to do something to lend a hand.

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State of emergency

On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency related to red tide along the Gulf coast.

The governor signed an executive order that directed $500,000 to VISIT FLORIDA to help with tourism, which has suffered from the outbreak.

In Sarasota County, 90 percent of businesses reported red tide had caused them to lose customers, according to a survey taken by Sarasota County.

The emergency declaration also frees up an additional $100,000 to Mote Marine Laboratory to deploy more biologists to area beaches.

Related: Manatee County hiring people to remove marine life killed by red tide

More funding on the way?

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who toured MOTE on Monday, said the money coming from the emergency declaration is hopefully just the beginning.

"This isn't a Democrat or Republican issue, this is something we're all going to have to come together and take whatever it takes to get the resources to get the answers," Buchanan said on Monday.

"First we've got to figure out what's causing the problem, and then we've got to go tackle it regardless of special interest or anybody else."

Buchanan sponsored $8 million in funding approved by Congress earlier this year to help fund NOAA's research of red tide and its impact.

It's heartbreaking when you hear about the animals—100 tons off our beaches," he said.

"I think we've got to put the resources behind this and all the governments and the parties have got to come together and we've got to what's in the best interest long-term of the state of Florida."

Buchanan said he hopes to know in the coming days just how much of the $8 million will be allocated to Florida.

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Currently, MOTE is developing technology it hopes can help remove red tide cells from water. Researchers showed Buchanan how they're testing methods that have worked on smaller applications to see if they'd be successful on a larger scale.

10News reporter Josh Sidorowicz contributed to this report.

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