BRADENTON, Fla. – As the red tide crisis continues so does what seems like the never-ending effort to clean up what it's leaving behind on our beaches.
In Manatee County, leaders are again appealing to volunteers for help.
On Wednesday morning, several dozen volunteers met at the Palma Sola Causeway boat ramp to pitch in and pick up red tide debris.
"We need help with areas that can only be reached with human hands," said the county's parks volunteer division manager Melissa Nell.
"If volunteers would like to help us mitigate the effects of red tide by cleaning up marine debris and marine creatures, you're welcome to help."
This latest appeal is in addition to other ongoing clean-up efforts. County crews monitor and clean the beaches daily where large machinery is used to help collect dead fish. Contractors recently hired by the county are working to clear dead fish from neighborhood canals.
For those who missed out Wednesday but are still interested in helping, the county is holding another volunteer clean-up at the southeast end of the Palma Sola Causey on Thursday, Aug. 23.
- Begins at 7:30 a.m. and runs until 9 a.m.
- County will provide gloves, masks and buckets
- Volunteers asked to bring tools like rakes and pitchforks
Thursday's cleanup was originally set to take place at Perico Preserve, but County officials said there was a lack of fish in that particular area.
On Tuesday, Manatee County commissioners declared a local state of emergency in response to red tide. The declaration, which coincides with the one Gov. Rick Scott declared last week, frees up an additional $500,000 for the county run its emergency operations center. The money will also be used to pay the contractors clearing out canals and will allow current staff to get overtime for anything red tide-related.
Manatee County’s state of emergency is set to expire midnight Aug. 29. Commissioners can extend it if needed.
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