Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency related to red tide along the Gulf coast.

On Monday, the governor signed an executive order that directed $100,000 to Mote Marine Laboratory and a half million dollars to help VISIT FLORIDA establish an emergency grant program to continue to attract vacationers who he hopes will spend money along the coast -- despite the red tide.

The state of emergency is in effect for Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties.

“In addition to the emergency order, I am also directing a further $900,000 in grants for Lee County to clean up impacts related to red tide – bringing total red tide grant funding for Lee County to more than $1.3 million," Scott said.

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According to Scott, the Mote funding will allow the organization to deploy more scientists to save animals.

The governor's office said enhanced water monitoring and testing would continue to help FWC track the toxic algae bloom.

The Department of Economic Opportunity is also offering interest-free loans to help businesses reeling from red tide in Southwest Florida.

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