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Scott Defends Environmental Record Amid Ongoing SW Florida Red Tide

Governor Rick Scott his defending is environmental policies amid a Red Tide that’s choking the state’s Southwest coast and resulting in massive fish and marine life kills. 

The Scott administration has promoted regulation rollbacks and when he first took office, Scott advocated for budget cuts to local water management districts. But when asked directly about those decisions recently by reporters, he pushed back. 

First off we’ve had significant increases in what we’ve spent with DEP. The water management districts decide their budget on their own. We have had record funding with regard to Everglades restoration. I settled two lawsuits with the federal government and we’ve been funding that along.”

Scott has declared a state of emergency for southwest Florida counties. It comes along with $1.5 million to support local businesses, research and cleanup. The outbreak of Red Tide has become one of the longest-lasting, going on nearly a year.

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Lynn Hatter is a Florida A&M University graduate with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Lynn has served as reporter/producer for WFSU since 2007 with education and health care issues as her key coverage areas. She is an award-winning member of the Capital Press Corps and has participated in the NPR Kaiser Health News Reporting Partnership and NPR Education Initiative. When she’s not working, Lynn spends her time watching sci-fi and action movies, writing her own books, going on long walks through the woods, traveling and exploring antique stores. Follow Lynn Hatter on Twitter: @HatterLynn.