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Florida Ag Commissioner outlines new state Clean Water Initiative

The initiative comes at a time when the Tampa Bay area is being plagued by red tide and manatee deaths are on the rise.

SARASOTA — With multiple "water crises" occurring across the state, Florida Agriculture Commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Nikki Fried announced her office's Clean Water Initiative Thursday.

"We are re-writing the rules when it comes to agriculture water policy in the state. Taking landmark action to increase accountability, transparency, and of course coordination," Fried said.

The initiative comes at a time when the Tampa Bay area is being plagued by red tide, the state is seeing a rise in manatee deaths and the aftermath of the Piney Point wastewater emergency is still being felt.

"We know that we know how to fix this and we know how to get in front of this. And to make sure that these communities continue to thrive means that we all have to work together to make sure that this doesn't happen and that we're cleaning up our waters," Fried added.

Fried says when she came into office she made a commitment to furthering clean water efforts in the state, but that too often partisan politics get in the way of protecting the environment.