If you want to swim in poop-, red tide- or cyanobacteria-contaminated waters, Florida’s health department isn’t going to stop you – in Lee County, at least. When enteric bacteria levels were high at Bonita Beach last month, people went right on splashing around in the warm Gulf.
More than four years have passed since a devastating and deadly red tide ravaged Southwest Florida, killing off millions of tons of marine life and shutting down the local tourism industry. And while late summer and early fall are when blooms typically initiate, red tide levels are at normal, background concentrations so far this year.
Updates on local water quality in the region from Lake Okeechobee through the Caloosahatchee to the coastal waters. Please consider supporting our ongoing air & water sampling.
DeSantis and Florida Legislators Have Largely Failed to Implement Blue-Green Algae Task Force Recommendations
Waterkeepers Florida has collaborated with other environmental organizations to publish a progress report on the implementation of recommendations made by Florida's Blue-Green Algae Task Force. In short, meaningful progress is difficult to find:In his first week in...
It was a day of sharp questions and soul-searching as Florida’s Blue-Green Algae Task Force met Thursday for the first time since February. The broad topic of this meeting: Why, after three years of task force effort, is Florida’s water still so troubled?
A blue-green algae bloom is festering again this summer on Lake Okeechobee, but lake levels are low, and experts say there is little to no reason to fear a major blue-green algae outbreak in Southwest Florida this year.
The water is not just murky around Matlacha – it’s now appearing milky and the problem is being closely watched by Calusa Waterkeepers. “It’s quite concerning,” said Susan Dahod, a Calusa Waterkeeper volunteer and biologist who studies water.
The Harmful Algae Bloom Task Force met to discuss possible pertinent information on local water quality, in case it affects public health on Pine Island. The group is made up of a combination of Calusa Waterkeeper rangers, such as Sue Dahod.
The Calusa Waterkeeper released sampling data showing three Lee County locations that saw high fecal bacteria indicators. Those locations included Pine Island Sound at Flamingo Bay on Pine Island and Billy’s Creek near Ortiz Avenue and Shady Oaks Park.
Eleven Southwest Florida beaches got poor marks after tests showed high fecal bacteria counts. At popular Bonita Beach, the Florida Department of Health is advising people to stay out of the water completely until it clears.
In honor of the important work that Mr. Mann did while he served as a Lee County Commissioner and other public offices, and after receiving his family’s blessing, we have elected to name one of our annual awards after him.
A special update on the status of Calusa Waterkeeper from Board President, Jim Watkins