Originally published in The News-Press by Amy Bennett Williams on July 7, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is now warning boaters about toxic cyanobacteia, also called blue-green algae, in Lake Okeechobee and the 154-mile Okeechobee Waterway, which includes the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers.

In Lee County, the signs are at the W.P. Franklin Lock’s boat ramps, campground and fishing pier. The Corps permanently closed the popular swimming beach at the lock late last year.

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said it’s “good to see the corps issuing public warnings about harmful algal blooms and doing what the Florida Department of Health has failed to do on so many levels.”

The health department only warns the public about algae at beaches where people swim. Late last month, it created an information page on harmful algal blooms.

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