Originally published by The News-Press on August 1, 2022 by Chad Gillis

A blue-green algae bloom is festering again this summer on Lake Okeechobee, the de facto headwaters of the Caloosahatchee River.

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.

“I don’t see anything to be concerned about,” said Barry Rosen, a Florida Gulf Coast University professor and algae expert. “It’s summer and the organisms are there. If you look at the photos that come in every five minutes at Franklin Lock, (you) don’t see any cyanobacteria.”

Some river advocates still worry that releases this summer could foul Caloosahatchee River waters.

“We’d prefer not to receive lake releases at this time because there has been an ongoing blue-green algae on the lake,” said Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani. “It fluctuates from day to day, but it’s bad enough that we don’t want to see releases.”

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