DOH Health Alert: Blue-Green Algae Toxins Found in Caloosahatchee at Franklin Lock
The Florida Department of Health in Lee County (DOH) issued a health alert Thursday for the Caloosahatchee at W.P Franklin Lock & Dam based on reports of algae toxins found by the ramp.
The health alert brought back bad memories to a community a few miles down the river, just west of US-31.
Neighbors told us they’ve seen the algae in a nearby marina. Some told us they can smell it in the morning when they wake up and open their doors. It’s reminding them of their experiences with blue-green algae back in 2018.
“The outlook is horrific,” Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani told WINK News. “It’s shaping up just like 2018, but we’re ahead of schedule.”
Cassani says the water levels of Lake Okeechobee are also higher than they should be just weeks before hurricane season., not to mention the massive blooms already in the lake.
“The lake has a huge bloom on it, up to 500 square miles, and most of the freshwater reach of the river has significant cyanobacteria blooms on it,” Cassani said. “So we’ve already got a bad situation. What everyone’s worried about is, I think, is a big rain event.”
If we see a lot of rain this hurricane season, Cassani says that will mean more of the alga-filled water will be pushed toward Southwest Florida, making a bad situation worse.