Originally published by NBC-2 News on January 27, 2023

Southwest Florida water experts are warning beachgoers, boaters, and the like – go in at your own risk.

Calusa Waterkeeper and the Department of Health samplings show how even at beaches like Lynn Hall Beach Park, bacteria is showing in high amounts. People are going out anyway.

The latest map provided by Calusa Waterkeeper shows fecal indicator bacteria appears in high to extremely high amounts in 23 of 30 testing sites. The bacteria can carry other disease-spreading bacteria like E. coli.

The organization says bacteria can be common in some small waterways like canals and creeks. Also saying, beaches like Lynn Hall Beach Park and spots like the Matlacha Pass, can usually cycle out the bacteria, but are showing high amounts still.

“I would definitely be very careful with that and then when you are interacting with the water, it can be dangerous,” said Robin Serne with Calusa Waterkeeper. “And having all the results from that entire bay be high was pretty surprising to me.”

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