Originally published by The Pine Island Eagle on June 15, 2022 by Paulette LeBlanc

Calusa Waterkeeper ranger Sue Dahod has begun a new task force that will meet monthly to discuss local water conditions, changes in water quality and any harmful bacteria detected through testing.

Invitations to the Harmful Algae Bloom Task Force included members of the Pine Island Pandemic Task Force, Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani and other Calusa Waterkeeper rangers.

On Wednesday, June 8, at the first meeting, Dr. James Koopman brought up a concern regarding sea grass in Pine Island Sound and surrounding areas.

“It seems that it’s getting worse, and the fecal contamination — back when I was capable of kayaking around, you could smell it in a lot of places,” Koopman said.

Dahod reported that Dr. Richard Bartleson, a research scientist with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, is currently partnering with Calusa Waterkeeper on sampling projects.

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