Originally published by The News-Press on December 6, 2021 by Amy Bennett Williams

The bad news: Toxic blue-green algae are blooming in the Caloosahatchee near a popular boat ramp.

The good news: We’ve been warned.

On Monday, Lee County’s health department placed a red-topped sign just steps from the water and sent out a press release after samples collected by the state’s environmental protection agency showed algal toxins in the water: “The public should exercise caution in and around Caloosahatchee River – Davis Boat Ramp,” the release read.

The announcement came on the heels of several blooms of the microorganisms, properly known as cyanobacteria, that were sighted by members of the nonprofit Calusa Waterkeeper in past weeks and shared on social media.

As awareness of the blooms and their potential health and environmental risks has grown, so have agencies’ public-facing responses.

“A couple of years ago, we had to beg and plead to get any response, and now it seems like they’re doing it a little bit more proactively,” said Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani. “And that’s good.”

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