Originally published in The News-Press by Amy Bennett-Williams on January 8, 2020

Just in time for the height of tourist season, patchy slicks of blue-green algae are showing up in the Caloosahatchee, including at one of the river’s popular access points, the Davis Boat Ramp.

Yet on a sunny Wednesday, users launching boats and watercraft at the ramp saw no warning signs about the potential dangers of contact with the microorganisms, properly known as cyanobacteria.

After The News-Press questioned the Florida Department of Health in Lee County about the lack of notice Wednesday, a spokeswoman said Thursday morning the department would install a sign there, “In an abundance of caution.”

The ongoing uncertainty about when and how warnings are made troubles Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani. He wants “a consistent statewide policy from (the health department) that avoids discretionary decisions” so the public can make informed choices about whether it’s safe to use area waterways.

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