Originally published by The News-Press on July 28, 2023 by Chad Gillis

Calusa Waterkeeper Codty Pierce says even small amounts of Lake Okeechobee water will infect the Caloosahatchee River with toxic blue-green algae blooms.

Small amounts of water are coming from the lake now as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers tries to keep surface levels in check.

“We’re still dealing with streaking from downtown (Fort Myers) to Redfish Point,” Pierce said of bloom conditions. “It’s surface accumulation that’s coming from upstream and it’s hitting pockets of Cape Coral right now.”

Lake Okeechobee is experiencing a shifting but strong blue-green algae bloom; and while most of the water flowing to the Caloosahatchee estuary is coming from the river’s watershed, our region is getting a dose of Okeechobee water.

“It’s real bad on the lake,” Pierce said. “There’s a strong presence of it all along the canal and shoreline, and it’s really concerning. It’s at advanced stages and going through the course of decomposing.”

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