Originally published in The News-Press by Amy Bennett Williams on May 21, 2019

With no fanfare, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers quietly closed a well-loved Caloosahatchee beach. This week, staff will start sodding over the sand that slopes to the river at the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam.

Though the swimming area was often barricaded for high fecal bacteria levels, it was Lee County’s only official upriver swimming hole, the site of many a kid’s birthday and alfresco wedding.

That hasn’t stopped determined swimmers either, as Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani observed Tuesday. “I have learned however that the Corps does not discourage folks from swimming there, as there were swimmers present when I was there today. Seems there would still be some responsibility of the (Corps) to post bacteria and blue-green algae signs if users of the park swim from the park shoreline,” he wrote in an email.

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