Some Collier beaches attracting more visitors because of murky water to the north

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Beach visitors in SWFL are fed up with brown, murky water creeping closer to our shores.

The water is visibly darker around Sanibel, but travelling south to Vanderbilt Beach, the water is still blue.

“We have a condo in Fort Myers Beach and the water is kind of like a creeky color,” said Nina Leone.

Leone and her husband Lou came to Vanderbilt Beach in Collier County to spend the day.

“This is the water we like to see and go in nice blue green water, and the water in Fort Myers, although it seems to be clean, brown water doesn’t do it for us,” Lou said.

One week ago, the US Army Corps of Engineers started releasing water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River to lower water levels. The goal was to protect the Herbert Hoover Dike. But the murky water is now showing up on several SWFL beaches.

“Our neighbors say might as well go into somewhere else,” Nina said.

Michael Henderson comes to Vanderbilt Beach often and says more people are now flocking to those shores due to the better water quality.

“I wouldn’t doubt that at all once they see that brown water up north, yes they do come south to the Naples beaches, there’s no doubt about that,” Henderson said.

And even though he lives in Naples, he wants to see officials pay more attention to the water releases and their effects.

“I think they need to pay more attention and be more precise and critical on these Lake O releases because it’s a known fact every time it happens, it causes a problem,” he said.

Additionally, some people looking to permanently move to SWFL say it’s making them think twice about where they should be looking to live.

The South Florida Water Management District hopes to add another reservoir north of the lake to cut back on releases.

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