Algae impacting SWFL businesses

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Captain John Cookman runs Manatee and Eco River tours on the Caloosahatchee River, but with the algae covering the water, he has had to put his business on hold.

“The blue green algae, or green algae is over there, really bad” Cookman said.

Cookman says the green algae has scared away his customers.

“We ran one tour last week, I have one tour scheduled for tomorrow. That’s it,” Cookman said. “This time of the year is slow, but it’s not normally this slow.”

Lee County officials says that algae and brown water is a natural problem this time of year, but the Lake Okeechobee releases are making it worse.

Cookman is concerned that this is just the beginning of a slow summer.

“Most definitely, I’m concerned,” Cookman said. “I’m not scared, but I’m concerned.”

Experts say that another reason for the algae could be the chemicals in fertilizers. Due to the heavy ran, the chemicals run off into the river.

MORE: Lake O releases, fertilizers contribute to algae in the Caloosahatchee

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