‘It’s not safe’: combination of red tide & algae frustrating SWFL

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Right now, blue-green algae is making its way down the Caloosahatchee River.

In addition, a new map shows high red tide levels in Collier County, along with northern Lee and Charlotte Counties. 

“The green algae is coming towards—I live in Cape Coral—but it’s coming down the river and it’s not safe,” said neighbor Ellen Starbird.

Starbird says she started to get used to the green algae in the river and red tide in the Gulf. But she doesn’t want it to become the norm.

“It looks like somebody has poured green wasabi or something over top of the river,” Starbird said.

And she’s definitely not the only one upset by the poor water quality. On Friday, dozens of people came together on the Sanibel Causeway demanding something be done about it.

People at the event said the water issues have gotten worse each year and they disrupt plans, along with putting off vacations.

So where is it actually safe to swim this weekend?

New red tide data shows that the waters are clear from south of the Caloosahatchee all the way down to Marco Island. Places like Fort Myers Beach, Bonita Beach and Vanderbilt Beach appear to be in the clear for the time being.

But Starbird still says she doesn’t trust it.

“When you see dead fish in the water, you don’t really know if it’s safe to go in,” she said.

Experts say that right now, the worst red tide conditions are centered in northern Lee and Charlotte Counties. Places like Boca Grande are currently seeing major fish kills.

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