Blue-green algae makes an unwelcome return in SWFL

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson
Published: Updated:

An uninvited guest has made a return to Milinda May’s backyard.

“When it was bad it was really bad,” May said, referring to blue-green algae. “We had it for several weeks. It was thick. Stinky.”

Blue-green algae has been floating on parts of the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Denaud, directly through May’s backyard.

“The way it creeps in,” May said. “It’s like a monster the way it creeps in.”

May isn’t alone. Other neighbors, like Rich Williams, are being haunted by blue-green algae when just a few weeks ago they thought they were done with the environmental disaster.

“I don’t ever remember it running this long,” Williams said.

He said the algae blooms have stayed out of sight for several weeks. When he took his kayak out this morning, Williams paddled into the unwelcomed return.

“It went all the way across,” Williams said. “Looked like green paint on the water.”

And for those that live by blue-green algae, it has been a pestering problem that doesn’t go away.

“We like to fish off of our boat and there’s no way,” May said. “No way that I would eat any of the fish out of that river knowing that they were swimming in that water.”

“It kind of makes you curious about where it’s coming from,” Williams said. “And why it, it keeps coming back.”

While some neighbors are blaming hot rainy weather, run off or Lake Okeechobee releases for the return of the blooms. Other said the green gunk just has to run its course.

“Algae is a thing that mother nature does,” Ray Wyant said.

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