Blue-green algae lingers in Lee, Hendry County

Reporter: Gina Tomlinson Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Photo by WINK News.

Some are worried algae could keep spreading down the Caloosahatchee River as seen over the summer. Neighbors think the blooms have overstayed their welcome.

Blue-green algae blooms are lingering in both Lee County and Hendry County but seem to be clearing out more on Tuesday.

“I mean it doesn’t look good,” Charlie Lassett said. “There’s no doubt about that. It’s not a pleasant thing to look at.”

Lassett had blue-green algae floating in his backyard in Fort Denaud, a problem he is keeping a close eye on.

“Three days ago, this was clean and clear here ya know,” Lassett said. “I don’t know where it came from, how it come in here. We just woke up, and it’s here. ”

Others who live along the Caloosahatchee want to know why the blooms are back in Hendry County as well.

“It does kind of surprise me a bit,” Lassett said.

Dr. Mike Parsons, an FGCU marine science professor with a Ph.D. in biological oceanography, said the main reason for these blooms is the buildup of nutrients.

“We had a pretty good storm a couple days ago,” Parsons said. “And that could of brought in new nutrients. There still is some flow coming in from Lake O about a thousand cubic feet per second, but the local watershed is probably contributing.”

He said, as long as the conditions are favorable, the blooms could possibly linger even longer.

“It probably really never went away,” Parsons said. “I’ve heard there is some in Cape Coral, a little here and there still.”

Lee County is taking notice of the algae in Hendry County, and local leaders are ready to act if necessary. For now, neighbors can only hope for the best.

“Lee County renewed its state of local emergency in response to blue-green algae and red tide, and we stand ready to respond if it becomes necessary,” District 4 County Commissioner Brian Hamman wrote in an email to WINK News.

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