Rushing against time to clean our beaches

Published: Updated:
Drift algae washes ashore. (Credit: WINK News)
Drift algae washes ashore. (Credit: WINK News)

The red drift algae on Fort Myers Beach has once again piled up. It is an eyesore to some and a headache for others.

“I’ve never seen it like this before,” said John Schultz, a visitor. “Not this bad.”

“We spoke to somebody from Kansas City who said that they took off for the weekend to go to a different beach and I just feel bad about that,” said Darlene Sarver, a neighbor. “It’s not really a good economy when the tourism has to go elsewhere.”

To try and stop that, emergency crews spent the day cleaning it up. Drift algae has been a problem on Fort Myers Beach for weeks now.

The town of Fort Myers Beach said they are working with a contractor to remove the algae. It plans to monitor the beach until the algae clean up is complete.

But the community worries about how it affects tourism on the island.

“There’s not as many people on the beach when you walk around as it used to be,” said Mike Losani, a visitor, “and there are spots people are moving to different areas.”

Mike Losani did not expect the seaweed to be such a distraction.

“We came down here to enjoy the beach and the sand and the sun and the first thing we look at is the red stuff on the beach,” Losani said. “It was nasty to look at and it just smells awful.”

Although Losani is thankful the town is taking action, he hopes the drift algae does not ruin any vacations.

“It’s kind of deterring to our fun,” Losani said.

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