Blue-green algae in Caloosahatchee brings back bad memories for businesses

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Seat Tow Captain Carter. Credit: WINK News.

A growing algae crisis is bringing back bad memories for businesses.

Our crews checked on W.P. Franklin Lock on the Caloosahatchee River in Olga Thursday, where blue-green algae was present and taking over the plant life there.

It was a familiar scene for those who were in the region in 2018, as business owners were forced to fight through a water crisis. It’s a time that is impossible for Sea Tow Captain Tom Carter to forget.

“Was really bad,” Carter said. “I mean, we had the entire canal here. It literally looked like an anti-fatigue mat. It was nasty, blue, green, thick. I mean, thick enough where, at one point, I actually saw a duck walking across it.”

Thick, rotting algae kept people away from the water and crushed water-based businesses.

“You need to do what’s best for your employees,” Carter said. “You have to prepare for the future. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The future makes Michael James anxious too. He owns Cape Family Boat Rental.

“I think it was just in the last 48 hours that, you know, our little, small team, I was checking the, you know, state websites about the conditions of the blue-green algae,” James said. “The phone’s still going off all day long. The website inquiries are still coming in. There doesn’t seem to be any lack of demand or change in demand yet.”

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