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Lovers Key reopens beach access after water test sampling

Reporter: Gail Levy Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:


Lover’s Key has reopened its beach after closing it over the weekend due to fecal contamination.


Two southwest Florida beaches posed a health threat but only one of them was forced to close down.

Earlier this week, Lovers Key State Park closed its beach access because of possible fecal matter.

It’s been five days since the beach access was closed and we just got the sampling results. The sampling results indicate enterococci is at 10 (CFU) per 100 milliliters of water. These numbers are within the ‘good’ category and do not warrant an advisory.

Earlier this summer bacteria was found in the water at Bonita Beach and the only thing preventing people from swimming were some warning signs.

A factor playing a role in this may be that different state agencies have jurisdiction over both parks and have different levels of control. The Department of Environmental Protection has the final say at Lovers Key and they have the power to close the beach.

While the Department of Health in Lee County oversees Bonita Beach. The Department of Health told WINK News it does not have the ability to keep everyone out of the water.

“They are not expensive and you can walk around and enjoy nature,” said Deerfield Beach resident, Valentin Vasquez.

But on Wednesday, they couldn’t walk around everywhere since the beach at Lovers Key is closed. It’s shut down until test results determine what exactly floated ashore on Saturday that looked and smelt like poop.

“Sad, I guess, we cannot go to the beach because of that,” said Vasquez. “But where it come from?”

Well for the time being, that remains unanswered. But, once the DEP and the DOH figure out exactly what it is, they’ll have a better idea. But, Fort Lauderdale resident Scott Williams, has his own idea of what’s happening.

“A lot of these boaters, I have a boat, they don’t really care about the water,” Williams said. “So they’ll empty their tanks offshore rather than paying to empty them onshore.”

And it’s important to note, that what’s happening at Lovers Key is very different than what happened at Bonita Beach Park South. When the DOH found high levels of bacteria they put up signs but didn’t stop people from getting in the water. That’s because the DEP has jurisdiction over Lovers Key and they shut the beach down.

“Hopefully, it won’t affect the quality of the fish or the I know it’s been pretty rough in the Southwest Florida area with the fish with all the red tides over the last few years,” Williams said.

Fortunately, there’s no sign of red tide affecting the SWFL area and lots of people have asked about the dog beach between Lovers Key and Bonita Beach. WINK News was told you and your dog should be fine if you decide to go over there.