Health alert for blue-green algae at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:

The Florida Department of Health is warning you to be careful at Jaycee Park in Cape Coral, where the water has been invaded by blue-green algae.

Samples from the river are still being tested, so it remains to be seen if the bloom is toxic; the bloom’s condition could potentially change at any time.

Health officials have not asked people to avoid the park, but they have asked that you follow some precautions in or around the water. If the blooms are visible in the water, don’t drink it, swim in it or engage in any activities that could cause you or your pets to come in contact with it.

If you do come in contact with algae or discolored, smelly water, wash your skin and clothing with soap. According to FDOH, it is important to act as if the Jaycee Park bloom were toxic even if the presence of toxins in the algae has not yet been confirmed.

“It’s important for people to just keep up-to-date on what is going on with the water, what is happening with those blue-green algae blooms,” said Capt. Chris Wittman, co-founder of Captains for Clean Water. “Don’t come in contact with that. If you see cyanobacteria in the water, don’t go swimming in it or playing it. Don’t let your pets drink out of it.”

This is not the first time blue-green algae at Jaycee Park has warranted a health warning. In July 2021, WINK spoke to Dr. Barry Rosen from Florida Gulf Coast University, who said summer is the perfect time for algae to grow in the Caloosahatchee River. From there, it could get into nearby canals.

“It’s a nice, quieter area than the river itself, so when the algae get back in there, they’re going to start to grow and proliferate,” Rosen said.

Water samples are taken regularly by FDOH, so we should know by the end of the week if the algae bloom at Jaycee Park is toxic.

Copyright Ā©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.