Blue-green algae impact on holiday visitors at Jaycee Park

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

As the heat took over, many people understandably ran to the water this Fourth of July. However, some were met with some bright smelly blue-green algae.

Blue-green algae is filling some of the canals and waterways when people most want to use them.

WINK News visited several areas where algae alerts are in place and saw boaters, jet skiers and other people simply enjoying the holiday.

Everyone expects to see red, white and blue on July 4. Instead, the water was looking a bit green. It’s not what the Bean family expected to see when they booked an Airbnb in Cape Coral. Nevertheless, the chunks of algae didn’t stop them from taking a boat out.

At Jaycee Park, the algae can’t be seen on the water, but samples taken last week showed the presence of blue-green algae cyanotoxins. Even though the sign serves as a warning to beachgoers, they may need more convincing.

“We didn’t — and I usually do try to look for it — but I didn’t see anything,” said Lyndsey Burmeister.

Burmeister and Matt Gregory are vacationing from Ohio.

“Everybody’s in and out of the waters. I never even thought about it, and we’ve been swimming for almost a week now. So yeah, that’s kind of alarming,” said Burmeister.

Their travel itinerary had to get adjusted because of the blue-green algae. Their plans to go fishing and swimming won’t come to fruition.

“So I do love the water, but I definitely don’t think I want to jump in now, that’s for sure,” said Burmeister.

The health department has concerns about the seven areas marked on the map below.

blue green algae
Map of blue-green algae alerts. CREDIT: WINK News

At Moody Ramp on Hamock Creek in North Fort Myers, one of the marked areas, you can see specs of algae floating across the water.

Primarily people are happy to be on the beach for the holiday. The Department of Health does want to warn people to be extra careful and not to ingest water and avoid swimming while blue-green algae blooms are present. They can be toxic and make you and your pets sick.

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