Blue-green algae blooms due to high temperatures

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Rachel Murphy
Published: Updated:

Blue-green algae are flourishing with the current high heat temperatures.

FGCU Water School Professor Barry Rosen said the heat helps algae grow, “The temperature’s perfect. There’s a term called thermophiles. They love the warm temperatures. They can grow much faster.”

WINK News has been monitoring the extremely high heat temperatures.

“Right now, Southwest Florida is experiencing our hottest year on record, so far at the halfway point,” WINK Chief Meteorologist Matt Devitt said, “The hotter that we continue to get, the waters are getting even hotter and literally hitting the lower 90s.”

While many point to nutrients from Lake Okeechobee, Rosen said there is practically no water coming directly from the lake now.

“There’s so much water coming from the watershed, east of Franklin Loch, they can’t put any lake water out right now. All the water that we’re seeing is from our local watershed,” Rosen said.

The local watershed is packed with nutrients that feed the blooms. According to Rosen, people should avoid fertilizing near canal systems. Grass clippings can also be food for the blue-green algae bloom.

“I think what could happen is if these canal systems, which are really dead ends, could flush a little bit if we get enough rainfall, that these things can actually flush and move it out,” Rosen said.

Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.