Blue-green algae has been an annual problem for residents of Southwest Florida, and the Caloosahatchee River is not exempt from the algae bloom.
The algae bloom is conducive to Southwest Florida’s tropical weather, which makes the nearby bodies of water perfect for algae spreading.
On Aug. 4, The Florida Department of Health in Lee County issued a blue-green algae warning in the Franklin Lock, which has raised concerns about health implications for nearby residents.
WINK News spoke with Codty Pierce, a Calusa Waterkeeper who says the origin of this year’s blue-green algae bloom is unknown, but it did arrive in our rivers earlier this year than expected.
“Bluebird skies and a lot of UV. That is really good growing parameters for any type of plant at this point. so, you know, there is a chance that some of the blue green algae,” said Pierce. “You know, that had been inoculated into the river in the last couple of months, you know, just kind of found harbor in a certain area, and it’s popping up now, because, again, the growing parameters are prime for that.”
Pierce continued to mention that the Caloosahatchee is a foot over level from last year which they can do because of work done to secure the dike.
The Waterkeepers are trying to store more water up, so as to not be inundated with flows from Lake Okeechobee.
The Lee County DOH warns people not to drink, swim, water ski or come in direct contact with the water.
This is the second health advisory from Lee County this week. The first advisory was issued for the Raleigh Canal portion of the Caloosahatchee.
The weather forecast for this up-coming weekend calls for rain showers over Lake Okeechobee. If the water becomes too high, water releases will happen.