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Tag: Algae

Fertilizer rules & regulations take effect in most SWFL communities next week

FORT MYERS, Fla. — In an attempt to curb negative effects on water quality, many communities in Southwest Florida will be settling into fertilizer bans or restrictions next week. A lot of fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus which are elements that helps toxic algae grow. When grass clippings covered in the fertilizers or rain water contaminated with the elements runoff into canals, blooms can form. In a previous interview with NBC2, the Lee County Natural Resources Manager said that clean water is everyone’s responsibility. “What we can control in our own yards and...

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New tool being used to kill algal blooms on the Caloosahatchee River

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – There is a new tool being used to kill algal blooms on the Caloosahatchee River. The South Florida Water Management District is now testing Lake Guard Oxy on the river. They demonstrated what it can do to the bloom sitting at the Franklin Lock on Thursday.  BlueGreen Water Technologies created the algae-fighting powder a few years ago. The company has been using the oxy on other lakes in Florida. So far, they said it’s helping clear toxic algae. Dr. Waleed Nasser with BlueGreen said the hydrogen peroxide inside the powder targets and eliminates...

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Mat algae covers bottom of Matlacha Pass

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Another threat is lurking under the surface of the water, and it’s called mat algae. It can destroy the ecosystem by sucking all the oxygen out of the water. Right now thick, green, mat algae is covering the bottom of Matlacha Pass. “The root cause is nutrients,” said Richard Bartleson, Research Scientist at SCCF Marine Lab. “We have an overloading of nutrients to our system. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus.” Bartleson has been researching this algae and its effect on the local environment. It looks like a fuzzy green carpet, but...

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Technology could be used to respond to Lee County algae blooms

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Lee County confirmed a contract with a vendor that could respond to algae blooms if they get bad this year is expected to go before the board of commissioners next month. In 2018, the county partnered with AECOM for a pilot program. Crews launched machines into about a dozen canals hit hard by algae in North Fort Myers and Cape Coral. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection granted the county more than $2 million in emergency funds to pay for it. The county did not specify if AECOM is the vendor it will contract this year, or what type of service...

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SWFL’s algae situation continues to worsen, gunk decaying in Caloosahatchee

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The algae situation in Southwest Florida is getting worse as a bloom decays in the Caloosahatchee River. Algae first appeared in Lake Okeechobee, then at Franklin lock, the Alva Boat Ramp, and now its in Fort Myers at the Davis Boat Ramp. There’s a thin green film floating across the surface of the Caloosahatchee. The recent blooms smell worse than they look. The Calusa Waterkeeper said that they are sampling the green gunk to find out how toxic it is. On Wednesday, the Waterkeeper group sent a letter to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection...

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Lee Commissioners approve Caloosahatchee water quality research project

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – The Lee Board of County Commissioners approved an agreement with Florida Gulf Coast University on Tuesday for a water quality research project at the Boma site in Glades County. The research project would test methods for removal of nitrogen from the Caloosahatchee River surface waters in order to improve water quality. The project will be funded by a grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The research, done in partnership with FGCU and the South Florida Water Management District, will take place at the C-43 Water Quality Treatment and Testing...

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Fixing the Lake O algae problem could lie well below the surface

LAKE OKEECHOBEE, Fla. (WBBH) — The key to fixing the algae problem on Lake Okeechobee lies well below the water’s surface, according to research from three Florida Gulf Coast University professors. Two weeks ago, a team from FGCU took NBC2 out on the big lake to illustrate their work. The captain dropped in the boat near the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam on the east side of Lake O and navigated to its center. Despite rough conditions in the middle of the lake, professor Serge Thomas managed to scoop a water sample. The water was brown and murky, in large part due to the strong winds,...

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Cape Coral officials prepare for potential algae blooms

CAPE CORAL, Fla.– With blue-green algae beginning to appear in waterways across Southwest Florida, Cape Coral City officials said they are still working on their plan for this year in case algae blooms cover canals once again.  Mayor John Gunter said they should have a better idea of what the plan is next week. Even though the canals are clear at the moment, some residents said they are hoping this year isn’t a repeat of 2018. “The conditions seem to be there and it’s earlier in the summer than in 2018 that we are seeing these conditions,” said Cape Coral resident Jason Pim. In...

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Blue-green algae patches pop up in Lovers Key State Park

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — A local fisherman spotted patches of brown and green floating near Lovers Key State Park earlier this week.  At first Jeremy Robertson thought it was just floating grass. When he got a closer look, it was something much more complicated. “There were a number of these six-feet circles with the bright green stuff actively growing on it,” he said. “And it smelled, and there were bugs around. I’ve never seen them like that.” FGCU Water School professor, Dr. Barry Rosen, was able to determine what the mass was.   “It’s got at least two species of blue-green algae...

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Algae covers water from Lake Okechobee to Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, Fla.– Algae is covering water from Lake Okechobee down to Fort Myers. Right now, more than half of Lake Okeechobee is covered by algal blooms. Captains For Clean Water co-founder Chris Wittman said it’s too late to make a big change for our summer. He hopes we do not experience heavy rain before June.   “Water quality is the most important issue that affects our community and our economy,” Wittman said. “If we have a very wet summer, it’s going to be bad news for our communities.” Captains for Clean Water is calling on the Army...

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