Water experts worry blue-green algae and red tide could create ‘perfect storm’
FORT MYERS, Fla.– Southwest Florida water experts advise we could see the perfect storm this summer.
Blue-green algae is sitting on parts of Lake Okeechobee right now. We’ve also seen the algae streaks in the Caloosahatchee River near Avla and Fort Myers Shores.
The lake is about a foot higher than the Army Corps would like it to be at this time of year. That means higher water releases could come our way during the summer and fall months.
Red Tide has killed fish from Charlotte Harbor South to Barefoot Beach. The toxic water is sticking around longer than expected.
The two blooms could create a problem for us, similar to 2018, when algae stunk up canals in Cape Coral.
The 2018 blooms caused fish to die and wash ashore. Water experts have said something similar could happen to us this year.
“We’re on the verge of what we potentially think is another mega bloom,” Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said.
Scientists are concerned that algae on Lake O will get worse as the water heats up.
If the area gets rain in the next few weeks, it could send more nutrients into the water, which can help algae grow.
Rain would also send more water into the lake, raising the level. Army Corps Engineers could have to keep releasing higher amounts of water, which will come our way. More releases could become disastrous for our water quality and economy.
About 20 miles of water near the mouth of the river combined red tide and algae in 2018. That was a deadly combo for marine life.
“2018 was the basis of what we call a perfect storm.,” Cassani said. “We’re just holding our breath that it just doesn’t turn out as bad as we think it might.”
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