Blue-green algae seems to be making a comeback.
“We just are just aghast that it could still be here and still be creating a public health threat,” John Cassani with the Calusa Waterkeepers said.
Earlier this week, it was reported in Hendry County. First in LaBelle and now Alva.
“It did fade away to a great extent towards the end of September, middle of September and it seems to be coming back now,” he said.
HelloSWFL met up with him at W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam to figure out why this is happening again.
“It’s just really unfortunate to see it. I’ve worked on this system for close to 40 years and typically I don’t see it this late in the season, but here it is so this could be the new normal,” Cassani said. “We think the cause or perhaps the source of this current bloom of this blue-green algae is Lake Okeechobee.”
Cassani said the algae never really went away. In fact, he said the recent information he saw shows 20 to 30 percent of the lake being covered in algae.
“The blue-green algae has not faded completely from the lake since late May of this year, so there’s always been that presence of algae in the lake and we think the recent pulse releases at Moore Haven are delivering some algae into the upper system,” he said. “The blue-green algae in the lake is concentrated in the Southwest corner and that’s where it enters the Caloosahatchee River.”
Cassani said unleaded the release from the lake accelerate he doesn’t think this bloom will be as bad as the last one.
“We’re not sure how far how down in the system it will go. We’re really hoping it won’t get to Fort Myers, North Fort Myers and Cape Coral like it did last time,” Cassani said.