News Stories

Lee County in Local State of Emergency Because of Algae Crisis

The algae in our area is so bad that Lee County is now in a Local State of Emergency. The problem now is figuring out where to dump the algae that’s collected.

“I’m a little surprised that we don’t have a quicker response. We’re all ready to send our vacuum cleaners — that’s what this amounts to, right? A big suck machine to pick up the green, and then what do you do with it? Where do you empty your vacuum cleaner?”, said Commissioner Larry Kiker.

The Lee County Board of Commissioners held an emergency session Friday July 27 to declare a State of Local Emergency. Now that the declaration was made the county can hire a firm to clean the green algae that’s been affecting Southwest Floridas waterways.

The county has set aside $150,000 from its general fund reserves for the most affect areas for blue and green algae in the county.

Gov. Rick Scott earlier this month declared an algae-related emergency in:

  • Lee County
  • Hendry County
  • Glades County
  • Palm Beach
  • Okeechobee Counties

Also, the state Department of Environmental Protection has $3 million available to help local governments in containing and cleaning the algae that appeared in the Caloosahatchee.

Reporting by Anna Kohls