Fort Myers Beach Conditions
Know before you go!
ADVISORIES AND UPDATES FOR FORT MYERS BEACH CONDITIONS
From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (January 25, 2023)
In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to low concentrations in Pinellas County, background to medium concentrations in Manatee County, background to low concentrations in and offshore of Sarasota County, background to low concentrations in Charlotte County, background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Lee County, and background concentrations in Collier County.
Reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received in Southwest Florida from Sarasota County over the past week. For more details, please visit https://myfwc.com/research/
Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported via the Beach Conditions Reporting System over the past week in Southwest Florida in Sarasota County (Caspersen Beach, Lido Key Beach, Longboat Key, Manasota Key Beach, Nokomis Beach, Siesta Key Beach, Venice Beach, Venice North Jetty Beach). For recent and current information at individual beaches, please visit https://visitbeaches.org/ and for forecasts that use FWC and partner data, please visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org/
Caloosahatchee Conditions Report (January 24, 2023)
Flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary had a 7-day average of 1,903 cfs at S-79 with a 7-day average of 1,211 cfs (64%) coming from the lake at S-77. The 14-day moving average flow at S-79 is 1,966 cfs and has been in the optimum flow envelope (750 – 2100 cfs; RECOVER 2020) for 25 days. Red tide blooms are causing fish kills and respiratory irritation on Sanibel Island.
OTHER SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Check out these other useful links for up to date information on water quality issues such as red tide, and blue-green algae.
- Florida Healthy Beaches Program (Florida Department of Health)
- Lee County Updates
- Current Beach Conditions (MOTE Marine Laboratory)
- FMB CHAMBER RESOLUTION NO. 19-01 (SUPPORTING GOVERNOR RON DESANTIS’ STRONG COMMITMENT TO WATER QUALITY, EVERGLADES RESTORATION AND THE SIGNIFICANT FUNDING LEVELS OUTLINED IN EXECUTIVE ORDER 19-12)
INFORMATION ON TYPES OF HAZARDOUS MICROORGANISMS
In Florida, red tide is caused by a microscopic single-celled algae called Karenia brevis or K. brevis. It is present in background conditions throughout the year in the Gulf of Mexico. When natural conditions are right, the organism can form blooms producing a toxin. When red tide is present it can cause coughing, sneezing and teary eyes. People with asthma or chronic respiratory problems should avoid red tide areas. Swimming in water with red tide can also cause skin irritation or eye burning.
Please refer to this fact sheet for more information on red tide.
Cyanobacteria/ blue-green algae are a group of organisms that can live in freshwater, salt water or mixed “brackish” water. When conditions are right, such as warm water and increased nutrients, these organisms can increase in numbers and accumulate in some areas of a water body.
Blue-green algae can cause gastrointestinal effects if swallowed. Children and pets are especially vulnerable. If you spot blue-green algae, please contact Kalina Warren, environmental administrator with DEP’s Water Quality Assessment Program for the South Region at 407-897-4177.
You can find more information on blue-green algae using the links below:
Vibrio vulnificus is a bacterium that normally lives in warm seawater. Itis part of a group of vibrios that are called “halophilic” because they require salt. Occurring naturally in the warm coastal waters, particularly during the summer months, Vibrio vulnificus has the potential to cause serious illness. People can get infected with Vibrio vulnificus when they eat raw shellfish, particularly oysters. Persons who have wounds, cuts or scratches and wade in estuarine areas or seawater where the bacteria might be present can become ill as well.
Symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus in wound infections typically include swelling, pain and redness at the wound site. Other symptoms of Vibrio vulnificus infection include; nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, chills and the formation of blistering skin lesions. Individuals experiencing these symptoms should contact a physician immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
Please refer to this fact sheet for more information on Vibrio vulnificus.
REPORTING DEAD MARINE LIFE
For sick, injured or dead sea turtles contact the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Sea Turtle Hotline at 978-SAVE-ONE (728-3663) or FWC’s Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922). FWC’s hotline can also be used to report any sick or dead animal.
To report a fish kill, contact FWC’s Fish Kill Hotline at 800-636-0511 or submit a report online. The public can also download the free FWC Reporter app to their mobile device.