Fort Myers Beach Conditions

Know before you go!

ADVISORIES AND UPDATES FOR FORT MYERS BEACH CONDITIONS

From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (September 22, 2021)

In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to high concentrations in and offshore of Pinellas County (in 15 samples), background concentrations offshore of Hillsborough County (in one sample), background to medium concentrations in Manatee County (in eight samples), background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Sarasota County (in 17 samples), background concentrations in and offshore of Charlotte County (in three samples), and background to low concentrations in and offshore of Lee County (in seven samples). Samples collected from or offshore of Collier and Monroe counties did not contain K. brevis.

Fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported on the Florida Gulf Coast in or offshore of Okaloosa, Walton, Levy, Pasco, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, and Lee counties over the past week. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported over the past week on the Florida Gulf Coast in Okaloosa, Walton, Pinellas, Manatee and Lee counties. 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 (September 21, 2021)

Flows to the Caloosahatchee estuary had a 7-day average of 4,345 cfs at S-79 with a 7-day average of 0 cfs coming from the lake at S-77. The 14-day moving average flow at S-79 is 3,290 cfs and has been in the damaging flow envelope (2,100 – 2,600 cfs; RECOVER 2020) for 4 days.

View the full report here.


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.

INFORMATION ON TYPES OF HAZARDOUS MICROORGANISMS

Red Tide

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.

Blue-Green Algae

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:

Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Vibrio Vulnificus

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.

To report a bird mortality, visit legacy.myfwc.com/bird.