Fort Myers Beach Conditions
Know before you go!
THERE IS A RIP TIDE WARNING UNTIL 10 P.M. SATURDAY APRIL 20 FROM THE NOAA FOR FORT MYERS BEACH. CLICK HERE FOR THEIR LATEST RED TIDE REPORT
FORT MYERS BEACH IS CURRENTLY EXPERIENCING AN INFLUX OF RED DRIFT ALGAE. THIS ALGAE IS NON-TOXIC. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE.
OTHER ADVISORIES AND UPDATES
From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (April 19, 2019)
The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, was not observed in samples collected statewide over the past week.
No fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported this week.
No respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was reported over the past week.
Caloosahatchee Condition Report (April 16, 2019)
Cyanobacteria are present in Lake Okeechobee and at Lee County sample sites along the Caloosahatchee River and estuary. High abundances of drift algae are accumulating along Fort Myers Beach and are present in lower amounts along Sanibel’s beaches.
Click here to view the full report.
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.
- Harmful Algae Bloom Forecast from the NOAA
- Florida Healthy Beaches Program (Florida Department of Health)
- Lee County Updates
- Current Beach Conditions (MOTE Marine Laboratory)
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.
To report a bird mortality, visit legacy.myfwc.com/bird.
Senate Committee Passes Bill to Fund Red Tide Research
Senate Bill 1552, Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative, by Senator Joe Gruters unanimously passed the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government. This legislation aims to build on the significant investments already made by the legislature to control and alleviate red tide blooms in Florida by providing a $3 million annual appropriation for the next six years dedicated to red tide research and mitigation. This is in addition to more than $6 million allocated in the recently passed Florida Senate budget. Senate Bill 1552 establishes the Florida Red Tide Mitigation and Technology Development Initiative as a partnership between the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory.
The purpose of the initiative is to develop technologies and approaches needed to address the control and mitigation of red tide and its impacts. This initiative comes after Florida recently experienced one of its largest red tide blooms in history. In addition to threatening public safety and harming the environment, red tide can cause harmful algal blooms which may result in significant costs associated with public health, commercial fishery reduction, and decreases in recreation and tourism. The Florida Senate is committed to continuing to invest in protecting Florida’s unique environment and water resources.