Fort Myers Beach Conditions

Know before you go!

ADVISORIES AND UPDATES FOR BEACH CONDITIONS

From the NOAA

Click here to view the full report.

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

A patchy bloom of the red tide organism, Karenia brevis, persists in Southwest Florida. Over the past week, K. brevis was detected in 33 samples. Bloom concentrations (>100,000 cells/liter) were observed in five Lee County samples and one Collier County sample. Satellite imagery (1/21; NOAA, USF) indicates the presence of patches of chlorophyll >5 miles offshore of Lee and Collier counties and >20 miles offshore of Monroe County. Additional details are provided below.

In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at background to high concentrations in and offshore of Lee County, and background to medium concentrations in and offshore of Collier County. Samples from Pinellas, Manatee, and Sarasota counties did not contain red tide.

In Southwest Florida over the past week, several reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

Respiratory irritation was reported over the past week in Southwest Florida in Lee and Collier counties.

Red Tide Respiratory Forecast

This online tool is a beach-level risk forecast activated during red tide conditions that tells beachgoers what red tide impacts are expected to be at individual beaches at different times of the day. It’s especially important for those who have asthma, COPD, or other chronic lung conditions and lets them know where red tide might be causing respiratory impacts so they can avoid those areas.

Caloosahatchee Conditions Report (January 19, 2021)

Caloosahatchee Conditions Summary: Flows to the Caloosahatchee estuary had a 7-day average of 1,057 cfs at S-79 with a 7-day average of 657 cfs coming from the lake at S-77. The 14-day moving average flow at S-79 is 994 cfs and has been in the optimum flow envelope (750 – 2,100 cfs; RECOVER 2020) for the past 18 days. A patchy red tide bloom persists in Lee and Collier Counties causing multiple fish kill events, dead and injured wildlife, and respiratory irritation in humans. Water clarity and salinity are improving around Sanibel and Cape Coral, which is beneficial for seagrass and estuarine animals. On Sanibel beaches, public works has reported a decrease in the frequency and severity of fish kills.

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.