Fort Myers Beach Conditions
Know before you go!
Water Quality Information
Check out these 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)
- Current Beach Conditions (MOTE Marine Laboratory)
- The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commissions (Red Tide Updates)
- Florida Department of Environmental Protection
- Q&A On The Lake Okeechobee Water Discharges
Scroll down for information on current advisories as well as information on the different types of water quality issues.
(July 13, 2018) The Town of Fort Myers Beach has issued a statement that ‘currently there are NO toxic condition concerns from the algae. Nevertheless do NOT swallow or inhale water. If you or your animals accidentally come in contact with the blue-green algae mat, wash that area with fresh water and soap after skin contact. Wash animals’ fur thoroughly before the animal starts to groom themselves.’
(July 9, 2018) Gov. Rick Scott today issued an emergency order in Lee County and six other Florida counties to help combat algal blooms caused by Lake Okeechobee water discharges from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
A statewide hotline, 1-855-305-3903, has been established for the public to report issues with algae. A website at floridadep.gov/dear/algal-bloom is also available so visitors and residents can be fully informed on the location of algal blooms and results of water testing.
(July 3, 2018) Red tide has been detected in Lee County. There have been reports of respiratory irritation and fish kill in the water on the beaches of northern Lee and southern Charlotte counties. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commissions updates red tide conditions weekly here: myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide
Red Tide Information
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 Information
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 Information
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.