Fort Myers Beach Conditions

Know before you go!

For information on the Coronavirus click here.

A state of emergency has been declared on Fort Myers Beach from Thursday March 19, 2020 at 6 P.M. until further notice. For more information click here.

ADVISORIES AND UPDATES

From the NOAA

Click here to view the full report.

From the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (March 27, 2020)

In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low concentrations in one sample collected offshore of Monroe County.
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No fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were reported over the past week.

No reports of respiratory irritation were received over the past week

Caloosahatchee Conditions Report (March 24, 2020)  

Caloosahatchee estuary flows increased to an average of 672 cfs at S-79 the past week. The Caloosahatchee estuary needs to maintain flows to moderate salinities in the estuary.

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.

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.

Flyer On Red Tide For Visitors From The Florida Department of Health

Flyer On Red Tide For Pet Owners From The Florida Department of Health

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

Flyer On Red Tide and Blue Green Algae from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation

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.

What’s In The Water Report

You can view the report here.

Comments on the report from Dr. Mike Parsons

For the “What’s in the Water” event from October. The big things are:

1. CDOM was lower (the negative values indicate a lack of inputs from Lake O – there was less CDOM in the water than in our tap water at FGCU which we used as our “zero” value in calibration!)
2. Chlorophyll slightly elevated
3. Phosphate much higher

In a nutshell – I’d say that these indicate a lack of Lake O influence (low salinity and low CDOM; discharges were generally low) and noticeable localized phosphate inputs (I won’t say significant yet – we’ll need to continue the data collection). Phosphate sources would include fertilizer and waste water (septic, discharges from waste water treatment plants). The lack of a similar nitrogen increase suggests that it might not be waste water, or that the algae took up the nitrogen and we see the residual phosphate they could not use (bioassay tests could help figure this out). Interesting results!