June 28, 2018 - The Florida Healthy Beaches Program in Lee County issued a health advisory for the Alva Boat Ramp, Davis Boat Ramp, and Franklin Locks based on water sampling results from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). DEP conducted sampling in the area and found the presence of Cyanobacteria, commonly known as blue-green algae. When algae is visible, DOH recommends individuals using the boat ramp avoid contact with the water. DEP will continue to monitor the Alva Boat Ramp, Davis Boat Ramp, and Franklin Locks and post updates on their website. Click here for additional information issued by the state of Florida.
Click here for Blue Green Algae FAQ's.
July 11, 2018 - Red tide has been detected in Lee County. There have been reports of respiratory irritation and fish kills in the water on the beaches of northern Lee and southern Charlotte counties. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commissions updates red tide conditions weekly where specific site locations can be seen: myfwc.com/research/redtide/statewide
You may also go to visitbeaches.org or call 941-BEACHES (232-2437) for more information.
What is red tide?
In Florida, red tide is caused by a microscopic single-celled algae called Karenia brevis or K. brevis that 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. At high concentrations, the blooms may discolor the water – sometimes red, light or dark green, brown or clear.
How long will it last?
Red tide blooms can last days, weeks or months and can also change daily due to wind conditions. Onshore winds normally bring it near the shore and offshore winds drive it out to sea.
Can people swim in red tide?
Most people can swim in red tide, but it can cause skin irritation and burning eyes. If you experience irritation, get out and thoroughly wash off with fresh water.
What are symptoms from breathing in red tide toxins?
For most people, coughing, sneezing and teary eyes are temporary symptoms. People with chronic respiratory problems, like asthma and COPD should avoid red tide areas.
Can pets swim in red tide?
If your pet swims in a red tide patch at the beach, a thorough freshwater rinse as soon as possible is essential. Don’t let your pet play in any sea foam – the foam has been shown to be more toxic than water.
If you're seeing dark-colored water offshore...
Water runoff from the river watershed and freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee may cause some discoloration of the water from the north end of Fort Myers Beach to the south end of Sanibel Island. This freshwater contains tannins from plants and other organic material that give the water a darker color than it normally appears.
Why has this water been released?
An above-average rainfall from several storms created conditions within Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River watersheds that resulted in large volumes of freshwater being discharged into the river and estuary.
How long will it last?
The freshwater releases from Lake Okeechobee will stop once water levels return to normal. For more information, please visit the South Florida Water Management District.
What to do this week
To get you started, here’s a guide to what to do the week of July 9-15.
Click here for a list of museums, historic sites, tours, live theater, shopping, farmers markets and more can make you day away from the beach a fun one.
Please enjoy the live beach cams below that offer visitors a real-time view of our destination complimentary of our partners.
To make your beach getaway even sweeter, check out our special deals on hotels and local attractions. Enjoy!