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Red tide and blue-green algae take a toll on Southwest Florida’s water

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Tide continues to linger in Southwest Florida.

“Typically, we see red tide in the fall and it usually dissipates by November, December, January,” Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said.

“But here we are, May, it’s still around. We’re hoping this isn’t the new normal.”

Right now, the red tide levels are high enough to cause these fish kills. Adding to the problems, blue-green algae is popping up in Florida waters too.

“It’s the storm water runoff from the rain that brings the nutrients that feeds the red tide and the back bays and the near shore areas,” Cassani said.

The algae is toxic enough to make people and wildlife sick. Experts say this could be a problem for us.

“Everyone’s just kind of holding their breath saying Oh my god, I hope this doesn’t become the Mega Bloom,” Cassani said.

With red tide to the west and blue-green algae to the east, experts say things aren’t looking good for our waters.

There are ways to slow and eventually stop the damage.

The Army Corps of Engineers is monitoring algae levels on our shores. If the levels get too high, they said they’ll adjust the amount of water they release from the lake. They hope things stay on the dry side as they release water into the Caloosahatchee River.

“We’re looking at a little bit of a drier time frame and we’re hoping for the lake specifically  that the dry season holds on a little bit longer,” Colonel Andrew Kelly said.

Experts said steps must be taken to reduce both kinds of algae before the two forces collide in our waters.

The post Red tide and blue-green algae take a toll on Southwest Florida’s water appeared first on NBC2 News.

NBC2 (WBBH-TV)

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