Water-Related News

Poisonous algae bloom spreading in Caloosahatchee

Water samples taken by a local river advocacy group show that the blue-green algae bloom in the Caloosahatchee River is toxic.

The algal bloom started last week and has grown denser in recent days.

"My big concern is health," said Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani while driving to the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam. "People want to be in or on the water, and we’ve got a holiday week coming up. But they won’t be able to swim at Franklin locks because it’s closed."

Cassani thought signs put up by the state health department would keep people out of the water at Franklin Lock and Dam.

He was wrong.

"There are six or seven kids swimming in the water right now and people fishing in it," Cassani said while speaking to The News-Press on his cellphone.

A short distance down the river at the Alva boat ramp, Carson Wallace and Will Wiggins were launching a personal watercraft that looked like it had been coated in John Deere green paint.