Water-Related News

Algae once again streaks Caloosahatchee's upper reaches, new aerial photos show

After a brief reprieve (to the naked eye, at least) from the toxic algae that had tainted the Caloosahatchee River since June, cyanobacteria appears to once again be clinging to the river's upper shoreline.

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani flew over eastern Lee and Hendry counties Friday and photographed algae near the Alva bridge, Fort Denaud and in upriver oxbows.

Though he's not positive what species it is, "it certainly appears to be a cyanobacteria species, probably Microcystis or Anabaena," Cassani said.

Both types produce potent toxins that research has linked to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, along with other problems including liver failure.

Releases of polluted Lake Okeechobee water down the river starting June 1 kicked off a disastrous season of toxic blooms that prompted Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency and spawned a spate of protests, town hall meetings and crowd-funded research.