Water-Related News

Fort Myers Beach embarks on clean water campaign after deadly winter of red tide

Clinic for Rehabilitation of Wildlife recorded three-year high for red tide cases in birds last month

The Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW) reported a three-year high for red tide poisoning of birds for the month of February in a winter that saw a resurgence of red tide locally though not as pronounced as what was felt in 2018.

A sustained increase in flows from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River from October through January by the Army Corps of Engineers has been cited as a leading cause of local waterways being loaded with nutrients from the lake, impacting salinity levels that the Calusa Waterkeeper has warned would damage the Gulf of Mexico and harm marine life.

One issue remains certain locally: water quality is the top issue as state and federal projects have not kept up with the impacts to the environment.

The Town of Fort Myers Beach Council is embarking on a campaign this month to encourage residents and visitors to write letters to legislators in Florida as well as legislators in their home states to back funding for water quality projects in Florida, including the Everglades.