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‘It makes me sick’: algae bloom prompts health advisory

A health advisory has been issued due to increasing amounts of blue green algae blooming near the Alva boat ramp, Davis boat ramp and Franklin Locks.

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But now, the algae is creeping into downtown Fort Myers waters, concerning many residents nearby.

For the past six years, Gerri Pollard has lived on her boat at the Fort Myers Yacht Basin and says on Thursday, it was the first time she’s seen algae like this in the water.

“It’s here…it’s only going to get worse. The water’s green,” Pollard said.

She adds that as the days get hotter, the green gunk is making its way downstream and spreading across the water outside her boat.

“It kind of makes me sick of what they’ve done in this water,” Pollard said.

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On Thursday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to stop sending fresh water releases to the east coast, but they are continuing to send 27,000 gallons every hour in SWFL’s direction.

However, they’ll send “pulse releases” over the next two weeks, which could result in a break-up of the algae.

Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane says it’s a small victory.

“There’s a win-win in this. The east coast has a significant algae bloom that is really close to their shores and we understand that, but at the same time we want the pulse release,” Ruane said.

Calusa Waterkeeper

But Pollard says the future is still murky, at least from where she’s standing.

“The temporary problem, yes…but what about next year?” Pollard said.

Mayor Ruane says he still wants to get more or all of the Lake Okeechobee water directed to the south. He also says that his department decided to buy the county three more water monitoring devices to test for any potentially toxic elements.

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