GASPARILLA ISLAND, Fla. - Tests completed on August 26, 2010, indicate that the beach water quality at Gasparilla Island Park - Seagrape Beach on Boca Grande does not meet the criteria for enterococcus bacteria recommended by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This indicates that water contact may pose an increased risk of disease, particularly for susceptible individuals.

We recommend not swimming at Gasparilla Island State Park - Seagrape Beach on Boca Grande.

Enterococcus bacteria normally inhabit the intestinal tract of humans and animals. The presence of an elevated concentration of enterococcus is an indicator of pollution, which may come from storm-water runoff, pets and wildlife, or sewage. Elevated levels of Enterococcus bacteria have been associated with an increased risk of swimming-associated gastroenteritis illness (diarrhea and abdominal pain).

This advisory will continue until bacteria levels are below the accepted EPA level. New test results should be available by 3:30 PM on August 31, 2010. For more information, please view our internet website at www.doh.state.fl.us, select A-Z topics and then select Beach Water Quality, or contact the Lee County Health Department, Charles Walther (239)274-2200 during business hours.