Bacteria in Collier County beaches leads to “poor quality” designation

Just like students, beaches earn grades, too. But, beaches in Collier County will not be bragging about its recent marks.

The Florida Department of Health said several Collier County beaches receive the designation of “poor quality.” The government agency reached this conclusion following its finding of high levels of bacteria in the water.

But some visitors will not let the recent report impede their fun.

“You think back when you’d come in from playing in the dirt and your mother was alarmed because you are dirty,” Gabriel Jacobs said, “people say that’s a good thing for your immune system to not be so careful.”

Jacob visited the beach with his wife, Lei. Others also held the same sentiment. Deanna Kimball was with her 6-years-old daughter, Bismark.

“We’ve been having a good time haven’t we yes,” Kimball said, “yeah lots of seashells to find, shark teeth, yeah.”

While they believe the beach should be avoided in the short term, Collier County encourages all seaside visitors to rinse with fresh water after swimming. It warns against swallowing any of the contaminated water.

The beaches effected include Wiggins Pass, Naples Pier, South Marco Beach, Park Shore, Barefoot Beach and Vanderbilt Beach.

Hurricane Michael is terrorizing several states nearby northwestern Florida. Yet, it’s stimulating the gulf coast waters and some residents like Carlos Diaz can’t pass up the opportunity to visit Vanderbilt Beach.

“These are the conditions we were looking forward to, to get some nice waves to surf,” Diaz said, unfazed by the bacteria warnings. “Some people aren’t used to it so it could be scary, but this is not bad conditions.”

Writer:Michael Mora