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2 algae health alerts issued in Lee County as community on watch

Two areas in Southwest Florida are being closely monitored as fears of another algae outbreak grow.

The Franklin Lock in Olga and the Alva boat ramp are both under an algae health alert.

Brittany Pledger, of Fort Myers, went on a boat ride.

“My son invited me,” Pledger said.

Pledger said she didn’t see any algae or smell it while on the water.

That’s a big difference from 2018.

“The smell was unacceptable,” Pledger said. “It was awful.”

Now, she keeps an eye out and hopes she never has to deal with that again.

She’s not the only one.

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani took a video at the Franklin Lock on Tuesday morning.

“What we saw this morning was a little bit of cyanobacteria starting to form here at the Franklin Lock,” Cassani said. “It’s been around for several weeks now. Typically, later in the day, the wind whips it back into the water column, so you can’t see it quite as well.”

This could explain why the cyanobacteria wasn’t evidence on Tuesday afternoon.

“So the other thing we’re kind of keeping an eye on is how much either basin runoff or lake discharges is occurring,” Cassani said. “Typically, that’s what brings the high nutrient condition and fuels the blue-green algae bloom.”

If you would like to check out the algae yourself or report any algae sighting, you can do so by visiting the Protecting Florida Together website.

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
Writer:Melissa Montoya
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