to mitigate water-quality issues throughout Lee County continue under the
leadership of the Lee Board of County Commissioners with county staff,
contracted vendors and several state entities, including the Florida Department
of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation
Commission and the Florida Department of Health.
Board at its regularly scheduled Aug. 7 meeting:
unanimously to ask for federal resources. The Board’s resolution urges
President Trump to recognize a major disaster exists in Lee County because of
the high concentration and prolonged presence of harmful red tide in the Gulf
of Mexico and harmful blue-green algal blooms in the Caloosahatchee River and
from mayors and representatives the county’s six municipalities, who adopted
their own State of Local Emergency.
the existing county State of Local Emergency for blue-green algae and issued a
second State of Local Emergency for red tide.
Board at its Aug. 21 meeting is anticipated to approve several agenda items
that will use Tourist Development Tax reserve funds for beach cleanup and
marketing (see below under “Coastal” update).
update (blue-green algae):
The county has also created a test program to remove the
blue-green algae from some of its most impacted waterways using a $700,000
grant from the state Department of Environmental Protection. It will remove,
process, treat and dispose of harmful algae blooms from select test sites in
unincorporated Lee County and affected municipalities, most notably Cape Coral.
Lee County has mobilized AECOM, one of the nation’s largest construction and
engineering firms with expertise in environmental cleanup, under a state
contract for emergency cleanup deployments.
today continued to work near the Clipper Bay condos in Cape Coral, north of
Cape Coral Bridge and just east of Del Prado Boulevard.
amount of slurry pulled from Lee County waterways to date totals at an
estimated 17 tankers at 5,000 gallons each for a total of 85,000 gallons.
material will begin processing for disposal this weekend. The material will be
processed at the site of the North Lee County Reverse Osmosis Plant.
algae/water mix collected is tested to assist and verify treatment methods
being deployed to meet state-imposed water-quality standards.
is a pilot program. County staff is in contact daily with the state DEP and the
contractor. We continue to refine the process and evaluate the results.
update (red tide and red-drift algae):
Lee County Parks & Recreation staff has been cleaning
county beaches, parks and boat ramps affected by the red tide fish kill. The
county has hired CrowderGulf, a debris-removal contractor, to assist in
cleaning the beaches and shorelines, using both on-land and boat operations.
cleaned on land this past week included:
Myers Beach (including Access 40 north to Crescent Beach, Lynn Hall Park and
Bowditch Point Park)
cleaned by boat this week included:
Island bayside (South Seas to ‘Tween Waters)
Captiva / Safety Harbor canal
Island’s southern canals in St. James City
fish waste dumpsters remain in place until further notice.
Note: The City of Sanibel, Town of Fort Myers Beach and Captiva Erosion Prevention District continue their clean-up efforts in their areas.The
Lee County Tourist Development Council met Thursday. Actions taken include
votes on the following recommendations to the Board to approve:
necessary to cover emergency beach clean-up expenses through the end of fiscal
year, which ends Sept. 30.
to $1 million for a marketing campaign to launch after current conditions
of two Surf Rake ($61,000 each) machines for beach and shoreline cleanup.
All requests would be funded from existing tourist tax funds.
Tallahassee representatives of the Florida Department of
Environmental Protection and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation
Commission met with Lee County’s senior leadership team Wednesday to discuss
red tide and blue-green algae.
The Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau participated
in a statewide conference call Thursday with Visit Florida, the Florida
Department of Health, Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission and MOTE Marine
Laboratory and Aquarium regarding the red tide bloom affecting six counties
along the Gulf of Mexico.
FLORIDA is working with county tourism industry partners, state agencies and
other stakeholders to mitigate the red tide's effects from a visitor
perspective, and will communicate with visitors when the beaches are clear and
back to normal. In addition, VISIT FLORIDA presented an action plan to ensure
our partners, stakeholders and consumers are armed with updated information as
we work together to manage and minimize the impacts of red tide.