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Algae blooms seen in SWFL as Lake O releases cut back

Algae blooms in SWFL as Lake O releases reduced
Posted at 7:34 PM, Jun 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-22 19:34:27-04

LABELLE, Fla. -- As the Army Corps Engineers reduced the flow of water from Lake Okeechobee into Southwest Florida waterways Friday, algae blooms were seen across the Caloosahatchee River.

Green algae was seen drifting along the surface of the water at the Labelle City Wharf. One family who is sailing Southwest Florida's waterways for summer vacation tells 4 In Your Corner algae blooms appear every year. "We don't get in it," said Rick Williams. "We got to get through it."

Others were seen fishing in the green water. Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani took several ariel photos of the algae. He said the bloom started in Lake Okeechobee about a week ago. He believes now that it is sitting in our river, and with less movement in the water, the algae is baking in our hot Southwest Florida temperatures and could be reproducing faster. "Those are ideal conditions for that type of bacteria to bloom. If anything, reducing the flows will probably encourage further bloom formation at the surface so it could have an opposite affect on the density of that bacteria in the river," he said.