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Weird Water: Scientists look into brown water at Sanibel Causeway

Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 18:41:12-04

SANIBEL, Fla. — Scientists took samples at the Sanibel Causeway after there were reports of brown streaks in the water.

A photo of the water streaks was posted to the Calusa Waterkeeper Facebook page on March 16th.

However, the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation said there is no reason to panic about algae blooms just yet.

Scientists at the foundation said they didn't get a chance to test those brown streaks, but they tested the water nearby just the day before.

Dr. Rick Bartleson said those tests didn't reveal any traces of blooms. He added the streaks didn't resemble ones from blooms like he has seen before, and they were likely caused by the Caloosahatchee River.

"It did look like discolored water from the river. The river brings out colored water which empties at the Causeway and it goes down to Bunche Beach and down by Fort Myers Beach and it can make streaks like that."

Dr. Bartleson said we've also had breezy conditions which can also churn up the water and make it look darker. Researchers went back to the beach a few days later but the streaks were gone.

Bunche Beach

Volunteers bring samples from each beach at least once per week back to the foundation's lab. They said none of the samples have had traces of red tide blooms in them so far.