ALVA, Fla. — The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), in partnership with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), began using an innovative technology treatment in the Caloosahatchee River to combat blue-green algal blooms.
"We are here because of the leadership of Governor Ron DeSantis, who listened to the people of Florida, and prioritized resources to protect South Florida's waterways and address blue-green algae head-on," said SFWMD Governing Board Chairman Chauncey Goss. "This is good news for Lee County and all of Southwest Florida, and we're continuing to expeditiously implement long-term solutions, including the Caloosahatchee Reservoir, to better protect the Caloosahatchee Estuary."
The blue-green algae in the Caloosahatchee River is being treated with a new technology known as Lake Guard Oxy. The algaecide product is certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and has shown promising results in other parts of Florida. Treatment is currently targeted at locations with active bloom conditions between the Wilson Pigott Bridge (SR 31) and the Alva Boat Ramp in Lee County. There are no water use restrictions associated with this product.
Improving water quality and reducing harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries are top priorities for the State of Florida. Under the direction of Gov. DeSantis, SFWMD and DEP are expediting critical Everglades restoration projects such as the EAA Reservoir Project, the Caloosahatchee (C-43) and C-44 Reservoirs, and removing Old Tamiami Trail roadbed, which will all work together to reduce damaging discharges and send more clean water south to the Everglades.
DEP's Blue-Green Algae Task Force recommended using innovative technologies to prevent, detect and address harmful algal blooms in a cost-effective, environmentally safe way. SFWMD and DEP are committed to a partnership that protects Florida's water resources through multi-faceted and innovative solutions.