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Economic damage assement underway for areas affected by algae

Posted at 10:17 PM, Jul 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-13 14:46:26-04

Governor Rick Scott announced the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity will launch a survey to see how much algal blooms have impacted local businesses.

“It’s a travesty, it’s a tragedy, it’s horrible,” said Cathy Eagle of Captain Cathy’s charters.

Governor Scott’s office’s says loans and other resources may be available to business negatively impacted by the algae.

Another charter captain based in Cape Coral, says he’s still suffering because of massive fish kills near Boca Grande.

But closer to Ft. Myers, it’s business as usual at Salty Sam’s Marina.

“Always this time of year and this type of business we see a seasonal drop, but if you compare July this time of year to July of last year, we are doing better,” said Marketing Director David Kastan.

Kastan says no algae has been spotted in their harbor, nestled just south of the Matanzas Pass Bridge.

“We have fishing charters and sailing charters, they do go relatively far off coast, but nobody has said anything to me about seeing anything.”

Unpredictable ocean currents make it hard to predict where the algae will go.

Eagle says she’s glad that after years of handwringing about how to deal with the algae, politicians have finally come together to solve the problem, which started years ago.

"We weren't’t here then, we didn't make that decision, but we are left now with the fallout from that.”

Even though state and federal leaders have agreed on a new reservoir and dike system to stem the overflow, several charter captains are planning a protest by sailing into Clewiston Saturday.