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Toxicity testing on green algae underway

Samples taken from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Estero
Posted at 7:18 PM, Jul 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-14 06:19:57-04
Blobs of green algae spotted in Cape Coral are being tested for toxicity, according to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). 
 
The algae has been seen at the Cape Coral Yacht club, and canals in North Fort Myers. A sample collected from the Cape Yacht Club last Thursday is currently being tested for toxicity. 
 
The green algae comes on the heels of an algal bloom that has caused red tide at several beaches across Southwest Florida; notable, Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel. 
 
"I'm seeing the green algae on the shore here; it's just like back home," said Chris Vaca, who lives near Jupiter.
 
He was visiting the Cape Yacht club with his family Tuesday. Vaca told Fox 4 the algae and brown water didn't bother him too much because he's seen worse on the east coast where toxic blue-green algae has caused fish kills and beach closures. 
 
It's not yet clear if the same toxic blue-green algae causing concern on the Treasure coast is the same as the algae popping on Southwest Florida's coastline, but many have their suspicions. 
 
"Everything that has happened on the east coast with visuals is about to happen here," said John Hemm, SWFL Clean Water Movement.  "This is the very beginning stages of it," he added. 
 
The Florida Department of Health issued this statement on the recent algal blooms: The Florida Department of Health advises residents not to come into contact with water in areas where you see foam, scum, or mats of algae on the water.
 
The agency did not go as far as saying the water wasn't safe for swimming, and no swimming advisories have been issued as of yet. 
 
DEP, told Fox 4 samples taken of the green algae blooms found in Cape Coral are being processed at a lab in Tallahassee. Samples will also be taken near the Downtown Fort Myers Boat Ramp and Alva Boat Ramp, as well as Estero Bay. 
 
"There's no way I'd swim in that, that looks no different  than the St.Lucie right now," said Brett Cox, a SWFL Clean Water Movement Administrator.  Coxx along with Hemm were invited by congressman Patrick Murphy to Washington, D.C. to address congress Thursday.
 
"Certain people need to see this; scientist need to see this; Rick Scott needs to see this, "said Cox.
 
"Until it affects me I still say it's not bad, but I'm hard headed so you can't listen to me," said Vaca.