Blue-Green Algae:

What locations have been being cleaned?

  • As of Aug. 16, areas cleaned include portions of North Fort Myers and Cape Coral, including Waterway Estates, Paradise Marina, Cape Coral Yacht Basin, Clipper Bay Condominiums and other various canals and basins.

What's planned?

  • This is a pilot program. Not all canals and basins will be cleared. Cleanup will continue while state funds remain available. Due to the unpredictable nature of algae blooms and where they may be located at any given time (they are affected by tide and wind), staff uses aerial views and on-land observations to determine future clean-up locations. Factors considered include the severity of the algae bloom the number of people impacted and the intensity of irritation and odor.

How much has been removed?

  • As of Aug. 15, the water-algae mix (called slurry) removed amounted to nearly 150,000 gallons. Efforts began Aug. 3.

What kind of processing do the solids and liquids get?

  • Once a tanker is filled with algae and liquid, the tanker goes to the North Lee County Reverse Osmosis Plant, where a separate work site has been established to process the material. Liquids and solids are separated in a mobile treatment unit. The liquids are treated to DEP specifications and transferred into an existing 5 million gallon holding pond before it is pumped into a deep-injection well.  The well is 2,600 feet below ground and is below the confined drinking water aquifer.  Solids are transported to the Lee County Landfill located in Hendry County. During the weekend the County processed 30,000 gallons of algae material. The County expects to process about 200,000 to 300,000 gallons as part of this test program.

How deep is the well where the treated liquid goes?

  • The well is 2,600 feet below ground and is below the confined drinking water aquifer.

Where do the solids go?

  • The Lee County landfill in Hendry County.

 

Red Tide

How much/how many carcasses removed?

  • Contractors working for Lee County have removed more than 1,400 tons of fish from Lee County owned and operated beaches and waterways since beginning work on Aug. 2. That total doesn't include fish collected by Lee County Parks & Recreation staff before the contractor began work, fish collected from Boca Grande or fish collected by the City of Sanibel.

Where is the marine material being processed? 

  • The material goes to the county's Waste-to-Energy plant. Some loads with significant amounts of sand intermixed have gone to the county's landfill in Hendry County.

What areas has the county cleaned and who is doing the work?

  • Lee County Parks & Recreation staff has been cleaning county beaches, parks and boat ramps affected by the red tide fish kill. The county has hired CrowderGulf, a debris-removal contractor, to assist in cleaning the beaches and shorelines, using both on-land and boat operations.

  • Areas cleaned so far by Lee County and its contractor include:

  • Sanibel Causeway islands

  • Boca Grande

  • Fort Myers Beach (including Access 40 north to Crescent Beach, Lynn Hall Park and Bowditch Point Park)

  • Bonita Beach

  • Captiva Island bayside (South Seas to 'Tween Waters)

  • Upper Captiva / Safety Harbor canal

  • Pine Island's southern canals in St. James City

  • The City of Sanibel, which reports having collected 309.6 tons, and the Town of Fort Myers Beach and Captiva Erosion Prevention District continue their clean-up efforts in their areas.

 

Funding

 

How much came in from the state?

  • $2 million grant.

  • Red tide:

    • The county has a grant agreement in place with DEP for reimbursement of $1.3 million to assist with red tide cleanup. The state funds are being supplemented by Tourist Development Tax reserves. Lee County plans to allocate funding necessary to cover emergency beach clean-up expenses through this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

  • Blue-green algae:

    • The county has a grant agreement in place with DEP for reimbursement of $700,000 to assist with blue-green algae removal and processing.

What has been spent so far?

  • The county, municipalities and other local entities assisting in the cleanup are still assessing local costs.