Current Update


August 30


Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission makes snook and redfish temporarily catch and release in areas affected by Redtide. Learn more.

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Image of Red Tide Cleanup Crew

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 on land this past week included:
  • Boca Grande
  • Sanibel Causeway islands
  • Fort Myers Beach (including Access 40 north to Crescent Beach, Lynn Hall Park and Bowditch Point Park)
  • Bonita Beach 
Areas cleaned by boat this week included: 
  • Captiva Island bayside (South Seas to ‘Tween Waters)
  • Upper Captiva / Safety Harbor canal
  • Pine Island’s southern canals in St. James City
Public fish waste dumpsters remain in place until further notice.

To date, more than 1,361 tons of material has been removed from our beaches and shorelines.

Note: The City of Sanibel, Town of Fort Myers Beach and Captiva Erosion Prevention District continue their clean-up efforts in their areas.

The Lee County Tourist Development Council met Thursday. Actions taken include votes on the following recommendations to the Board to approve:
  • Funding necessary to cover emergency beach clean-up expenses through the end of fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
  • Up to $1 million for a marketing campaign to launch after current conditions improve. 
  • Purchase of two Surf Rake ($61,000 each) machines for beach and shoreline cleanup. 
  • Note: All requests would be funded from existing tourist tax funds.
The two surf rakes purchased for beach and shoreline cleanup arrived on August 16.

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 Timeline

• August 13

  • Crews continued collecting fish impacted from red tide over the weekend and today are out again.
     
  • Lee County and its contractor will be at Boca Grande in the area from 19th Street and to the south. Other crews started work at the Causeway and will move to Bowditch Point, Lynn Hall Park and then Bonita Beach. 

• August 10

Land Operations: 

• Crowder Gulf on Thursday finished up Boca Grande and assisted Parks & Recreation staff on the Causeway and at Lynn Hall Park and Bowditch Beach.

• Friday (today), Crowder Gulf will return to the Causeway and Lynn Hall/Bowditch.  

• The Lee County VCB will be proposing the purchase of two Barber Surf Rake beach cleaning machines to the Commissioners at the August 21st meeting.

Boat Operations:

• Crowder Gulf completed  bayside Captiva on Thursday.

• Friday (today) the boat crew is doing a second pass on Capitva.


• August 6

Land Operations:

  • Crowder Gulf will start Boca Grande Tuesday at 10am and will work until it is completed.


  • Crowder Gulf and Parks staff will conduct another sweep of the Causeway Islands Tuesday as there was another batch of large fish that washed ashore Monday.

  • Crowder Gulf will finish collecting the large piles left over from the initial cleaning on Ft. Myers Beach. These are located from Access 40 to Bowditch.

  • No fish were found today at Bonita and very minimal amounts were collected from the Ft. Myers Beach parks.

Boat Operations:

  • Crowder Gulf finished Upper Captiva(Safety Harbor and canal) Monday.
     
  • Due to offshore winds, a lot of the floating fish in Pine Island Sound have washed ashore on the bayside of Captiva Island. The worst areas have been prioritized and the contractor will be starting in South Seas harbor and working southward from there.

  • The county has coordinated with South Seas to have dumpsters placed there for the fish.


• August 5
  • Bunche Beach cleaning finished

  • Boats removed 5,000 pounds of fish from Upper Captiva and that cleaning will continue Monday

  • Plan for Monday is completing Upper Captiva, cleaning Boca Grande and removing the remaining piles at Lynn Hall and Bowditch


• August 4
  • Boats completed cleaning St. James City canals

  • Causeway cleared and cleaning on Bunche Beach began

  • Dead fish counts continue to decline

• August 3 - 

Land Efforts:

  • Crowder Gulf finished up both Causeway Islands Friday. They are going to do a quick sweep of both islands Saturday morning before moving to Bunche Beach. They anticipate staying at Bunche and or the Causeway throughout the weekend. Monday they will be moving to Boca Grande.

  • Parks staff continues to clean Bonita Beach, Crescent Beach, Lynn Hall Park, Bowditch and Boca Grande.

  • New update – The residents of Upper Captiva are cleaning their beach and the county has arranged for dumpsters to be delivered to the island either Saturday or Monday depending on the barge company's workload.

Water Efforts:

  • Crowder Gulf's two boat crews were able to completely clean the first priority area – west-facing canals of St. James City. They will be moving to the east-facing canals along St. James City Saturday and then Safety Harbor in Upper Captiva either Saturday afternoon or Sunday. 

Municipality and Agency Efforts:

  • Both the City of Sanibel, Town of Fort Myers Beach, and Captiva Erosion Prevention District continue their clean-up efforts in their areas.
• August 2 - Lee County starts cleaning with Parks & Recreation staff and Crowder-Gulf 

• August 1 - City of Sanibel starts cleaning with Crowder-Gulf 

• July 31 - Town of Fort Myers Beach starts cleaning with Crowder-Gulf

• July 30 - All three entities agree to use debris-removal contractor Crowder-Gulf to supplement staff efforts to clean the beaches and waterways

• July 30 -  Lee County and its municipal partners – primarily the Town of Fort Myers Beach and City of Sanibel, as well as the Captiva Erosion Protection District – begin cleaning the beaches using county and city workers

• July 29 - Dead sea life along beaches and waterways of Lee County begin showing up in significant numbers

July 28 - Sustained winds drive a months-long offshore red tide event in the Gulf of Mexico to Lee County’s shoreline. 


Municipal Cleanup Efforts

The Town of Fort Myers Beach also has Crowder-Gulf under contract to clean its beaches and canals, as does the City of Sanibel.

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District is handling the cleanup on Captiva.  Its staff raked Redfish Pass to Alison Hagerup Beach August 1 then proceeded south to Blind Pass August 2.

Bonita Beach is being cleaned by county Parks & Recreation staff.

Dumpster Locations to Dispose of
Red Tide Fish


Lynn Hall Memorial Beach Park
950 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Crescent Beach Family Park
1100 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Bowditch Point Beach Park
50 Estero Blvd.
Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

7th Street Beach Access
7th St W.
Boca Grande, FL 33921

Causeway Islands (Islands A & B)
19931 Sanibel Causeway Road
Sanibel, FL 33957

Little Hickory Island Beach Park
26082 Hickory Blvd.
Bonita Springs, FL 34134



Image of dumpster available for disposal of red tide fish.  Dumpsters have attached signage saying "Red Tode Fish Only" on them.
(Dumpsters have attached signage saying "Red Tide Fish Only" on them)

The county encourages property owners adjacent to beaches to clean their immediate areas and use red tide fish dumpsters in thes


Map of Dumpster Locations for Residents to Dispose of
Red Tide Fish

Map of Dumpster Locations for Residents to Dispose of Red Tide Fish


City Information

Visit the links below for more information on the steps the cities are taking: