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Tag: Environment

Nearly 100 sea turtle nests discovered on Sanibel & Captiva shores

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. — Sea turtle nesting season is starting to pick up speed and volunteers are locating and roping off more nests on Sanibel and Captiva shores. So far, turtle nest monitoring crews with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation have located 70 nests on Sanibel and 25 on Captiva. “So far, the counts are on pace with 2019, a strong year that finished with 848 total nests,” SCCF Coastal Wildlife Director Kelly Sloan said. “It’s still too early in the season to know how things will shake out, but we are hopeful for another great year.” Last week, SCCF daytime tagging intern...

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Water experts worry blue-green algae and red tide could create ‘perfect storm’

FORT MYERS, Fla.– Southwest Florida water experts advise we could see the perfect storm this summer.  Blue-green algae is sitting on parts of Lake Okeechobee right now. We’ve also seen the algae streaks in the Caloosahatchee River near Avla and Fort Myers Shores.  The lake is about a foot higher than the Army Corps would like it to be at this time of year. That means higher water releases could come our way during the summer and fall months.  Red Tide has killed fish from Charlotte Harbor South to Barefoot Beach. The toxic water is sticking around longer...

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Lehigh Acres gator trapper wrangles gators two days in a row

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla.– A gator made itself at home at a Lehigh Acres community on Friday.  The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission got a call after the four-foot gator made its way from under a car to the back porch of a home.  “I was actually just looking out my back porch and I seen him walking across the yard and I was like ‘Oh, that’s a gator,’” said Mackenzie Marinell. FWC dispatched Tracey Hansen, a gator trapper who has been wrangling for 30-years. “Got here and he had slipped out of the backyard,” said Hansen. “He was along the bushes. Had to chase him down.” In...

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Cape Coral officials prepare for potential algae blooms

CAPE CORAL, Fla.– With blue-green algae beginning to appear in waterways across Southwest Florida, Cape Coral City officials said they are still working on their plan for this year in case algae blooms cover canals once again.  Mayor John Gunter said they should have a better idea of what the plan is next week. Even though the canals are clear at the moment, some residents said they are hoping this year isn’t a repeat of 2018. “The conditions seem to be there and it’s earlier in the summer than in 2018 that we are seeing these conditions,” said Cape Coral resident Jason Pim. In...

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Large algae bloom covers over half of Lake O as releases lower

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – The Army Corps of Engineers are reducing water releases from Lake Okeechobee.  Col. Andrew Kelly said they’re lowering from 2,000 cubic feet per second to 1,500 cfs. This comes after local conservancy groups and Governor Ron Desantis called the Army Corps to make changes. “We heard the governor’s remarks,” Col. Kelly said. Right now, a large algae bloom is covering more than half of Lake Okeechobee. Water experts said that water is heading down the Caloosahatchee.  The lake is two feet above where it should be for this time of...

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Blue-green algae patches pop up in Lovers Key State Park

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — A local fisherman spotted patches of brown and green floating near Lovers Key State Park earlier this week.  At first Jeremy Robertson thought it was just floating grass. When he got a closer look, it was something much more complicated. “There were a number of these six-feet circles with the bright green stuff actively growing on it,” he said. “And it smelled, and there were bugs around. I’ve never seen them like that.” FGCU Water School professor, Dr. Barry Rosen, was able to determine what the mass was.   “It’s got at least two species of blue-green algae...

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Red tide alerts issued for most of Lee County’s coastline

LEE COUNTY, Fla. – Red tide blooms were reported along a majority of Lee County’s coastline Friday afternoon. The Florida Department of Health is Lee County said the red tide blooms were reported near Tarpon Bay Road Beach, Lighthouse Beach, Lynn Hall Beach Park, Lover’s Key State Park, and Bonita Springs Beach Park. Multiple health alerts have been issued for those areas. People may have mild and short-lived respiratory symptoms such as eye, nose, and throat irritation similar to cold symptoms, according to local health officials. Some with breathing problems such as asthma might...

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Ceremonial balloon releases pose major fire risk in Lehigh Acres

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. — Balloons from your backyard birthday party or graduation celebration could pose a significant brush fire risk, Lehigh Fire Rescue officials said. A mylar balloon recently hit a powerline and started a brush fire. The charred balloons were found at the scene by investigators. The quick work of firefighters prevented the fire from getting out of control and potentially damaging homes. “Any of those balloons that have that metallic looking inside, the can charge electricity,” Kaite Heck, a spokesperson for Lehigh Fire Rescue, said. “We’re...

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Florida fossil hunter finds set of Dire Wolf teeth

FLORIDA– A Florida fossil hunter found a set of Dire Wolf teeth (no, not the animal featured on Game of Thrones). Believe it or not, 12-thousand-years ago, the distant cousin to modern canines used to call Florida home. When first meeting amateur fossil hunter Michael Stab, it’s obvious his hobby is more like a passion. Inside his home, he has display cases filled with his finds. He has collected treasures ranging from Mammoth tusks to Megalodon teeth.  “It’s pretty endless what you can find in this area,” He said.  Still, he was surprised...

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Algae covers water from Lake Okechobee to Fort Myers

FORT MYERS, Fla.– Algae is covering water from Lake Okechobee down to Fort Myers. Right now, more than half of Lake Okeechobee is covered by algal blooms. Captains For Clean Water co-founder Chris Wittman said it’s too late to make a big change for our summer. He hopes we do not experience heavy rain before June.   “Water quality is the most important issue that affects our community and our economy,” Wittman said. “If we have a very wet summer, it’s going to be bad news for our communities.” Captains for Clean Water is calling on the Army...

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