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Blue-Green Algae & Beach Water Quality Info

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Department of Health, water management districts, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services all work together to respond to algal blooms, each with a specific role.


Algae Emergency Presentation
FDEP Algal Bloom Response & Reporting Tool (includes map of sampling results)

Blue-green algae FAQs
Lee County Algae Cleanup Test Project website
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers presentation from July 31, 2018

The Florida Department of Health's Healthy Beaches Program monitors beaches by collecting bi-weekly water samples throughout the year and analyzes them for enterococci. 

Based on EPA guidelines, when these organisms reach high levels, a health advisory is issued by the department. Public notifications include results entered on the Healthy Beaches Website, signs posted at the beach, notifying the media, and informing the local government officials. Health advisories are not lifted until samples collected show acceptable water quality. 

For information visit: Florida Healthy Beaches Program Web Page

The Beach Conditions Report provides several types of information about Southwest Florida beaches during Red Tide events: whether dead fish are present, whether there is respiratory irritation among beachgoers, what the water color is, the wind direction and what flags are currently flying at the beaches (for lifeguard-monitored beaches).

For information visit:

Red tide is a naturally-occurring microscopic alga that has been documented along Florida’s Gulf Coast since the 1840’s and occurs nearly every year. Blooms, or higher-than-normal concentrations, of the Florida red tide alga, Karenia brevis, frequently occur in the Gulf of Mexico. Red tide begins in the Gulf of Mexico 10 to 40 miles offshore and can be transported inshore by winds and currents.

For information visit: