LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health has issued a blue-green algae alert for the area surrounding the Franklin Lock and Dam in Alva. The Department is telling people to avoid water with the visible algae bloom.
Despite this warning, people packed the park – and some were even swimming in the water.
“I like the serenity here. My dog loves it here, as long as there’s no other dogs,” says Art Lavoie, who visits the park near the dam nearly everyday.
“It’s peaceful, quiet, and a nice place to go,” says Lavoie.
He says that he’s seen his fair share of blue green algae.
“Last year specifically, not so much this year. I walk along the shore, I don’t let the dog drink the water. There’s signs for that – and she did get sick on occasion from doing that.”
Just a few minutes downstream at Davis Boat Ramp, it’s a similar story for people like Sam Saunders, who moved to Southwest Florida from Arizona last year to enjoy the aquatic lifestyle.
“In the morning is the only time I notice it. I come out, I fish a little bit, I see it on the top of the water. In the afternoons, I don’t notice it that much. So I don’t think it’s as bad as they think it is right now,” says Saunders.
“But I wouldn’t go in the water if they’re putting out a health warning and everything.”
Fox 4 has reached out to the Florida Department of Health for comment to see how they’ll respond to the algae, but weren’t able to reach anyone in the office this weekend.
We will update this story as soon as we get a response.
To view our previous article on the guidelines from Florida Health, click here.