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Beach water, sand samples collected for water quality assessment

By Staff | Jun 16, 2009

SCCF’s Marine Lab is conducting a water quality assessment of Captiva and Sanibel waters, funded by the Captiva Community Panel through a grant from the Lee County Tourist Development Council.

Part of the study involves sampling for contaminants in nearshore beach waters and on the beaches themselves. Contaminant concentrations vary greatly with tidal phase and rainfall events, so it is important to time our sampling events with tides and rainfall – especially during April through October 2009 – when appropriate tides and significant rainfall events occur. Historically, greater pollutant concentrations occur during these wetter months.

Marine Lab Research Associate Mark Thompson recently collected bacteriological samples at one of four beach sites. The samples will be used to analyze nearshore and interstitial water and sands for Fecal Indicator Bacteria (or “FIBs”).

The SCCF Marine Lab will combine these tide-based sampling results with the Florida Department of Health’s routine weekly sampling results so that we can assess what conditions might be associated with high levels of bacteria.

Once we have this data, we can better understand the human induced influence to contaminant concentrations near our beaches.