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City staff to meet on Yacht Club Beach closure

By Staff | Jul 18, 2016

Based on conversations with Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki Retzer and Rep. Dan Eagle, City Manager John Szerlag closed the Yacht Club beach to swimming on Sunday.

Low levels of microcystin, a toxin generated by algae, was detected in the river off the beach by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on July 7, according to city officials.

A DEP response to Eagle in answer to a water quality query, which was shared with the city Sunday, led to the closure, city spokesperson Connie Barron said Monday.

City staff will meet this morning to discuss the situation, Barron said.

Water quality samples are routinely taken by the Florida Department of Health’s Lee County office. DEP began sampling water around the state after toxic blue-green algae was found along Florida’s Atlantic Coast where discharges of nutrient-polluted waters from Lake Okeechobee have prompted Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency, including Lee.

The level of microcystin detected here is considered extremely low. One microgram per liter was detected. The World Health Organization considered anything under 10 micrograms per liter as “very low” with levels between 2-4 to be considered a low probability of adverse health affects.

The algae detected at the Yacht Club was “mixed algae, no dominant species in sample.”