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Captiva cleanup efforts shift into monitor, prepare to act situation

By Staff | Aug 17, 2018

AMANDA ANN LUKIC A dead sea turtle was recently found on the beach near the 'Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa. The yellow X on its head indicates that the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation has documented and collected data on the animal. SCCF will later remove the carcass.

Cleanup of dead sea life on the bayside is done, but officials continue to monitor the situation.

Captiva Erosion Prevention District Administrator Damon Grant reported on Aug. 15 that county contractor CrowderGulf recently completed its efforts from the north end of Captiva on south to Blind Pass. The CEPD had reached out to county staffers for help with the bayside after receiving calls.

“They did a tremendous job,” he said, adding that the public comments have been positive.

Grant noted that in the first day, the crews collected over 5,000 pounds of fish.

“Which was a lot more than we had on the beach(side),” he said.

LEE COUNTY Fish kills observed last week along the bayside of the island.

The CEPD also recently began the reimbursement process for funds through the Lee County Tourist Development Council to recoup costs associated with the district’s cleanup efforts on the island.

Grant pointed out that there is a potential for a larger amount of deposits again.

“They have seen more fish kills out in the open waters just off the coast from us,” he said of recent information relayed by the county and CrowderGulf crews. “So, we do have more fish kills.”

“But I don’t know how we’re going to be impacted,” Grant added.

He explained that he is maintaing an open line of communication with county officials.

“If they need to come back, they’re willing to do that,” Grant said, noting that the contractor has been directed to move on to other areas hit in the county. “Obviously, they’re prioritizing their work.”

On Aug. 10, the CEPD resumed cleanup efforts along the Gulfside of the island.

“We’re going to continue to monitor the beach and, as the need arises, take action,” he said.

“We’re monitoring and basically preparing to gear up, if we need to, based on what we see over the next few weeks,” Grant added of Captiva’s shorelines on all sides.

Those who need to report a large fish kill can contact the CEPD at 239-472-2472.

To report a sick, injured or dead sea turtle, contact the sea turtle hotline for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation at 978-SAVE-ONE (728-3663).

“We stay away from anything like that,” Grant said of the larger animals.

Kelly Sloan, coordinator for SCCF’s Sea Turtle Program, reported that there have been 30 sea turtle strandings – classified as dead, sick or injured – on Captiva since June 1. There were 22 loggerheads, six Kemp’s ridleys, one green and one unknown. Four of those turtles have washed up since Aug. 1.

“We’ve had 115 on Sanibel and Captiva combined since June 1,” she said.

Sloan could not provide information on other larger sea life.

“FWC (the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) responds to manatees and dolphins, but to my knowledge there haven’t been any on Captiva,” she said.

The public is advised not to touch or remove manatees, dolphins, whales or sawfish.

To report a sick, injured or dead manatee, dolphin or whale, contact FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922. To report a sick, injured or dead sawfish, contact 844-4SAWFISH (472-9347).