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DeSantis visits Franklin dam, Caloosahatchee

Governor briefed on new treatment for blue-green algal blooms

By Nathan Mayberg - Editorial | Jun 4, 2021
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been slowing down releases from its Franklin Lock dam which effects Lee County. Red tide levels have been reported at low levels in Fort Myers Beach this week as red tide levels decreased this week in the region. / Photo provided
The Gulf of Mexico, off Big Carlos Pass is a mix of blue and green June 4. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg
The Gulf of Mexico, as seen off Big Carlos Pass, is a mix of blue and green June 4. / Photo by Nathan Mayberg

The office of Gov. Ron DeSantis announced late afternoon Thursday that he visited the W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam (S-79) structure in Lee County earlier. The structure feeds water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River in Lee County which ultimately ends up in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the communications office of DeSantis, DeSantis received a briefing on an “innovative technology treatment being deployed in the Caloosahatchee River to combat blue-green algal blooms. The treatment is being performed by BlueGreen Water Technologies, a leading Israeli algae mitigation company. At the direction of Governor DeSantis, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District continue to actively assess and address critical blue-green algal conditions in South Florida while expediting large-scale Everglades projects.”

BlueGreen Water Technologies is treating blue-green algae in the Caloosahatchee River with an innovative technology called Lake Guard® Oxy, his office stated in a press release. The hydrogen peroxide-based product safely neutralizes blue-green algae and associated cyanobacterial toxic blooms without negative environmental impacts.

“I have directed all of my state agencies to take an ‘all hands on deck’ approach to improve water quality and address active algal blooms,” DeSantis stated in the press release. “In addition to deploying innovative technologies, at my direction, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District continue to prioritize expediting crucial Everglades and water quality projects including the EAA Reservoir, Caloosahatchee (C-43) and C-44 Reservoirs and other key projects to reduce harmful discharges and send water south.”

The office stated that DeSantis urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to improve the management of Lake Okeechobee to reduce harmful discharges to the estuaries.