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Tourism officials address algae fears in southwest Florida

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Officials are responding to fears in southwest Florida about a massive algae bloom fouling waters on the state’s Atlantic coast.

The News-Press reports (http://newspr.es/29FD9WP ) that the Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau updated its website with water-monitoring information and live video of beaches overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.

The newspaper says tourism officials also frequently post videos from Fort Myers and Sanibel beaches on social media.

Local residents worry about algae reports from the Caloosahatchee River. Water quality researchers working for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and the Everglades Foundation tell the News-Press that samples show too much freshwater in the river’s estuary and conditions are ripe for a bloom.

Nutrients in fertilizers feed algae growth. The problem is exacerbated by freshwater directed to the coasts east and west of Lake Okeechobee.

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