The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has temporarily suspended swimming and other water activities at the W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area located near Fort Myers.
The Corps was notified this afternoon by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) that an algal bloom upstream of the beach had tested positive for microcystin, a substance produced by freshwater cyanobacteria. Tests of water in the immediate vicinity of the beach were negative. However, the Corps has decided to suspend water activities at the beach until further notice.
“Public safety is our highest priority,: said Steve Dunham, chief of the Jacksonville District’s South Florida Operations Office in Clewiston. “We will request DEP to conduct weekly tests until the issue is resolved.”
The beach itself will remain open to visitors who wish to sunbathe or play in the sand. Visitors will be prohibited from swimming or otherwise playing in the water. Use of the boat ramp will still be allowed.
For more information on Corps’ recreation facilities in south Florida, please visit the following website: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Recreation.aspx.
Release no. 15-056