Lee County Commissioners voted this week to award a one-year, as-needed contract to Solitude Lake Management to provide collection, remediation, transfer, treatment and/or disposal of blue-green algae or similar threats from county canals and waterways.
The Board awarded the as-needed contract as a proactive measure to expedite Lee County’s response and clean-up efforts in the event of a harmful algae bloom. Extensions of the one-year contract may be negotiated.
In the summer of 2018, Lee County suffered a large harmful algae bloom that resulted in thick mats of blue-green algae in numerous waterways. Testing indicated high levels of microcystin, which is a toxic strain of cyanobacteria. Recognizing the potential health threats to the community as well as impacts to the recreational use for residents and visitors, the State of Florida funded a county-managed, major clean-up effort.
Earlier this year, the Board supported the creation of a new citizen resource website, “Our Water Story: Lee County’s Water Quality Initiative,” at www.leegov.com/water.
The site features a story map to take visitors on a tour of the watershed, discussing the challenges and causes as well as the steps Lee County and partner agencies have taken to help improve local water quality.