And the Florida Department of Health is keeping people in the dark about what’s going on. We did hear back from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Tuesday. Here’s what they said about the situation. It’s believed the water was contaminated with fecal matter.
According to Florida Department of Environmental Protection Press Secretary Alexandra Kuchta, “DOH conducted sampling at Lovers Key State Park and indicated that their results should be available in the next 24 – 48 hours. Until those results are received, the beach will remain closed. We will update the park’s operating status and reopen the beach as soon as DOH test results indicate it is safe to do so.”
Kuchta then referred us to the Florida Department of Health which did not return our e-mails asking for an update.
This was the e-mail the Department of Health circulated to the local media over the holiday weekend regarding the closing of Lovers Key: “In an abundance of caution, the beach at Lovers Key State Park is closed for swimming until the Florida Department of Health can conduct sampling. Double red flags are being flown at the park to advise visitors of the closure. For additional background, DOH’s Healthy Beaches Program samples beach water for fecal coliform and enterococci bacteria and will issue health advisories based on its findings. It is important to note that enterococci is found in the fecal matter of all warm-blooded animals and birds. Sampling at the park was last conducted on Aug. 29, 2022, and results indicated bacteria levels were within safe parameters.”