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Dead fish dotting shoreline of beaches on Captiva

August 1, 2018
Pine Island Eagle

While not to the extent of Sanibel and other beaches, Captiva is also experiencing fish kills.

The Captiva Erosion Prevention District, which provides beach erosion control and preservation activities for the protection, preservation and restoration of the island, reported today that it is seeing dead fish along its shoreline as a result of the red tide bloom and has put cleanup efforts in place.

"We do have some dead fish on the beach, but it's nothing compared to the impacts received by the other beaches, even Sanibel," CEPD Administrator Damon Grant said.

He called the occurrences spotty up and down the beach, with dead fish every 20 or 30 feet.

"It's not a constant stack of fish like you're seeing on other beaches," Grant said.

What there is of a heavier concentration is being observed further north on the island.

"There's still people out enjoying Captiva beaches," he said.

Today, the CEPD was approved for a permit through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to begin an emergency cleanup of the beaches, which includes some light raking.

"We're going to start some emergency cleanup on Captiva this afternoon. It will probably be today, tomorrow, maybe even the next day," Grant said, noting that the efforts will focus on the Blind Pass to Redfish Pass shoreline.

"I think with some light raking and hand picking, we'll be able to clean up Captiva's beaches," he added. "We are being as proactive as we can to get the permits and get in front of this."

Also today, Lee County reported that it is working on a plan to put dumpsters in key locations where people can dispose of collected dead fish. Grant noted that he is working with the county to get some as the public has already been bagging fish and leaving them at the high-end of the beaches for pick up.

"There's a lot of residents who want to come out and do their part," he said. "This would just give them a place to put these bags."

The county reported that the dumpster locations will be announced once they are determined.

Those who want to report a fish kill on-island can contact the CEPD at 239-472-2472.



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