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Sanibel beach water is brown

Tampa
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Sanibel beach water is brown

I just got back from 10 days in Sanibel. (7/20/05 - 7/30/05)

When we first crossed the bridge to the island, we noticed the normally pristine, aqua-blue colored water looked more like dark river water. When we got to our condo on Middle Island beach, we noticed the water on the beach was actually a tannic brown color and smelled like sulfur.

We found out the Army Corp of Engineers is draining Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River which drains into the bay at Sanibel. It was horrible. The locals told me the Okeechobee is overflowing and they had no choice in the matter. This Lake Okeechobee drainage could last for at least a year depending on rainfall.

The accomodations were nice and the restaurants were great, but it is a horrible place for a beach vacation.

I only wish someone would have warned me before I booked my vacation.

Tampa
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1. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

I got a reply from my letter to the Sanibel / Captiva Chamber of Commerce. They are are even more frustrated than I was over the condition of the beach water. They blame SWFWMD (South West Florida Water Management District) for releasing the overflowing tannic waters of Lake Okeechobee into their bay.

nowhere
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2. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

I checked the SWFWM website yesterday looking for a release schedule and none was there. The releases may be scheduled with only a few days notice, rather than against a planned sequence. What an annoyance to islands already hurt by Charley and the toll increase the county imposed.

There is some sentiment on Sanibel that Lee County would like to break the City of Sanibel and once again make it an uncorporated township under county control so they could expand construction and other projects to increase the tax revenue to Lee County. Sentiments are fairly strong.

Lake St. Louis...
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3. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

Here's my 2 cents....which is what this area is for!

The brown water is also from the mangroves with all the rain they have had. I was there during the tropical depression in June and the water cleared up quickly. I'm sorry to hear the poster had a smell...... I was there three years ago for 2 weeks with heavy rain for a solid week & the bay looked like an oil slick..... it lasted a couple days. Summer is unpredictable...that's why they call it the off-season.

The water in the summer can be a little brown during the rainy season. I have been traveling to Sanibel for 30 years and the water color changes with the seasons/amount of rain.

Sanibel looks GREAT after the hurricane. I think better! It was getting overgrown in my opinion.

I did read about the lake being drained! I read that the lake was as high as at the end of the summer so they needed to release the water to take pressure off levy walls with more rain being expected for the remaining part of the summer...I believe is what it said. It did not mention future releasees...however heavy rainfall would require future releasing.

I have read others post they were there at the same time as this persons post say they are unsure of what the poster is talking about....if you are used to blue Destin waters & this was a first trip.....Sanibel in the summer is not usually/always clear Blue. My opinion is there is no comparison to Sanibel even with murky water.

nowhere
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4. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

For anyone interested in the Lake Okeechobee water management project, SWFW has a website about lake conditions. I have found the information useful.

http://www.sfwmd.gov/site/index.php?id=482

You can get more information on the plans on various other sites.

Summerland Key...
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5. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

While I'm the first to slam the water management district and am quite concerned about what these massive releases are doing to estuaries on both sides of the state... Given the heavy rainfall last hurricane season and early this rainy season, it's crucial for the safety of thousands of people that the lake be at a reasonable level during this already busy hurricane season.

Lake St. Louis...
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6. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

Here is the tween water web cam to see the water.

tweencam.tween-waters.com/twcam/twcam.html

Looks beautiful today to me :)

Atlanta
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7. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

i agree steinbecke,

that what i noticed when i was there a couple weeks ago. the water was considerably different on captiva than on sanibel for whatever reason. the color in front of tween waters was a beautiful turquoise. simply stunning.

fort myers beach...
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8. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

hey everyone, i was in fmb in july, 6thru 12, with hurricane dennis... the water from Lover's Key , fmb, and Sannibel was all horrible, brown to red in color, and it smelled.... Needless to say, I was very disappointed, but being on trip Advisor, people were talking about the water in their postings, and they were right!!!!!! had a great time but wish the water was better, take care all, timmyor/NY

Summerland Key...
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9. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

The difference between Captiva and Sanibel water is a difference in geography. Sanibel runs east to west, nearly at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee, and Captiva runs south to north. Sanibel gets the freshwater flow from the river, while Captiva's beaches have several buffers from it. If you look at Pine Island Sound, on Captiva's bay side, you'll see more brown.

Tampa
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10. Re: Sanibel beach water is brown

I only went up to Captiva one time and it was dusk so it was hard to see the color of the water very well. But considering how bad the water was in Sanibel a few miles away, I would be willing to guarantee that the person who said the water in Captiva was turquiose was either dreaming or color blind.

I did hear people say that the water in Captiva was better than Sanibel but how much better is a matter of opinion.