Drone video of Boca Grande shows drastic water changes

People who visit Boca Grande frequently say they noticed a change in the water that was very concerning for them.

“I was filming the other day and that’s when we noticed the dark areas in the water,” said Jennifer McLaughlin of Boca Grande.

Jennifer keeps a constant eye on the water as she frequently fly’s her drone, and gets stunning video of the Boca Grande waters.

This past week she noticed the viewfinder on her drone grew dark as she was flying it.

“It looked dark and oily and it was very opaque, we weren’t quite sure what it was,” said McLaughlin.

In an attempt to find answers to why the water was that way, she posted the evidence online.

Lifetime Boca Grande Captian Yani Melissas, noticed it to and compared it to the oil spills.

“Kind of looking like the BP oil spill that we had over five years ago, more of a black soot sort of look I’m not sure how to explain where that’s coming from,” said Melissas.

WINK News reached out the multiple agencies and only heard back from Dr. Rick Bartleson at the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation.

He says it’s likely from the lack of oxygen in the water and causing hydrogen sulfide and iron to mix, but says it’s nontoxic.

Regardless, he says it’s still a stain on tourism.

“I don’t think a scientist telling them the water looks really bad but its safe to swim in is exactly what they’re going for and I think people will still stop to some degree coming here.”

McLaughlin says despite the images possibly pushing away potential visitors, there needs to be a balance in the information being released to the people.