Water-Related News

Lee County approves test project to ‘vacuum’ blue-green algae from waterways

FORT MYERS – Early this morning [July 27], Lee County commissioners unanimously approved a test project for algae clean up, as well as the filing of an application for state funding, in an attempt to relieve Southwest Florida waters of the toxic blue-green algae that has plagued various communities and its residents.

The board also approved spending up to $150,000 in county dollars, if necessary, before grant money is obtained.

"I'm glad they declared their emergency status which will allow us to have grant money," said Cape Coral Mayor Joe Coviello, who was in attendance at the emergency County Commission meeting.

County Natural Resources Director Roland Ottolini walked Commissioners Cecil Pendergrass, Frank Mann and Brian Hamman through his findings from aerial pictures taken of the algal blooms across Southwest Florida and most notably, Cape Coral.

It was agreed that a short-term solution of sorts is needed to remove the algae in the most concentrated areas through a vendor already under state contract.

The biggest issue is where to dispose of the algae once it's "vacuumed up."