Water-Related News

Cape Coral leaders, residents, environmental watchdogs at odds over Chiquita Lock removal

Environmental watchdogs are at odds with the City of Cape Coral and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection over the potential removal of the Chiquita Lock.

The lock, located near the southern end of Chiquita Boulevard at Cape Harbour in southwest Cape Coral, means boaters must wait, sometimes 20 to 45 minutes with heavy traffic, to pass through when traveling to and from the spreader canal that runs west and then north, almost to Veterans Memorial Parkway.

Environmental watchdogs said the lock forms a barrier, protecting polluted water from reaching the outlying waterways.

Up next in the city’s request to remove the lock: Putting removal on the agenda for a council vote or creating a Committee of the Whole meeting, which would allow for public input prior to a vote scheduled for a later council meeting, said Cape Coral city councilman John Carioscia. He would like the vote to take place before the end of the year.

“We’ve done our due diligence,” Carioscia said of the initial FDEP tests that were done two years ago, before toxic algae blooms flowing from the Caloosahatchee River invaded many canals in Cape Coral’s system this summer.