Water-Related News

Cape Coral officials attempt to lower canal algae blooms

CAPE CORAL – Part of the appeal of living in Cape Coral is canal access, but this summer, the Anglers Canal has been filled with algae.

“Yeah I was really concerned,” Sabrina Quinn said. “Because the blue green algae is toxic, when it blooms it can get in the air, you can get sick. My son plays here, he fishes around here. I don’t want him to get sick.”

The kind of algae blooming in the canal is called Pithophera. The city said it’s popped up in 6 different spots in the past few days. It’s not toxic, but when it dies, it could cause an oxygen crash and kill fish.

So what is the City of Cape Coral doing to combat summer algae blooms?

Kraig Hankins, who works for the city as an environmental biologist, explained the city has a few strategies, like allocating $750,000 for bubble curtains at canals along the river.

“And so it’s basically designed to keep the majority of it out, and it will form a barrier along the Caloosahatchee River, so it will just keep going south and west out to the Gulf of Mexico,” Hankins said.

The city can also work with surface harvesters, which can clear blooms like Pithophera before it starts to stink.