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Cape council update on blue-green algae bloom

Posted at 6:57 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 05:48:06-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Cape Coral City Council members were briefed Wednesday about the bloom near Veterans Memorial Parkway and south of Trafalgar Parkway.

The warning for people remains, which includes not eating shellfish from the Borris Canal System or swimming in the canal, or touching your face or eyes if you come into contact with the water in the canal.

The canal system includes six freshwater canals located south of Sattlewood Farms, west of Trafalgar Middle School, and east of Sandoval; where you will see warning signs warning of the risks.

A contractor has been hired to spend the next 10 days treating the entire system with A peroxide-based algicide. Additionally, a private lab is also conducting a Microcystins Toxins analysis

The Florida Department of Health and Florida Department of Environmental Protection has been notified.

For perspective, The Borris Canal system does discharge into the Calooshatchee via South Spreader Canal System and eventually does move into the Gulf of Mexico. Right now, no Blue-Green Algae has been detected in the Calooshatchee.

This area did see a previous Blue-Green Algae Bloom in 2020, which co-occurred with a bloom in the system of the Palmetto Pines Golf Course. Unlike that bloom, this bloom does not have a known point source. Cape Coral's city spokesperson Melissa Mickey has said there is several factors that be causing the problem including rapid housing and farming developments, a large sports complex, and extensive landscaping nearby.

As we enter the rainy season, Mickey says this bloom provides an important lawn fertilizer reminder.

“Minimize your fertilizer usage in the summer,” said Mickey. “Fertilizer with phosphorus and nitrogen are strictly prohibited, but any fertilizing is usually, any unnecessary fertilizing is usually is just going to contribute to algae bloom outbreaks such as this. Because if it is not feeding your lawn then it’s going to go into our water, into our canals or swales, and end up feeding algae.”

That fertilizer awareness, Mickey says will include a new billboard in Cape Coral.

Cape Coral Public Works said they think they have caught these blue-green algae bloom early and they will be able to get the problem under control.