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Citizen scientists to survey water quality in Punta Gorda canals

The state deemed some canals in Punta Gorda to be impaired by bacteria.
Posted at 9:05 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 21:05:20-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — On Tuesday, Charlotte County Commissioners voted unanimously to help fund a group of citizen scientists surveying water quality in Punta Gorda's canal system.

Commissioners awarded $26,000 to the Citizens Partnership for Clean Canals (CPCC). CPCC was founded through a collaboration between Team Punta Gorda and Heal Our Harbor.

Heal Our Harbor is an organization that is already testing water quality in Charlotte County and will train volunteers from Team Punta Gorda to collect water samples.

According to Nancy Johnson, Team Punta Gorda CEO, the partnership formed after the Florida Department of Environmental Quality deemed Punta Gorda's canals to be impaired with bacteria.

"We need to know what they’re impaired with and what the source is so we can look at possible interventions,” said Johnson.

Punta Gorda Canal
A canal in the Punta Gorda Isles community.

Once the water samples are collected and analyzed, the data is shared with the county's water quality monitoring program.

Although water samples are already being collected, the funding awarded by the county will not be available until November.