Duckweed taking over some Cape Coral canals

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CAPE CORAL, Fla.- Some Cape Coral residents are asking the county to clean up a green film that is growing on the surface of several canals.

According to the Lee County Hyacinth Control District, the green sludge is actually a micro plant called duckweed and it’s fairly common this time of year. Duckweed grows after the rainy season, when there’s an excess of nutrients in the water.

“It’s green, brown, you don’t even see the water underneath it,” said resident Robert Morgan.

Other residents say the plant makes the canal an eyesore and say it smells as bad as it looks.

“It almost looks like raw sewage coming up. Obviously it’s not raw sewage but it’s horrendous looking,” said Alan Katz. “On a hot day when the wind blows toward the condos, it’s got a horrendous smell to it.”

The county says the green mush isn’t toxic, but it’s quick-growing and spreads easily from one canal to another, making it hard to get rid of. Residents in the area say they want it gone.

“We’ve  never seen any of the scum, [that’s] what I’m going to call it, in the canal here,” said Morgan.

Lee County officials say if there’s duckweed growing in a canal in your area, you can fill out a service request to have them come survey it. If it’s bad enough, the county will treat it, but the weed should clear up on its own in about three to four weeks.


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