Cape Coral residents hope for end to blue-green algae

Reporter: Taylor Petras
Published: Updated:

President Donald Trump toured the Herbert Hoover Dike repairs at Lake Okeechobee Friday.

People in Southwest Florida are hoping that fixes to the dike infrastructure will help prevent another water quality crisis like the one we saw last year.

Thick green gunk plagued canals throughout SWFL, and homes on the water in Cape Coral were some of the hardest hit.

They say they were happy to see the president touring the lake today but memories from last summer still haunt them.

Residents fear it’s only a matter of time before blue-green algae takes over their canals again.

“Last summer was anyone’s worst nightmare,” said Peter Formica of Cape Coral.

The canals by Susan Twining and Peter Formica’s southeast Cape Coral homes were some of the hardest hit.

“We could not be outside,” Twining  said. “Anytime that I did come outside I had a horrendous cough. The smell was like a pit farm.”

At one point, Twining  said they took clean up matters into their own hands, literally scooping out the thick green slime, “I won’t go through another summer of that.”

This summer, twining and her husband aren’t sticking around, “We rented up north. We love it here. That’s why we moved here as retirees, but we’re not going to take that chance for our health again so we’re going to go.”

They still hope for more action from the federal and state government.

Twining let Trump know her feelings in a letter last summer, “I said ‘you know, President Trump, you have a stake in our state. You own property here. So get off the ball so-to-speak and do something about it.'”

Friday the president and state leaders toured Lake Okeechobee and the Herbert Hoover Dike after fast tracking federal dollars last year.

“I think it’s fantastic that they got the president down here and show him the problems.” Formica said.

The president praised the government’s increase in funding on the dike repair project which will.

An agreement between the Trump administration and Florida officials has sped up repairs to the 143 mile dike in hopes of preventing another water crisis like in 2018.

The new repair date for the dike is 2022, thanks to funding from the Trump administration and the state. Officials are hoping this reduces the need for algae-laden discharges during the wet season.

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