Health department issues cautionary health advisory for Shaughnessey Canal in Cape Coral

Reporter: Stephanie Byrne Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Shaughnessey canal in Cape Coral. Credit: WINK News.

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County says the algae in the Shaughnessey Canal in Cape Coral could harm the public.

The Shaughnessey Canal, off Chiquita Boulevard, is the latest canal in Cape Coral to prompt a Cautionary Health Advisory. While there might not be signs of blue-green algae in the canal, it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

A Cautionary Health Advisory is issued when blue-green algae is found and an Alert is issued when toxins have been confirmed in the blue-green algae. At this time, toxins have not been confirmed.

North of Veterans Memorial Parkway near Palmetto Pine Country Club, the Makai and Highlander canals have also experienced issues. Cape Coral public works said that while those two canals aren’t adjacent to the Shaughnessey, they’re all part of the same freshwater basin.

“We had all that rain, too. That didn’t help as far as coming from the golf course or Makai,” said Paul Clinghan, the director of Cape Coral public works. “So what we got to do is we got to get the alum in the ponds, let the algae settle, and then we will with the freshwater clay treat the Makai again.”

The city and country club continue to work together.

“If we utilize the algaecide, we’re going to try it to see if it clears it up better,” said Gerry Karlen, the president of Palmetto Pine Country Club.

Because rain plays a big factor in what tools they use to clear up the algae, the club will try algaecide before trying alum.

“Rather than to throw the alum in and then have a big rain event come and wash it all into the Makai, so everything would go for nothing,” Karlen said.

The city sent samples to the Department of Environmental Protection to test for toxins. Meanwhile, it’s dangerous for people or pets to touch the water.

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