City of Cape Coral continues green algae canal cleanup

Reporter: Marcello Cuadra
Published: Updated:

Crews are cleaning six Cape Coral canals covered with gunky, green algae that won’t go away.

The city hired the company to work on the project and they say they’re on track to finish by Friday.

The city also said green algae is difficult to remove, which isn’t a miracle solution.

This canal system is 90 miles long, and the green algae mats constantly move with the tide.

On Wednesday, crews finished cleaning up one canal, and you could get a close-up look at all the algae they took out.

It’s a tedious process, but one that workers from Solitude Lake Management have done for three days in Cape Coral.

Bill Kurth is the district manager for the company. He said, “We are working on six canals because the wind is pushing the canal to the west end all this week. So there were two sites east; Del Prado, and four sites along Country Club Boulevard that we are planning on harvesting.”

They’re harvesting, or scooping up, the green algae – not to be confused with blue-green algae which has cyanotoxins.

Kurth said they’re now working on their fourth out of six sites. He explains that harvesting the algae is really the only option in these canals.

“You can’t treat these canals because these canals have a direct connection,” Kurth explained. “If you look down the canal or sailboats behind us, these are direct access canals and going into the river which eventually goes out to the Gulf of Mexico. There’s no permit to do any kind of chemical treatment in these canals. So harvesting is really the only option.”

The next step is to check back on previous sites they worked on to see if algae has popped up again, because as he explains this algae grows on the bottom. “The only problem is all these canals have algae growing on the bottom. There’s no guarantee that more algae will pop off. We’re not harvesting algae from the bottom.”

And from there, he will consult with the city of Cape Coral on whether they will need to do more work next week.

But the decision is ultimately up to the city. Keep in mind this project costs the city $20,000. Kurth said they are expecting to finish by Friday.

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