Blue-green algae bloom moves into Cape Coral canals

Reporter: Annalise Iraola Writer: Paul Dolan
Published: Updated:

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County issued a health alert for the algal toxins earlier this week. Just a few days later, it’s showing up in the backyard canals in Cape Coral.

People living near the canals don’t trust the water. A WINK News viewer in Cape Coral has dealt with the blue-green algae blooms for years, and he doesn’t see it getting better anytime soon.

Mike Khoury has lived in Cape Coral for five years.

“It’s not pleasant to look at. You can’t swim in it; you can’t fish in it. It’s it just kills all atmosphere and environment,” said Khoury.

He and his wife love living by the water, but they don’t go in the water.

“Everybody knows this place is paradise down here. But when you get this and when it starts to smell bad, and you can’t even open the windows in the house, you know, that’s a problem,” said Khoury.

WINK News asked FGCU Water School professor Barry Rosen to explain why and how blue-green algae is toxic.

“Some of the toxins hurt your liver, or some of them can hurt your nerves. So people are worried about it because we don’t know how thick it’s gonna get, how much exposure there might be to it. So but a lot of it is, unless you ingest it, you’re really not gonna have a problem,” said Professor Rosen.

Professor Rosen explained that you shouldn’t expect it to subside soon.

“It’s probably gonna get worse before it gets better. Because you have more rainfall, more nutrients flowing in. It isn’t getting colder, that I know. So they’re gonna keep thriving,” said Professor Rosen.

No matter how it looks, Khoury still isn’t getting in the water in Cape Coral.

“It’s getting exponentially worse. And we are actually We’re looking now a little north of here. So I want to get ahead of the rivers in this stuff,” said Khoury.

If you have an algal bloom you want to report, click here to contact the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, and they will collect and analyze a sample.

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