Cape Coral volunteers needed for CDC and FAU research on harmful algae blooms

Reporter: Elizabeth Biro Writer: Nicholas Karsen
Published: Updated:

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Florida Atlantic University need volunteers for a study on the impact of harmful algae blooms in Cape Coral.

Due to recent harmful algae blooms this summer, the study team is increasing collection efforts in the fall.

The most recent health alert is from a blue-green algae bloom discovered in the Raleigh Canal in Cape Coral.

WINK News spoke to Dale Raleigh, who has lived on the canal since 2003. He knows the neighborhood and the neighbors well. He is also well-versed in the algae that lurks in the water.

“About three years ago, you could almost walk on the water back here. It looked like your yard, you know? It was really bad,” said Raleigh.

The algae bloom was so bad and thick it blanketed the water. On Monday, the Raleigh Canal’s blue-green algae bloom does not appear that severe. Nevertheless, it was bad enough for a health advisory from the Department of Health.

“My wife is actually allergic to it,” said Raleigh.

Raleigh explained his wife sneezes and gets stuffed up because of her allergy.

“And then she goes in the house and the air conditioner, and 15 minutes later, she’s fine,” said Raleigh.

The tide has taken out most of the blue-green algae, but when WINK first got to the area, shortly before noon, Monday, you could see the chunky patches clear as day.

As of 9 a.m., the Department of Health found no toxins in the four major ones they test for, but DEP is reminding people that bloom conditions can quickly change, so be careful.

Sessions will be held at the City of Cape Coral’s Public Works Department, located at 815 Nicholas Pkwy.

Here are the dates:

  • Sept. 20
  • Sept. 27-28
  • Oct. 11-12
  • Oct. 18-19
  • Oct. 25-26
  • Nov. 2

The algae bloom study will last approximately 16 weeks. Participants must complete a screening survey.

For a full list of study requirements and activities, please click here and contact Dr. Lorraine Backer from the CDC at for more information to schedule your appointment.

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