Credit: WINK News.

Cape Coral uses company’s technology to help mitigate toxic algae blooms

A company could have the answer to help clean up blue green algae. It’s being used in canals where the health department warned people living nearby about the toxic water.

AquaFlex developed foam technology to manage algal blooms in the waterways. The City of Cape Coral hopes it can benefit the city in canals that are seeing toxic algal blooms.

A Cape Coral spokesperson told us the city is working to clean up the gunk. She showed us blooms and Aquaflex foam that was installed recently to help absorb the algae.

“It attracts pollutants and toxins like a magnet and repels clear water,” said Scott Smith, the CEO of Aquaflex. “There are no miracle solutions in it at all, but this is a small part, and it takes a team.

The reported mossy, green, chunky water is keeping neighbors such as Christina McHenry inside her Cape Coral home.

“It’s terrible; you can’t even open the windows,” McHenry said. “We used to come out and hang out on the dock. I don’t want to be out here with that.”

The Highlander, Makai and Boris canals are currently waterways in the city with warnings from the Florida Department of Health in Lee County. Toxic blue-green algae is lurking in the waterways.

“Am I breathing all this stuff in? I don’t know,” neighbor Alice Catris. “I hope not.”

“It smells terrible. It smells like rotten eggs,” McHenry said. “It looks like this. Some days it is blue. It’s like a blue aqua color. It just always has this nasty stuff floating on top. It’s disgusting.”

Along with the effort by Aquaflex, Cape Coral is also working with researchers at FGCU to collect air toxin data. The city spokesperson says it could have results later in the week.

“I’m pleased that they’re trying to do something about it,” Catris said. “It’s a shame that you look out and, you know, you see that.”

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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