The City of Cape Coral begins work to clean up canals after Ian

Published: January 13, 2023 4:34 PM EST
Updated: January 13, 2023 4:53 PM EST

Many are still working to clean up after Ian, but imagine you had to clean up 400 miles of canals. That’s what is happening in Cape Coral.

The City of Cape Coral is cleaning up its canals.

“I was like yay, finally,” said Lisa Murphy.

Michael Murphy was also excited. “I was like, oh goody, I get to put my boat back in there,”  he said. “Well, there was trees crossing it. You couldn’t get through either side. There was trees down at both ends. So it was quite a mess.”

It was a mess and an environmental concern.

“So far, when it comes to water quality results, we haven’t seen a drastic change compared to our averages,” said Maya Robert, the City of Cape Coral environmental resources manager.

While the water may not look clean, Robert said the murkiness does not equal poor water quality.

Cape Coral canal. (Credit: WINK News)

It may actually be a good thing.

“For phytoplankton and especially blue-green algae, less light means less growth,” Robert said.

It is too early to tell if debris in these canals will bring water woes in the future.

“If issues arise such as, you know, a fish kill or an algae bloom or aquatic vegetation overgrowth, then we will address as they come,” Robert said, adding that, “We have our field crews that go, and they have specific instruments that look at physical parameters.”

They look at temperature, oxygen levels, salinity, and what type of nutrients and bacteria are in the water.

“Then we take samples back to the city laboratory, where we actually analyze more in-depth,” she said.

The Murphys feel having fewer boats on the water has had a positive impact in their canal.

“We’ve had schools of fish come through here occasionally,” Michael Murphy said.

The clean up with continue through April.