Originally published in The News-Press by Chad Gillis on April 10, 2019

A water control structure in southwest Cape Coral will be the focus of a hearing this week as some environmental and civic groups aim to keep the City of Cape Coral from completely removing the Chiquita Lock.

The lock was designed to retain freshwater so that it has a period of time to wash through an adjacent mangrove system, which helps clean the water.

“It creates what we call residence time in the spreader canal, so the lock contains the runoff from urban Cape Coral – and the idea is if it’s in place for let’s say two weeks you get better polishing, better nutrient and pollutant removal,” said Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani, who will testify this week.

Cassani and others say removing the lock will release nutrients that typically sat on the Cape Coral landscape into the nearby waters.

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