How Much Nitrogen Pollution is on Our Waterways?
While people love living along the canals in Cape Coral, recently the question was raised, “how much nutrient pollution is actually getting into these canals?”
“It’s scary the scope of the problem,” said Matt DePaulis, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation environmental policy director.
The answer is thousands of pounds of nitrogen, according to documents that came out during the Chiquita Lock removal hearings in December.
Those documents, submitted by the City of Cape Coral to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, showed that major outflows of stormwater runoff into the canals and ultimately the Caloosahatchee River were carrying over a quarter million pounds of nitrogen in 2014 with that number rising to nearly one million pounds of nitrogen in 2019.
This is not just a Cape Coral issue, DePaulis says.
“We have impaired by bodies of water with BMAPs and yet our nutrient pollution continues to rise,” he explained.
A BMAP stands for basin management action plan, which is basically the framework for water quality restoration or a goal for the amount of acceptable pollution.