Matlacha Residents Concerned Over Growing Algal Blooms in Canals

Jun 14, 2021 | Press

Originally published by FOX4 News on June 13, 2021

A disturbing sight in Matlacha canals is causing residents to rethink about getting in the water.

Dead fish are popping up, floating on top of a brown substance that some are likening to muck. It’s a sight- and smell- that’s causing a disturbance on the island.

Experts say the underlying cause of the blooms is nutrient enrichment- meaning there’s too much nitrogen and phosphorous. Which can be a health risk to humans.

“It kind of depends on the concentration and the duration you’re exposed,” said John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper. “You can have exposure by swimming or ingesting it or, if you’re breathing the aerosolized particles, you can have some risks from that as well.”

One form of action being taken right now is the right to clean water movement. It’s formed, as Cassani says, as a result of the inability to manage these pollutants.

“We’re hoping this will give us another legal tool in the toolbox to try to get some better compliance on these pollution issues.”

In the meantime, residents just want to see their paradise protected.

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