Cape Coral’s most recent project may sound like a beautification effort, but it is designed to help protect the city’s water quality. The town of Cape Coral has decided to take a more natural approach to tackling harmful algal blooms.
The City plans to plant where these algae blooms could appear. Cape Coral is teaming up with a company, “Beemats”, to add plants to streams to absorb nutrients. This will help prevent algae blooms.
Or at least that’s the point.
By filling moss mats with aerated pots, they will serve as floating wetlands in ponds, like those at Reflections Park. Steve Beeman is a marine biologist and President of Beemats. âWe put them in, the roots go through the holes in the pots, and they grow, they take in nutrients and compete with the algae, so they don’t have any nutrients left,â Beeman said.
The project costs just under $ 65,000 and is expected to reduce nutrients from certain sources such as fertilizers, which have become a growing problem for our waterways. Kraig Hankins is an environmental biologist at Cape Coral Public Works.
“Martin County released a statistic that a dollar of fertilizer costs the government between $ 1,000 and $ 10,000 to remove from waterways,” Hankins said.
The City and Beemats always urge people to use fertilizers responsibly. âDon’t over-fertilize, as it seeps into sewers and ponds and then into rivers and estuaries,â Beeman said.
“Iit’s a beginning. I mean, we suggest, you know, people, if they live by the water, to have like … a buffer zone before they get to the dike or the waterway.“Hankins said.
The Town of Cape Coral believes this is a step in the right direction. The city’s five pilot sites include Reflections Park, Armstrong Canal North, and Veterans and Kamal Intersection Pond.
The main objective is to keep the wetlands permanently floating, to maintain them and to continue to collect data.