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Dredging Solves Algae Problem
A year ago Sunshine Lake in the Parkside section of Port Charlotte was covered with a thick layer of blue-green algae, choking off nearly 50 percent of the lake’s volume.

For years residents complained of putrid smells emanating from the water and a Jello-like substance in the lake. Fueled by low water levels, hot weather, poor circulation and high nutrients loads likely caused by fertilizer run-off, decaying organic matter and possibly raw sewage, the algal mat grew to as much as 8 feet deep in some areas. One environmental expert called it the worst algae bloom he’d seen in his 30-year career.

Cleanup crews are working to complete the $1.9 million dredge job Charlotte County commissioners approved in December and Sunshine Lake appears to be on the mend. Crews are vacuuming the algae from the lake’s cavity as well as removing debris which has either been dumped in the lake or put there by Hurricane Charley. Officials estimate some 6,000 to 8,000 cubic yards of material will be removed at the project completion.

 
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