SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WWSB) - “It’s almost stagnant water and because of that it has very low biologic activity,” said Bob Luckner.
What Siesta Key resident and association board member Bob Luckner is talking about is the water at the Grand Canal. Wastewater spills over the years from a treatment plant, which has shut down, have taken a toll on the canal, including lots of dead fish.
Right now residents are looking for solutions to clean it up. One idea they are seriously considering is having mini-reefs placed under the docks to help clean the water.
“I think the mini-reefs would be a really low cost, highly effective way to put some more biological cleanup into the Grand Canal to get it cleaner again,” said Luckner.
Experts at the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program say this is a good idea, but they tell us it’s still going to take a lot more work to clean the canal because of the extensive damage that’s been done.
“I don’t know in the end what the solution is," said Dr. Jay Leverone, a Staff Scientist with the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, "But I would continue to ask residents, especially those that live along waterfront properties, to be very responsible to how they maintain their own property so that they are not contributing to the problem.”
These reefs are currently allowed in the parts of the canal that is under the city of Sarasota jurisdiction, but Sarasota County currently doesn’t allow it. Residents are also looking into dredging the opening mouth of the canal which they’re hoping would help with the oxygen flow of the water.
Residents are want these floating reefs placed on the city side of the Grand Canal immediately.