Lee mayors battle water managers over Caloosahatchee river rule
An administrative judge heard arguments Monday for and against a water flow rule that some say will do too little to help the ailing Caloosahatchee River.
Several cities in Lee County filed an administrative challenge against the South Florida Water Management District over what’s called a minimum flow level for the river and its estuary.
Setting a minimum level of water is designed to protect the river from further harm but may not do enough to provide freshwater during the dry season, critics say.
“Everything that flows down the Caloosahatchee or doesn’t flow down the Caloosahatchee effects Captiva,” said David Mintz, with the Captiva Community Panel. “And our understanding is that the tape grasses, the organisms that live in tape grasses and the fish that grow into adults in the tape grasses, and the birds that rely on the organisms that rely on the tape grass all affect the waters surrounding Captiva.”