Water-Related News

State vows action in cleaning up Caloosahatchee

By Eric Staats

Florida's top environmental official stood at a marina basin Wednesday along the Caloosahatchee River to declare that work to clean up the river is moving from talk to action.

"We're going to see tangible results," Herschel Vinyard, Department of Environmental Protection secretary, told a crowd of stakeholders that included local elected officials, water managers, environmental advocates and farmers in downtown Fort Myers. "These are real projects. We're going to start putting money in the ground."The cause for the ceremonial celebration was the adoption of cleanup plans, called Basin Management Action Plans for the Caloosahatchee and two of its tributaries, Hendry Creek and the Imperial River.

Piggy-backing on the DEP announcement, the South Florida Water Management District rolled out a new Caloosahatchee River initiative to get stakeholders in the river's health and water supply to reach a consensus on benchmarks to determine when the river is restored.