Increased water storage and treatment also help to protect estuary
FORT MYERS – The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) held its monthly Governing Board meeting this month in Fort Myers and received an update on water resource projects to benefit the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. The public meeting is part of a practice to conduct District business away from West Palm Beach headquarters several times a year, giving local residents increased opportunities to interact with the Board.
As part of the public meeting, SFWMD staff provided an update on key projects that are currently operating or underway to benefit the region. Together, the projects are aimed at improving water quality and water storage throughout the Caloosahatchee basin, which will improve conditions in the coastal estuary as well. Project descriptions and implementation status are shown in the table below.
||Reduces excess freshwater flows to the estuary and provides 34,000 acre-feet of storage.
||Clearing is complete, the main canal excavation is underway and the main pump is being
|Lake Hicpochee North
||Provides shallow water storage of ~1,917 acre-feet and hydrologic restoration to portions of the lake.
||Preliminary surveying and geotechnical investigations are completed. Engineering design began in December 2013.
|C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir
||Reduces nutrients flowing to the
Caloosahatchee River and
improves the salinity balance in
the estuary by storing water on
the site. Capacity at the reservoir
will be 170,000 acre-feet.
||Design and environmental
assessments are complete and
construction is pending
Congressional authorization. The
site is currently being utilized to
store excess water that would
otherwise flow to the river and
||Provides water storage and
treatment improvements in
Hendry County and stores 300
acre-feet of water in the Bob
Janes Preserve in Lee County.
||Design and permitting of the
Hendry County flowway is
scheduled to be complete in
May. The Lee County component
is complete and operating.
|Lehigh Headwaters – Mirror
||Rehydrates Mirror Lakes
Preserve with 1,000 acre-feet of
storage, restores flow south of
State Road 82 with 500 acre-feet
of storage and moves water to
the Estero watershed with 2,000
acre-feet of storage.
||Mirror Lakes preserve work is
complete; other work is ongoing
in a cooperative effort with
multiple agencies and partners.
|Lehigh Headwaters – Southwest
||Reduces phosphorus and
nitrogen flowing to the river;
provides 1,000 acre-feet of
||Permits have been acquired and
construction is set to begin in
|Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods
||Restores more natural flows to
Charlotte Harbor, stores and
treats water, recharges ground
water supplies and improves
||Work is ongoing in a cooperative
effort with multiple agencies and
|North Six-Mile Cypress Preserve
||Provides 1,400 acre-feet of
storage and restores historic
||Permits are being finalized and
construction is set to be
complete in June.
|Southern CREW Wetland
||Restores the hydrology and
ecology of 4,150 acres.
||Design is complete and
permitting has been initiated.
|Picayune Strand Restoration
||Restores and enhances 72,000
acres of wetlands and improves
the water quality of coastal
||Pump stations are under
construction and the Manatee
Mitigation Feature is in design.