Water-Related News

Estero River dangers to be cleared

Estero River will be cleared of fallen tree limbs and overhanging invasive trees such as Brazilian peppers to remove potentially dangerous barriers to the river's natural flow.

Work to clear natural debris deposited in the Estero River is inspiring a volunteer campaign to clear rubbish from the river vistas and clean trashy graffiti from a railroad trestle that spans the waterway.

Fallen limbs and an arching canopy of foliage from invasive Brazilian pepper trees have confounded recreational users of the river, creating navigational hazards and keeping sunlight from reaching native vegetation.

Betsy Clayton, communications director for Lee County, said in a prepared statement that a contractor will be removing "dead branches, floating palms and Brazilian (Pepper trees) that are growing out over the river."

Invasive pepper trees were touted as "Florida Holly" when first introduced to the region. They found the climate inviting and spread their seeds, spawning trees nudged out the natural ecological balance of the river.