Water-Related News

Bonita Springs wetlands restored to prevent flooding

The South Florida Water Management District just finished a $37 million plan to restore wetlands in Bonita Springs.

“I don't even know if I have words to describe it, man,” said Rick Shaw.

Shaw’s Bonita Springs neighborhood was underwater for weeks after Hurricane Irma.

“I've never seen anything like that before in my life,” said Shaw.

Bonita has been known for flooding along the Imperial River. That’s one of the reasons The South Florida Water Managment District bought more than 4000 acres of land for restoration. Decades ago developers carved out roads and canals off Bonita Beach Road. So they could build homes.

“The idea behind the road and canals is that when it rains the water would be diverted into the Kehl Canal which then flows immediately into the Imperial River,” said Phil Flood with the South Florida Water Management District.

But that added to the flooding problem.

That’s why the district just finished restoring the land, filling in those canals and grading the roads back to their natural state.