Water-Related News

Cape Coral water quality forum draws vocal residents

A fiery group gathered in Cape Coral Tuesday night [July 17] to voice their views on the water quality and algal bloom issues that have captured the attention of all Southwest Florida residents.

A panel of experts from the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, Captains for Clean Water and Calusa Waterkeeper educated a packed house in the Cape Coral Yacht Club Ballroom about why their water has turned slime green.

Subjects at the forum jointly hosted by The Caloosahatchee Marching and Chowder Society Sailing Club ranged from concerns about harmful algal blooms, to finding a solution to water flow from Lake Okeechobee and what government and policy makers need to do.

"Our fix is by following the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan," said panel member Eric Milbrandt, marine laboratory director for SCCF.

"What we're talking about here is the whole southern half of the state. It's a project we need the federal government to be involved in. No state agency, no municipality, can operate in that kind of jurisdiction. So we're trusting that the federal government does what it needs to do - big infrastructure projects."

The restoration plan, signed into law in 2000, has a 35-plus year timeline, is designed to somewhat restore the natural flow of water from Lake Okeechobee south towards the Everglades and is the largest hydrologic restoration project ever undertaken in the United States.

Talks of a reservoir being build south of Lake O was a popular topic amongst those in attendance.