Water-Related News

Lee Commissioners approve contract with firm for water quality project

FORT MYERS – The Lee Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday voted to approve a contract with a local engineering firm to monitor construction of a project adjacent to Yellow Fever Creek Preserve, which is a Conservation 20/20 site, to improve water quality and the ecosystem.

The project is located within the City of Cape Coral near Averill Boulevard and Del Prado Boulevard North. It is designed to improve water quality by diverting excess flow from Gator Slough Canal into a reservoir. There, it will be treated before being released into Yellow Fever Creek, a tributary to the Caloosahatchee River. This joint project with the City of Cape Coral will help reduce the flow of freshwater toward Matlacha Pass and restore historic base flows to the Yellow Fever Creek watershed. The transfer of water will also enhance the rehydration of wetlands south of Del Prado Boulevard, restoring the habitat.

The Caloosahatchee estuary has a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) state designation for Total Nitrogen and an adopted State of Florida Basin Management Action Plan to lower this pollutant. Commissioners spend millions of dollars annually on projects to reduce pollutants in the estuary.

The project will provide Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) credit for Total Nitrogen and is partially funded by two grants from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) totaling $992,000. The $155,000 contract approved Tuesday is with Fort Myers-based Barraco and Associates and is for construction engineering inspection services on the Yellow Fever Creek/Gator Slough Project.

Construction is expected to begin in January 2021 and take an estimated six months to complete. Construction is budgeted at $1.5 million.

For more information on Lee County Natural Resources’ efforts to protect and improve water quality, visit http://www.leegov.com/naturalresources/WaterQuality.