Water-Related News

Lee Commissioners approve hydrology/water quality restoration design for Bob Janes Preserve

FORT MYERS – The Lee Board of County Commissioners voted Tuesday to approve a contract for the design of a project to restore the ecosystem of the Bob Janes Preserve by improving the hydrology and water quality.

The $318,450 contract with Florida-based Royal Consulting Services Inc. includes design, project management and other services. The design is expected to take two years.

The Bob Janes Preserve was purchased in partnership with the State of Florida for about $41.5 million in 2006. The Conservation 20/20 preserve totals 5,620 acres.

The Bob Janes Preserve has large areas of ditched, drained and cleared lands that previously were altered for cattle grazing and other agricultural activities. Natural surface water flow patterns have also been disrupted, so increasing on-site water storage and treatment will provide water quality benefits by reducing excess nutrients to the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary.

The Bob Janes Preserve includes tributaries that flow to the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary, which have a Total Maximum Daily Load for total nitrogen – a limit on the amount of nitrogen allowed in waterways – and is subject to a State of Florida Basin Management Action Plan.

Water quality is a top priority of the Board of County Commissioners and water-quality projects are underway year-round.

Earlier this year, the Board supported the creation of a new citizen resource website, “Our Water Story: Lee County's Water Quality Initiative.” To view it, visit www.leegov.com/water.