State report shines light on Southwest Florida’s water issues

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Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Biennial Assessment Draft shows that many of Florida’s waterways, including Charlotte Harbor and the Caloosahatchee River, are impaired by harmful nutrients and bacteria. Along the Caloosahatchee, some creeks and canals that flow from the river are listed as impaired for bacteria or nutrients, according to the new report. Striving for both rapid, profitable growth and water quality is not always sustainable, said John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper. “We think you can have sustainable, smart growth and protect your waters, but the kind of growth we’re seeing is damaging our waters,” Cassani says. “Billy’s Creek, Imperial River, quite a variety of water bodies that people are familiar with in our area, are impaired.” While it isn’t a good thing to have waterways on the list, it could do some good, said James Evans, the environmental policy director for the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, WINK News reports. “We hope that this raises some significant attention to our water quality issues here in Southwest Florida, and we hope that the local governments and the state can work together to protect and preserve our water quality,” Evans says.

 

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