Local environmentalists say South Florida Water Management District policies are harming the Caloosahatchee River.
Health advisories have been posted along the Caloosahatchee River due to the presence of thick blue green algae. Swimming and fishing in the river are banned.
Drought and a lack of fresh water releases from Lake Okeechobee into the river are the cause of the algae bloom. The South Water Management District controls releases from the Lake. Jennifer Hecker with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida blames the bloom on the district’s lake management policy.
“Water continues to be supplied to agricultural entities south of the lake, while our river continues to be deprived of any flow whatsoever to maintain its health and the economies that depend on it” she said.
Hecker was among of group of Environmentalists who gathered along the shore of Caloosahatchee in downtown Ft. Myers Thursday. The group is calling on citizens to put pressure on the South Florida Water Management to allocate water fairly.
For its part – the water management district is holding a news conference Friday in Moore Haven - where the river meets lake - to explain how its trying to meet the needs of the the many competing interests reliant on water from Lake Okeechobee.
Friday, 24 June 2011 00:00