C-43 Reservoir Water Quality Summit
Thank you to all the in-person and virtual presenters as well as the presenters and the C-43 Reservoir Water Quality Summit on June 5, 2019.
The C-43 Reservoir is an important Everglades Restoration project being constructed to help feed additional freshwater back to the Caloosahatchee River during the dry season, when it needs additional flow. A water quality component was originally envisioned as being necessary to ensure that the water entering and stored in the Reservoir would be clean enough to return to the River. Some research and projects have been done to date to address this issue; however, there may be additional opportunities to improve water quality.
The Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP, formerly the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program) works to protect the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary, and has recently extended its boundary to encompass the freshwater portion of the watershed up to Lake Okeechobee. To further the CHNEP goals of restoring the natural hydrology and improving water quality, the CHNEP organized a Caloosahatchee C-43 Reservoir Water Quality Summit to bring scientific experts, governmental leaders, private organizations and citizens together to discuss this vital issue.
Experts presenters from the South Florida Water Management District, US Army Corps of Engineers, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, North Carolina State University, Wetland Solutions, Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, City of Sanibel, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Lee County, Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority, Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Independent District and others provided information on a variety of topics including:
Historical Water Quality Treatment Studies
Nutrient Pollution Reduction and Water Quality Improvement Methods
Caloosahatchee Water Quality Conditions
Caloosahatchee Projects Underway
Other Water Quality Improvement Opportunities
How the Public Can Stay Engaged Going Forward
Additionally, there was numerous opportunities for the public to submit questions and provide their own ideas. The South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, in response to Governor DeSantis’ Executive Order to pursue a water quality component for the C-43 Reservoir, will use the input collected in beginning their Feasibility Study public process.