Published: Jul 13, 2012 6:37 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 13, 2012 6:45 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- The city of Cape Coral hopes to make a lot of green from mounds of dirt. The idea is to build a reservoir, and a marsh to filter out polluted water. The goal is to sell the dirt that's dug up to fund the city's road projects. 

Shawn Dempsey lives near this large canal where like today he occasionally lands a big one. He says he would support a filter marsh in this area. "A lot of the fertilizers people use get washed up into here and it really affects the fishing," he said.

Cape Coral councilman Kevin McGrail is behind the idea to build the filter marsh north of Van Buren Parkway next to Burnt Store and up the road to the left, a reservoir. 

He says since the city plans to widen a section of Pine Island Road and Burnt Store Road in the next few years, and those roads will need to be raised.

If that reservoir is dug, that's where the city could hit pay dirt. "We'll be able to sell that dirt to both those entities, in the case of Pine Island, that's FDOT, in the case of Burnt Store Road, thats LDOT.

"I worked for construction too and it's pretty hard to get dirt around here for a cheap price," said Dempsey.

McGrail says the reservoir would hold millions of gallons of rainwater and supplement the city's irrigation water supply.

Meanwhile, the filter marsh would naturally clean water of harmful nutrients.
Envornmental Activist Phil Buchanan says he also supports the project.

It would clean the water up before it even gets into the Cape Coral canals, which obviously is a very good idea," he said.

But some are skeptical and worry a marsh here would take away their special spot. "Environmentally it might be good, but is it you know, homeowner friendly, or sportsman friendly? I dont know," said fisherman Craig Glenn.

The proposed reservoir sits on land the city already owns, thanks to a large land purchase The filter marsh sits on foreclosed property. 

The marsh could be paid for with a mix of city dollars, South Florida Water Management Money and Conservation 20/20 funds. McGrail will eventually bring these proposals before city council.