NAPLES, Fla. - With so much concern on the Lake O water release, WINK News has learned the city of Naples has its own fresh water problems.
Jane Alander's restaurant, Spanky's, sits right next to the Golden Gate Canal.
"Nothing but trash coming out of this canal and it's polluting our bay something terrible," said Alander.
Since Alander moved to the area in the 1960s, she's noticed a change in the water.
"The water in the Bay lately looks like coffee, that's how bad it is."
The water has been flowing from the canal for decades. It feeds into Naples Bay, through Gordon's Pass, then out into the Gulf of Mexico. Mike Bauer, the Natural Resources Manager for the City of Naples, said fresh water is to blame.
"It's way too much fresh water, in our case fresh water is a pollutant," said Bauer.
He said it's turning the water brown, killing the estuary.
"It's really tough for a creature to live in fresh water and salt water and in fact what happens, we have a fresh water lake floating on the top of the Naples Bay," said Bauer. "I've seen beach chairs coming out there, bags of trash, all kinds of garbage."
Even the beach-goers at the Pier have noticed.
"The water was really brackish, it was cloudy, the beach itself had a lot of seaweed, dead seaweed that really didn't smell that good at all."
Both Alander and Bauer agree, the water needs to be diverted elsewhere.
"There's a watershed to our south that is starving for fresh water, we have too much, they have too little," said Bauer.
"That's the only way we're going to clean up our Bay is to get rid of this," said Alander.
Bauer said they hope to divert the canal in the next two to three years. It will cost more than a million dollars to do so, but he said it will be paid for by the state.