Published: May 13, 2014 8:15 PM EDT
Updated: May 14, 2014 11:05 AM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The office of U.S. Senator Bill Nelson says a committee of the House and Senate have agreed on the Water Resources Development Act, WRDA, which includes 626-million dollars for a reservoir in Hendry Co.

This is great news, because we've been waiting for years for WRDA to be approved, and to help clean up the Caloosahatchee River, by putting the run-off from Lake Okeechobee into the reservoir, explained democratic Senator Nelson in a statement from Washington.   His office says the committee approval of the bill virtually assures passage by both houses of congress. 

The project in Hendry is called C-43, and it would divert dirty water from the Lake into the reservoir in the summer months, sparing the river from billions of gallons of nutrient-filled water.   Last summer, releases of Lake water caused the river to turn brownish in color, and caused a great deal of concern for tourism and environmental interests.  During extreme drought, water from the reservoir can be released into the river to keep its waters from becoming stagnant.

The money is the entire amount that is coming from the federal government for the reservoir.  The state of Florida is to match the amount to pay the total bill for the project, which will take at least 3 years to build.

WRDA also has millions of dollars for other projects in South Florida, many designed to help clean up the everglades.