FORT MYERS, Fla. - Florida's U.S. Senator Bill Nelson is scheduled to visit Fort Myers Friday afternoon to discuss water restoration projects under the recently signed WRDA (Water Resource Development Act).
Earlier this week, President Obama signed WRDA, which allocates $12 billion for water projects nationwide. A portion of that money is expected to help clean the Caloosahatchee River. During the summer months, when the water levels rise in Lake Okeechobee, the excess water is drained into the Caloosahatchee.
Under WRDA there are two main projects designed to help restore the Everglades. The first is the C-43 West Basin Storage Project in Henry County. The project authorizes $626.6 million to reduce harmful discharges to the Caloosahatchee Estuary via a reservoir. The C-43 reservoir is Southwest of LaBelle. It would catch high flow releases from Lake Okeechobee during the wet season. Last summer, releases of lake water turned the water a brownish color, and caused environmental concern.
The second project Sen. Nelson is expected to address is the C-111 Spreader Canal Western Project. The project would authorize $174.56 million to modify the existing C-111 Canal to change the flow of ground and surface water. The purpose of the project is to restore the southeasatern portion of the Everglades ecosystem.
Sen. Nelson is expected to meet with Fort Myers lawmakers at 3:30 p.m. at Page Field Airport.