New treatment park will remove chemicals from wetland system

There are high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous flowing into the slough and as a result, into┬áSanibel Island’s wetland system.

The Department of Environmental Protection sets limits on how much of a pollutant can flow into Florida water bodies before it becomes harmful to humans and the wildlife.

But recent news regarding the city’s compliance is troubling.

The city said it needs to reduce 53 percent of phosphorous and 75 percent of nitrogen flowing into the slough to meet the mandate. The city plans to transform the area into the “Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park,” to reach the goal.

The idea of the new initiative is to pump water from the Sanibel slough through the marshes to the drainage swales. Then, back into the Sanibel slough — coming out filtered and much cleaner. The city expects the completion of construction by the end of January 2019.

People that live on Sanibel Island claim they are part of the problem.

“Quit letting the drainage come out,” Sallie Pins said. “Just quit using all the fertilizers. Locally we can do that. On this island, we can do that!”

Pins believes there is an effective remedy that can be implemented right away.

“We can quit spraying the blue vegetation killer,” Pins said, “that’s going into the waterways.”

Writer:Michael Mora
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