Horizon Council holds water quality discussion

Southwest Florida is synonymous with surf, sand and sunshine but unfortunately, those great water views were replaced with the ugly sight of blue-green algae this summer.

We know the water crisis hurt waterfront establishments, but the trickle-down effect is starting to hit other industries as well.

“Indirectly it’s going to affect us because those customers are suffering,” said Gary Griffin with the Horizon Foundation.

That is one of BJ Brundage’s concerns as well. She is the Vice President of Strategic Development for a large contractor,┬áDeAngelis Diamond Construction, Inc., and in order to keep building in Southwest Florida she says they need more than tourists.

“We need people to continue to move here and give us prosperity in our economic development of our county continuously,” Brundage said.

Brundage is a member of the Horizon Council and took part in a water quality discussion about how algae and red tide hit our bottom line and how we can fight back.

Brian Hamman, a county commissioner says, ”it’s important that they have the right information that they understand what happened this summer, what steps were taking to respond to it.”

Griffin says it was beneficial to see the county’s response and how they will manage their way through the tough situation.

Water quality improvement projects and money being put towards recovery efforts left the group with a positive outlook.

County officials say in order to keep people moving here, to protect the future of Lee County and to help the businesses that took an impact rebuild, the message starts from the ground up.

“It’s very important that we all come together to share the good news that our beaches look better that our water ways look better,” said Hamman. “It’s time for the tourists to come back this winter and spend some money at our local businesses”

And maybe even move here.

Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
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