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Fort Myers - Cape Coral area Lee County
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Old 03-08-2024, 07:46 AM
65 posts, read 119,052 times
Reputation: 60


Here we go again. Another scientific study, another controversy, another rock throwing exercise.


This report/analysis, rather well done, well documented and nicely organized basically says - If SWFL water quality declines, there are major economic impacts, billions of dollars lost, people homeless, jobs destroyed, devastating impacts to the quality of life, dogs and cats living together (ok, I stole this line). You get the message.

So if we have more red tide, more algae blooms, more hurricanes, higher water temperatures, there are going to be major impacts. Sorry, but I have to say it - 'thank you, Captain Obvious'. While the study does put everything in terms of dollars - notice how all recent studies on anything impactful puts it in terms of dollars as if you get only people to more likely stand up and take notice if money is involved - it ONLY addresses impacts of future hypothetical events.

Quite frankly, the cynical person in me forsees someone standing in front of a funding body (city, county or state) waving this document and saying 'fund my study, my project or else'.

So I'm not going to question this study, even though someone should because of some of the guesstimates they use, but rather I researched what is being done right now, with literally BILLIONS of dollars of tax payer money into water quality improvements. You can look at the state level here:


Thousands of projects, billions of dollars ranging from simple water retention ponds along roadways, to aquatic weed harvesting, to the C-43 project just up the river from us.

But let's focus here locally a little bit to make it more realistic and noticeable. Everyone remember UEP? Tens of thousands of dollars per Cape Coral lot, for N-1 UEP, to get homes off of septic and onto city treated sewage systems? Over 5 BILLION dollars to be spent by Cape Coral tax payers to 2046 - and everyone knows it will cost more. According to the impact summary, septic tanks are a major problem - and we are doing something about it.

Remember the Caloosahatchee connect project? More than $22M to bring reclaimed water from Fort Myers to Cape Coral to use in freshwater canals and irrigation systems rather than dump it in the Caloosahatchee and increase nitrogen loads in the river contributing to algae and red tide. Quite a brilliant idea IMHO.

The bottom line - we are doing something about it. To the tune of tens of BILLIONS of dollars over the next couple of decades. Is it going to happen overnight, no. Is it going to prevent issues in the future, no. Are there going to be water quality issues and economic impacts in the future, yes. But there are times we should be able to say 'get off my case, we are doing something about it...'.

So as a new resident of Cape Coral and Lee County, let me say THANK YOU. For your hard earned tax dollars in supporting these water quality projects, for your patience in driving through the inevitable cone zones, for your understanding in driving through flooded streets in extreme rain events (yes, some flooding is deliberate in order to prevent all this runoff from going to the river directly), for dollars out of your pocket to hook up to city water, sewage and irrigation, for dollars out of your pocket to pay the assessment for your empty lot that may never be hooked up to city water, sewage and irrigation, for your annual flood insurance payments, for your self funding for flood insurance, and hundreds of other taxes you work hard to pay for every day.

So the next person that waves this report in your face and says you are the problem, hold your head up high, look them straight in the eye, and tell them you are the only solution and they can kiss your...
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