Hey Southwest Florida, did you know your tourism, recreation and real estate economies all depend on clean water?
Because of the interconnectedness of our waterways, restoring the southerly flow of freshwater in the Everglades will benefit Collier and Lee counties' water quality and community in many ways.
1) THE SEVERITY AND DURATION OF RED TIDE BLOOMS ALONG THE SOUTHWEST COAST OF FLORIDA WILL BE MITIGATED BY EVERGLADES RESTORATION
Scientific research has made a clear connection between Lake Okeechobee discharges and the exacerbation of red tide in Southwest Florida.
Red tide can cause respiratory irritation in humans and can be devastating to wildlife, coastal fish, marine mammals and sea turtles.
Instead of flushing billions of gallons of nutrient-laden water from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River, Everglades restoration projects will store, clean and send water south, so it can nourish the Everglades and Florida Bay.
2) LESS HARMFUL DISCHARGES MEAN A STRONGER SOUTHWEST FLORIDA ECONOMY
Everglades restoration will reduce harmful discharges into the pristine beaches and waterways we all love for boating, kayaking and some of the greatest fishing on Earth.
Collier and Lee counties have experienced how red tide and fish kills can affect every aspect of our economy, including real estate, hospitality and retail. When our waterways are unhealthy, the recreational fishing and boating economy – which brings in millions of dollars – is greatly impacted.
3) EVERGLADES RESTORATION HELPS PLANTS AND ANIMALS
The Everglades is home to over 2,000 species of flora and fauna. Everglades restoration is the only measure that will increase the southerly freshwater flow needed to stabilize the ecosystem’s critical habitats that support world-renowned biodiversity.
Thousands of tourists and locals visit the Ten Thousand Islands, Big Cypress National Preserve, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, Rookery Bay and countless other parts of the Everglades ecosystem in Southwest Florida. The biodiversity of this region depends on a healthy Everglades.
Among the key restoration projects in Southwest Florida are Picayune Strand and the C-43 Reservoir.
Picayune Strand is a 55,000-acre Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) project that will restore forested wetland habitat for panthers and black bears, estuarine habitat around the Ten Thousand Islands, and recharge the local aquifer for parts of Collier County.
In Lee County, the C-43 Reservoir is designed to capture and store stormwater runoff from the C-43 basin, reducing harmful discharges to the Caloosahatchee Estuary and improving its salinity balance.
The Everglades Foundation champions the restoration of America's Everglades