CAPE CORAL – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today
announced a partnership with the city of Cape Coral to successfully complete the
repair of the Chiquita Boat Lock.
“This partnership effort is an outstanding example of interagency cooperation
that provides widespread water quality improvements and increased navigation,”
said Jon Iglehart, Director of District Management for DEP’s South District. “In
addition, the $80,855 for the project originated from a private developer, not
taxpayer funds, therefore providing an added benefit and savings to local
The Chiquita Boat Lock, located at Chiquita Blvd, suffered a major structural
failure of the west gate on Oct. 2, 2009 and was out of service for 12 days.
City staff, along with outside contractors, removed the gate and rebuilt
portions of the structure.
The lock allows for improved water quality by controlling the discharge of
water from the South Spreader Waterway. Storm water runoff that enters the canal
system is detained in the canal system rather than flowing directly into
receiving waters. It is discharged either through the mangrove system to the
west or over control structures, where the water is filtered through the
mangrove system allowing for natural uptake of nutrients and sedimentation
before it reaches the Gulf.
DEP’s contribution comes from a subset of the Ecosystem Management and
Restoration Trust Fund, which was established in 1977 through a legal Consent
Order issued to the developer Cape Coral, GAC Properties, Inc. The Consent Order
established $1,000,000, paid by the developer for dredging and filling without
permits, in an interest bearing account. The purpose of the Trust Fund is to
study water quality and quantity issues in Cape Coral and surrounding areas and
to implement corrective actions.
“We certainly appreciate the financial support provided by the DEP in helping
the city of Cape Coral perform the necessary repairs to the lock,” said Carl
Schwing, City Manager. “Hundreds of boats pass through this facility every week,
so it is important to our residents that the lock be properly maintained and
DEP is the state’s principal environmental agency, created to protect,
conserve and manage Florida’s environment and natural resources. DEP enforces
federal and state environmental laws, protects Florida’s air and water quality,
cleans up pollution, regulates solid waste management, promotes pollution
prevention and acquires environmentally-sensitive lands for preservation. The
agency also maintains a statewide system of parks, trails and aquatic preserves.
For more information about DEP, visit
www.dep.state.fl.us. For more information on the city of Cape Coral, visit