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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 12, 2010
CONTACT: Rhonda Haag, (239) 332-6975, ext. 175
  Terri Durdaller (850) 245-2112 or (850) 519-2897

DEP Funds $80,855 Cape Coral Water Quality Project

-Interagency cooperation paramount in effort to maintain water quality-

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 residents.”

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 fully operational.”

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 www.capecoral.net.

waterway

"This partnership effort is an outstanding example of interagency cooperation that provides widespread water quality improvements and increased navigation."

Jon Iglehart
Director of District Management for DEP’s South District

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Last updated: March 19, 2010

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