The Lee Board of County Commissioners approved a cooperative agreement to allow the South Florida Water Management District to assume the responsibility of maintaining 13 waterways, including removal of vegetation, debris or other types of obstructions. This will help the county and district join forces on flood-mitigation efforts.
The agreement elevates the district’s activities here to provide improved flood control. Lee County will coordinate with the district to establish priorities and a plan for maintenance.
The county and the SFWMD have had a long working relationship on projects regarding water supply, water quality and flood control. With this agreement, the SFMWD will now be performing operation and maintenance within Lee County.
“Working with our staff for months to develop this plan of action to increase flood protection to the citizens of Lee County is a major step in further cementing the long and successful working relationship we have with the South Florida Water Management District,” said Lee County Manager Roger Desjarlais. “We look forward to developing a plan of action with the district annually to continue to address our flooding concerns.”
The agreement is part of an action plan to address and mitigate flooding that occurred in August 2017 and after Hurricane Irma.
The specific waterways included in the agreement are:
- Bedman Creek
- Cyrpess Creek
- Daughtrey Creek
- Estero River (including the north and south branches)
- Halfway Creek
- Hickey Creek
- Imperial River
- Kehl Canal
- Leitner Creek
- Mullock Creek
- Oak Creek
- Orange River
- Spring Creek
The first waterbodies identified for work include the Orange River in east Lee County, Mullock Creek in south Fort Myers and Oak Creek in Bonita. The work will resemble what the district did on the Imperial River following Hurricane Irma last year.