Mayor, fisherman demand clean water

Posted at 8:16 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-16 08:00:34-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Lake Okeechobee water crisis seems a bit like Groundhog Day; the brown water reemerges every few years and nothing ever seems to get fixed.  Mayor Randy Henderson of Fort Myers says that has got to change.

At a press conference Monday afternoon in front of City Hall, Charter Captain Mike Wilson says his business has been devastated.  "I just call it the black curtain because everything on one side is perfectly clear and all the dark water looks like a curtain was pulled on the waterway," says Wilson.

The fishermen say two things need to happen.  One, more water storage area so it can be cleaned before it goes into the Caloosahatchee.  And two, letting it flow where sugar fields now stand.

Fisherman Bob Brooks says "We need to move the water south anyway possible, which is the way God created it. So certainly buying sugar land is one of the answers."

Henderson says he's committed to ending this crisis for once and for all.  "Were going to travel to Tallahassee to Washington and were not going to stop."

The mayor leaves on trips to both cities next week.

Meanwhile, sometime this week, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin pumping water from flooded wildlife lands south of Lake Okeechobee into the Everglades.  The goal is to drain enough water from that area to relieve the Caloosahatchee and Saint Lucie rivers from water releases in the long run. 
If successful, the Corps will likely use this same process with Lake O.