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The City of Bonita Springs and FGCU join forces to appoint a water steward after water quality issues increase

Posted at 6:44 PM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-03 18:44:08-04

BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — It’s been 2 years in the making and Bonita Springs Mayor Peter Simmons says, the time has come for someone to take a closer look at environmental problems in the area.

“In our public waterways and in our private neighborhoods, we have problems with blue-green algae, fish kills, too much nitrogen in the water, nitrates,” said Mayor Peter Simmons.

Teaming up with Florida Gulf Coast University and the Vestor Marine and Environmental Science Research Field Station, Mayor Simmons says they are looking for a water steward, someone to take care of the waters in Bonita Springs full time.

“That person will be taking water samples, looking at the chemicals that are in the water, looking at potentially the septics that's in the water, and all the problems with our water,” said Mayor Simmons.

Dr. Michael Parsons Marine Science Professor with The Water School at F.G.C.U will be working closely with the new water steward, telling us the job will cover more than just looking at water samples.

“Responding to fish kills, working closely with Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, if there is any kind of animal mortalities that need to be addressed. I think a lot of it is learning what to do, developing those channels of communication with the proper people, and building that trust and communication with the community,” said Dr. Parsons.

Parsons says this is great news not only for the environment but the citizens of Bonita Springs.

“This Bonita water steward will be a member of the community and so they will be here, we’re here Vestor, and so that’s what we want to grow is that relationship with Bonita,” said Dr. Parsons.

At this time both Mayor Simmons and Dr. Parsons tell me they are working closely with possible candidates for this position.