FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla.- Water from Lake Okeechobee has already tainted the blue, cool waters of the Gulf. Many residents on Fort Myers Beach say, they’re already seeing an impact.
“The water is so dirty, it smells. obviously, we know what it is, it’s sewage.”
These residents say the water is likely to blame for dying marine life, and a decline in tourists this year, during what’s usually their most popular months.
“I knew it was going to be ‘the perfect storm.”
John Heim has lived on Fort Myers Beach for 30 years, and works as a server at The Doghouse on Estero Blvd.
He’s also a member of Southwest Florida Clean Water Management, and is passionate about saving the reputation of FMB. He says previous releases from Lake O were “taboo”, but this year, it’s impact has made it “more popular than football.”
“It’s a very awkward and uncomfortable conversation…But if we don’t face an issue, how are we expected to ever solve the issue?”
Heim has decided to fly to Washington D.C. to speak to state leaders on the issues these releases are diverting from Lake O, to their shore.
“We must save what is our bread and butter.. We are getting ready to lose tourism as a whole when it comes to SWFL, if we don’t rise up.”
He says he hopes bringing the topic to our nation’s capitol will bring FMB one step closer to a solution, and saving their largest economic intake.
Heim leaves for D.C. Sunday at noon.