FGCU professor examines Collier wetlands to help prevent flooding

Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
wetlands in Naples

A Florida Gulf Coast University professor is researching urban wetlands in Collier County to help stop flooding amid hurricane season.

Areas like Freedom Park in Naples experienced a lot of flooding after Hurricane Irma hit Southwest Florida in September 2016.

“In addition to cleaning up the water, urban wetlands provide a gigantic reservoir for flood water,” FGCU professor Dr. Bill Mitsch said.

Mitsch and his team noticed the wetlands could be designed better to help during large storm events. He’s recommending the county to add more pump stations to keep the water flowing.

Nearby resident Merl Turner hopes there will be a solution soon.

“If we get about two or three inches, we get a little water that rises,” Turner said.

Researchers said keeping the rainfall inside wetlands is also important because it stops pollutants from running off into estuaries and the gulf.

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