Streets and Stormwater Division seeks $9.5 million to improve water quality

Waterway in Naples. (Credit: WINK News)
Waterway in Naples. (Credit: WINK News)

It seems that no one in Southwest Florida is immune to the water quality crisis. Now, Naples is planning a course of action. City leaders want millions to pay for several projects next year.

Victoria and Peter Hoskins said when it comes to improving water quality, it is intimidating and it goes beyond city limits.

“It’s a participation thing,” Peter said. “It’s going to take everybody.”

But, the City of Naples plans to confront the issue. The Streets and Stormwater Division wants nearly $9.5 million in the next fiscal year to pay for a variety of items for water quality improvement projects.

The most expensive projects include a citywide stormwater system upgrades, along with beach restoration and outfall improvements. They would create a pump station that pushes water out against red tide and replaces the pipes that discharge stormwater and other city wastewater into the ocean.

Other projects include lining storm sewer lines, restoring oyster reefs and seagrass in Naples Bay, plus investing in water quality monitoring equipment.

While neighbors said it looks good on paper, they question if these projects will make an impact on water quality. The Dept. of Environmental Protection said while it takes effort on all levels, the proposed projects are proven to improve water quality.

The city will discuss the budget in August, then decide in September.

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