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Fort Myers to Host C-43 Reservoir Water Quality Summit

South Florida Water Management District
The construction site of the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir in Hendry County

Once it’s completed, the massive Caloosahatchee River West Basin Storage, or C-43 reservoir, near Alva will hold about 55 billion gallons of water captured from the river and local runoff. The idea is to both reduce the amount of water released from Lake Okeechobee that makes it to the estuary during the wet season and to store water to be released during dry season to help maintain ideal salinity in the estuary. But, there is no formal plan for a water quality element to ensure the water it holds is clean enough to be released.


There’s going to be a Water Quality Summit exploring ways to keep water in it clean this Wednesday in Fort Myers. Joining Gulf Coast Live is Jennifer Hecker, the executive director of the Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership; Phil Flood,  a regional representative for the South Florida Water Management District; and Dr. Bob Knight, the principal scientist at the environmental consulting firm Wetland Solutions in Gainesville.

https://vimeo.com/245758641">Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir: Protecting a Vital Estuary from https://vimeo.com/sfwmd">SFWMD on Vimeo.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.