FORT MYERS, FL (April 3, 2019) – In an effort to reduce flooding potential and encourage a more vibrant aquatic habitat, Billy Creek is being dredged to remove nearly 12,000 cubic yards of sediments. Dredging and removal of invasive plants improves stream flow, reducing flooding potential and decreasing contamination associated with flooded septic tanks and yards. $775,000 in state grant funding for the project was approved by the Florida Legislature in 2018, with the city funding the remainder of the $1 million restoration effort.
In FY 2008-09, the city invested nearly $2 million to establish the Billy Creek Preserve Filter Marsh to reduce pollutants entering the creek. The initiative was a part of the city’s Stormwater Master Plan a decade ago and launched in cooperation with the South Florida Water Management District and Lee County. In FY 2014-15, the City invested another $1.3 million on construction of the Ford Street Preserve to intercept seasonal runoff and divert it to a constructed wetland treatment system. The Ford Street Canal previously discharged to Billy Creek with no treatment.
The City monitors monthly bacteria levels in Billy Creek outflows in accordance with its NPDES MS4 (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/Separate Storm Sewer System) permit requirements and performs all testing required by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. In addition, the city works with all other municipalities and counties within the Caloosahatchee Watershed to collectively address pollution threats and sources.
Maintaining the health of Billy Creek is an ongoing priority for the City of Fort Myers. The city commits more than $100,000 annually to routine testing, maintenance and upkeep of the creek, preserve and filter marshes.
For more information, please contact Nicole Monahan, City Engineer, at 239-321-7445 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.