Rep. Radel on Lake O releases

Julian Glover

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Rep. Radel on Lake O releases

CREATED Aug. 3, 2013 - UPDATED: Aug. 3, 2013

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Dark murky water inching onto our local beaches is posing a threat to our economy and only a project funded by Congress can alleviate the problem. Rep. Trey Radel says he's working to create a solution. 

"What will hopefully be done by the end of this year is this project which is part of what's called WRDA," said Rep. Radel. 

WRDA is short for the Water Resources Development Act, an important piece of legislation that oversees key environmental and water projects, like the water reservoir project needed here in Southwest Florida. 

The project is needed to combat the less-than-appealing dark water approaching our local beaches. 

The murky water is being released into The Gulf to alleviate potential flooding in Lake O, due to heavy summer rains. 

The land needed for the extensive project has already been purchased, but funding from congress is needed to turn the plan into reality. 

But the problem is the WRDA bill that would green-light funding is highly controversial thanks to a divided Congress.

The last WRDA was passed in 2007.

"I think that we can come to some sort of consensus, get the proper authorization in the bills out the door by the end of this year," said Rep. Radel. 

But even if the bill is passed when Congress returns to session, local environmentalist are worried that the plan currently on the books for a reservoir would essentially be a breeding ground for algae, because the project lacks a filtration system. 

Radel says he understands the concerns of his constituents, but his first priority is getting initial legislation that would allow for the creation of the reservoir to pass the House. 

"I'm open to all of these ideas," said Radel. "Right now, I'm dealing with the components that we have in Congress, which is the basin, which is the C-43."