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Community Action Plan:

Billy’s Creek, Fort Myers

Cassani at Billy's Creek

Executive Summary

The Billy’s Creek Community Action Plan (BC-CAP) serves as a call to action for restoring a local tributary, Billy’s Creek. From its early history to the present day, memories and life experiences intersect and continue to affirm the significant role Billy’s Creek holds in the greater Fort Myers community. Throughout the process of writing the Billy’s Creek Community Action Plan (BC-CAP), oral histories were collected in an effort to understand the place Billy’s Creek holds in the hearts of the people who live here. Shared with us were stories of learning to swim in the once white, sandy-bottom creek; teaching youth about the local environment with school trips to the creek; and, most popularly, fishing alongside family and friends.

Billy’s Creek Oral History Project

Our stories are what connect us to each other and our environment. Therefore, Calusa Waterkeeper is collecting oral histories from community members to amplify the historical, cultural, and recreational significance that Billy’s Creek has had in our lives.

Related News Stories

Fecal Bacteria

Words from the Waterkeeper, Episode 21

Words from the Waterkeeper, Episode 21

This week, Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani, informs us of Lake Okeechobee and the ongoing releases from the Army Corps of Engineers into the Caloosahatchee. There has also been a recent spike in red tide along the gulf.

Calusa Waterkeeper Tests for Source of Billy’s Creek Contamination

Calusa Waterkeeper Tests for Source of Billy’s Creek Contamination

Fecal bacteria contamination in Billy’s Creek has been a concern for years, and a local group, Calusa Waterkeeper, is working to fix the problem. They hope new testing will help determine where the bacteria is coming from. Billy’s Creek winds from Fort Myers to the Caloosahatchee, but fecal bacteria has been plaguing this waterway for at least two decades.

Calusa Waterkeeper to Conduct Source Tracing of Fecal Bacteria in Billy’s Creek

Calusa Waterkeeper to Conduct Source Tracing of Fecal Bacteria in Billy’s Creek

Calusa Waterkeeper will conduct the first phase of a study to determine the source of the fecal bacteria contamination of Billy’s Creek. The testing determines if the nitrogen is from raw domestic sewage, wildlife, septic tanks, treated wastewater or agricultural sources and will be compared to a concurrent study in the Caloosahatchee River.

Billy’s Creek Enterococci Sampling Results, January 2020

Billy’s Creek Enterococci Sampling Results, January 2020

Poor results at every station on Billy’s Creek this month. Extremely high contamination at the Ortiz and Ortiz Circle stations as is almost always the case. Thanks to retired engineers and CWK Rangers Chris and Ed Shinouskis for their help collecting and analyzing samples.

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Priority Issues

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Harmful Algal Blooms

Cyanobacteria & Red Tide

Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) and Karenia brevis (red tide) have been making major impacts on Southwest Florida.

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Lake Okeechobee Discharges

Revise System Operating Manual

The Caloosahatchee River often suffers from too much freshwater in the wet season, and not enough freshwater in the dry season.

Chiquita Lock

Cape Coral Spreader Canals

Nutrient & Sediment Loading

The City of Cape Coral is working to remove large storm-water barriers to make recreational boating more convenient.

Cassani at Billy's Creek

Bacteria Monitoring

Fecal Bacteria

Calusa Waterkeeper has been at the forefront of monitoring this Fort Myers tributary for fecal bacteria indicators.