Today at 11:20 a.m. the salinity reading at the former Ceitus Barrier was 1.5 ppt (not a typo, it was one and one-half ppt, which is not much above the salinity of tap water).Only 3 weeks ago (before the rains) the reading at the same site was a respectful 20.8 ppt.The reading along Shoreview Drive in Matlacha (just downstream of the former Barrier area) was 1.8 at 11:10 a.m. today. Salt water marine life generally cannot survive in that environment.
Comparison readings also made today were 15.2 ppt at the Matlacha Park Pier, 27 ppt at Galt Island, and 28 ppt in the canal behind my house. In other words, salinity readings all around Pine Island are good everywhere except where the concentrated excess poor quality fresh water (stormwater) dumps from North Cape Coral.
According to the weather station at my residence, we have had 9.66 inches of rain thus far in July. All of that rain from a Northwest Cape Coral Area watershed of some 115 square miles is washing down the North Spreader and out the hole created by the removal of the Ceitus Barrier. Don't expect any salt water marine life survival in that area of Matlacha until well after the rainy season ends. You should also expect the continued buildup of siltation to threaten to block the only waterway channel out of that entire area.
The excess fresh water is poisonous to salt water organisms when concentrated in one place, as in this case; but, properly distributed, it it is essential to the fish nursery estuary in the wetlands west of Cape Coral. That was the purpose of the Ceitus Barrier--to distribute that fresh water to the places where it is needed and has historically flowed. Until we get the Barrier restored, expect to continue to witness horrific environmental damage.
3861 Galt Island Avenue
St James City, FL 33956