CRCA-Riverwatch is now Calusa Waterkeeper
CRCA Annual Member Meeting (2017-04-16)
The annual membership meeting of Calusa Waterkeeper (CRCA) will be held May 6 at 10:30 AM at the Franklin Lock south bank pavilion. After election of directors, President John R. Paul III is treating members to lunch by Gator Hammock, including Buddy Taylor’s famous banana pudding. Don’t miss it! [Agenda] [CRCA Bylaws] [Location: 1660 South Franklin Lock Road, Alva]
Support SB10! (2017-04-10)
Calusa Waterkeeper, John Cassani, supports Florida Senate Bill 10, a bill that would allow for a reservoir to be built south of Lake Okeechobee. Please contact your legislator before April 12 in time for a vote of the full Florida Senate and support Senate Bill 10. [Details] [SB 10]
Let Them Know (2017-04-06)
From Apr 10 to Apr 21, 2017, Members of Congress will be returning to their districts, it is an opportunity for you to attend town halls and meet with them. This is your chance to tell to your Members of Congress how important clean water is to you. Your voice matters. [Weekly Newsletter]
Annual Membership Meeting (2017-04-06)
The Calusa Waterkeeper annual membership meeting will be held at the south bank park at Franklin Lock on Saturday, May 6 at 10:30 am. This meeting is open to the Waterkeeper members. The new board of directors will be elected for the 2017-2018 term. [Location Map]
Fresh Deception About Lake O (2017-04-06)
The right-wind James Madison Institute in Tallahassee is again trying to use the current crisis to make things better for ag and worse for the FL environment. It is part of the effort to seize total control of Lake O by pushing out the Feds and permanently (not temporarily) raising waters in Lake O [Sun Sentinel] [Real (not fake) Science on Lake O] [Herbert Hoover Dike]
Trumps Targets Clean Power Plan (2017-04-05)
President Trump signed an executive order that will have grave climate impacts. The order rolls back many Obama Administration initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emission, including the Clean Power Plan – which aimed to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants 32% by 2030. [Waterkeeper Alliance] [Attack on Environment]
Reject H.R. 1179 (2017-04-05)
HR1179 before Congress would require groups like Calusa Waterkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance to pay the legal costs of the defendant anytime a citizen or group loses a case for any reason. The goal is to discourage non-profits from taking actions against polluters. It favors big corporations. [Newsletter]
Water Emergency (2017-04-03)
An advisory stage notice of irrigation water use has been issued by Cape Coral. Water levels in freshwater canal system are declining quickly. Waterkeeper and scientist John Cassani previously explained one of the reasons Cape Coral is running out of fresh water, removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift. [The News-Press] [Cassani on TV] [From Flood to Drought in Months] [Drought Expansion]
Fake Study? (2017-04-03)
After the Everglades Foundation touted a controversial economic study by saying the Clemson University investigators are solely responsible for the content of the report, a spokesman for the schools Office of Research Communications says he is not familiar with the project. [The Capitolist] [Everglades Foundation Study]
Do Not Miss This Show! (2017-03-26)
Premiering Apr 4-8 in St. Pete is the National Caravan Stage Company original production of Nomadic Tempest (a Climatopian Spectacle). They perform on a stage suspended from the masts of the Amara Zee, an old London river barge. CRCA held meetings on the ship when she docked in LaBelle last year. [Nomadic Tempest Flier] [QR Code Image] [March 31 Climate Conversation] [Show Details] [Tickets]
Together For Clean Water (2017-03-22)
Marc Yaggi, Executive Director of Waterkeeper Alliance, wrote a letter adressed to every citizen seeking for their right: drinking clean water. It is to react to President Trumps Executive Orders and actions against environment. Support our organization during this fight. [Letter]
$1100 from Yucatans (2017-03-21)
Thank you to Tom Kolar, owner of the Yucatan Beach Stand on Fort Myers Beach who held a special event on St. Patricks Day and allocated some of the proceeds to Calusa Waterkeeper. John Cassani and Jack Green were there for most of the day which generated $1100 for Waterkeeper programs! [Beer Benefit on St. Patricks Day]
Waterkeeper Weekly (2017-03-21)
Keep a track of the great work and activities of the Waterkeeper Alliance around the world by reading the weekly newsletter. This past week again, you can get information about new legislative updates, or about the upcoming events and projects. [Waterkeeper Alliance Newsletter]
Beer Benefit on St. Patricks Day (2017-03-21)
On Mar 17, St. Patrick's Day, Jack Green and John Cassani hosted a Beer Benefit for Calusa Waterkeeper at Yucatan's on Fort Myers Beach. As for the last event held on Feb 16, interesting conversations and fun were there. Thank you to all who did participate. [Image 1] [Image 2] [Image 3]
Climate Change Confuses Plants (2017-03-18)
A record warm February fooled the DC cherry trees into a record early budding more than a week ahead of any previous year. Then a snow storm & hard freeze hit, damaging more than 50% of the buds & creating the longest delay between budding and peak blossoming, expected by Mar 24. Climate Confusion! [Bloom Dates Table] [Bloom and Bust] [Ice-encased Buds]
Michelle Graham for House Seat (2017-03-17)
In 2018, Republican Michelle Graham will run for the same seat as a did CRCA Director John Scott, who as a Democrat lost to Matt Caldwell for FL House District 79. Like John Scott, she will emphasize water issues in her campaign. [The News-Press]
Suncoast Waterkeeper Sues Mosaic (2017-03-17)
Opposing the Corps of Engineers approval of new mines in Manatee County, Justin Bloom, executive director of Suncoast Waterkeeper said that for far too long, the phosphate industry has had its way with ineffective permitting and oversight. [Creative Loafing: Tampa Bay]
Cassani Speaks on Low Flows (2017-03-15)
Water levels in Lake Okeechobee are almost two and a half feet lower than they were this time in 2016. John Cassani, of the Waterkeeper Alliance, said the lack of discharges from the Army Corps of Engineers at Lake O Hoover Dike is resulting in a rise in the river's salinity from the Gulf of Mexico. [Video] [Fox 4 Now]
Thanks, Jim and Ruth! (2017-03-15)
Rangers Jim and Ruth Watkins are our March Rangers of the Month. Jim and Ruth live on Hendry Creek, a tributary to Estero Bay, and spend many hours on the water exploring the Creek and the Bay's Aquatic Preserve. Together, they are helping to watch over Hendry Creek and Estero Bay. Congratulations! [March Rangers Of The Month] [Join Us]
The New Threat (2017-03-14)
Waterkeeper Alliance or its members were involved in nearly a quarter of all the Clean Water Act citizen enforcement actions initiated against polluters between 2005 and 2014. And it helped reducing pollution and improving living conditions across America. But nowadays the government is opposing us. [Waterkeeper Alliance]
Elections Changed The Rules (2017-03-14)
The Waterkeeper Alliance pointed out how the 2016 presidential election changed the decisions and the difficulty of the fight for a better protection of public health and environment. Read the attached edition of the weekly Dive Into Democracy newsletter, and subscribe! [Newsletter] [Subscribe]
A 60 Percent Solution? (2017-03-13)
SFWMD board members on March 9, requested a presentation on a study showing that a reservoir north of Lake Okeechobee and 110 underground injection wells can reduce harmful discharges to coastal estuaries by 60 percent. Calusa Waterkeeper will evaluate this SFWMD assertion. [Politico]
Cassani On TV (2017-03-10)
Cape Coral is running out of fresh water, while tens of thousands of people rely on this water to irrigate their lawns. The city says the lack of rain is the cause, but according to scientist John Cassani, this can be partly attributed to the removal of Ceitus Boat Lift in 2008. [Wink News Video]
Citizen Seagrass Gardening (2017-03-10)
The CHNEP was notified that the Citizen Seagrass Gardening project has been approved. Calusa Waterkeeper rangers will focus on helping to restore seagrasses by planting them in protected enclosures at 4 sites along the river between the RR bridge and Edison Bridge. [Submitted Proposal] [Award Letter]
Calls to Hotline (2017-03-09)
People call the Waterkeeper Hotline, 239-444-8584, with a variety of observations and questions. One common question concerns the safety of swimming in our coastal waters. Florida Dept of Health periodically tests water for baterial contamination with results posted online. [Online Results]
Drinkable, Swimmable, Fishable (2017-03-09)
Read the attached article to know more about our new name, Calusa Waterkeeper, and the reason for joining the Waterkeeper Alliance. Jack Green also expressed himself about Fort Myers Beach water issues. "Our mission is to fight for clean water that is drinkable, swimmable, and fishable." [Island Sand Paper]
Support Berta Caceres Act (2017-03-08)
On March 2, 2016, indigenous and environmental leader Berta Caceres was murdered by the national and local Honduran government and a multinational dam company. We, citizens, should contact our U.S. Rep and encourage her or him to co-sponsor the Berta Caceres Act. [Common Dreams] [Berta Caceres Act]
Spreader Barrier Dispute (2017-03-06)
The Cape Council is celebrating over the recent withdrawal of a lawsuit filed against it by CRCA & others. One tactic included Cape Coral's required public notices of related meetings that were never published. Is the consent order completed, voided or illegal. [News Press]
Chiquita Lock Removal (2017-03-03)
FDEP requested Cape Coral provide additional information concerning its planned Chiquita Boat Lock removal. Take a look at the enclosed response to this RAI. Calusa Waterkeeper has taken legal action after the previous removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift and opposes removal of Ceitus Lock. [Response to RAI] [Previous News Box]
Consequences of EPA Elimination (2017-03-02)
FL Rep. Gaetz introduced in Congress a bill that would abolish the EPA and send that authority "downstream" to the states. Calusa Waterkeeper Cassani asks whether a broad roll-back of environmental regulations is going to make a bad situation better. Perhaps easier for short-term profits. [Cassani Opinion in News Press] [Comments] [Gaetz Bill in Congress] [List of FL Impaired Waters]
February 2017 Newsletter (2017-03-02)
The February 2017 CRCA newsletter is available online. It features Waterkeeper news and opinions on issues. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [HTML Version] [Archive]
Chiquita Lock Concerns (2017-02-28)
Cape Coral has applied to permanently remove the Chiquita Lock, which is meant to help isolate and treat stormwater runnoff from the city. Calusa Waterkeeper is challenging the application because the receiving waterbody, the Caloosahatchee Estuary, is already impaired for nutrient pollution. [Calusa Waterkeeper Objection] [Previous News Box]
World Water Day Presentation (2017-02-28)
On the occasion of the World Water Day celebrated on March 22, Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani will deliver a water issues presentation to the Rotary Club of LaBelle at its noon meeting at the Quart House Restaurant in LaBelle on March 21. [LaBelle Rotary Noon Meeting Location]
Waterkeeper Council in Mobile (2017-02-27)
Waterkeeper Council gathered in Mobile, Alabama, to strategize, assess our roles, and talk about how to grow and improve Waterkeeper Alliance. The organisation is on the right track in making sure that support is a high priority while also trying to expand to waterbodies that need protecting.
Canoe Contest Winners (2017-02-27)
At Swamp Cabbage Festival 2017 Canoe Contest, the first prize, the canoe, was won by Steve Lotts. Chris Kroft won the 4 person canoe/kayak rental, the second prize. And finally the third prize CNC and Planetarium annual Pass was won by Andrea McIntyre. [Drawing Winning Tickets] [Thanks, Joe!]
Exec Order Lowers Water Quality (2017-02-27)
Waterkeeper Alliance Executive Director Marc Yaggi states, "President Trump's action to slash regulation is more like a pollution prison sentence, subjecting our communities to increased exposure to polluted water, toxins, disease and economic burden for generations to come." [The Waterkeeper Weekly] [Motherboard] [Exec Order Text] [Subscribe]
Thanks, Joe! (2017-02-27)
Once again the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. sponsored the canoe contest at the 2017 Swamp Cabbage Festival. This event has lasted as a tradition in Riverwatch since it has been more than 10 years we do the canoe contest every year. [Joe With The Winners] [Joe With The Volunteers]
Clean All The Waterways (2017-02-22)
Dredging of muck from the bottom of Indian River Lagoon has begun. Sick waterway result of decades of pollution. To solve the region's water quality problems, the same thing needs to be done in the Caloosahatchee Estuary as well as in Lake Okeechobee. [Orlando Sentinel]
Seagrasses Are Disappearing (2017-02-22)
A growing recognition of the importance of seagrasses comes even as it is disappearing. Nearly a third of the world's seagrass meadows have died off since the 19th century. A number of studies indicate that they are now disappearing at an accelerating pace. [The New York Times]
Thank You David Laties! (2017-02-20)
Calusa Waterkeeper Board member David Laties made a generous donation of two YSI Dissolved Oxygen / Salinity meters for the Calusa Waterkeeper Volunteer Ranger program. These are critical tools that enable the Ranger program to generate reliable data. Is there another generous donor out there? [David Laties Donation]
Congratulations Ed! (2017-02-20)
Calusa Waterkeeper Ranger Ed Ottenthal is our January Ranger of the Month. Ed spent a total of 63 hours on the water in January looking for water quality related events such as fish kills, algae blooms or wildlife problems. THANK YOU Ed! [January Ranger of The Month] [Join Us!]
Presentation to Political Group (2017-02-17)
On Wed, Feb 15, Dr. John Capece delivered a presentation about Calusa Waterkeeper to more than 90 members of the Progressive Caucus at their monthly meeting held at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater. A 25-minute presentation was followed by 35 minutes of Q&A and group discussion on water issues. [Presentation Slides] [Audience Photo]
Beer Benefit on Fort Myers Beach (2017-02-17)
On the evening of Mar 17, Jack Green and John Cassani will host a Beer Benefit for Calusa Waterkeeper at Yucatan's on Fort Myers Beach. A great group turned out for conversation and fun on the first such event held Feb 16. Thank you to all who will or did participate. [Image 2] [Image 3] [Yucatan Beach Stand]
Know What to Ignore (2017-02-17)
NOAA estimates that $82 million a year in economic loss in the U.S. can be attributed to toxic algal blooms, including red tide. Vern Buchanan, co-chairman of the state's delegation, asked what was the best way to fight red tide...not that he has ever shown any intentions of doing what is needed. [Bradenton Herald]
Does It Take A Hammer? (2017-02-15)
As of mid February 2017, Arctic ice area and volume entered its 4th month of record lows. Global ice area record lows reach are approaching their 6th month. The statistical aberration is mind-blowing and the threat to civilization is real and developing before our very eyes. [Arctic Sea Ice Extent] [Global Sea Ice Area] [Daily Arctic Ice Volume]
Join Us for Cheers & Beers (2017-01-26)
Party at Yucatan Beach Stand, 250 Old San Carlos Blvd, Ft Myers Beach on Thursday, Feb 16 from 6pm to 10pm. Each beer helps Calusa Waterkeeper, so come celebrate passing of the torch from Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association, Inc. (Riverwatch) to our new incarnation as CALUSA WATERKEEPER. [Announcement!] [QR Code to Google Map]
John Paul in WK Magazine (2017-02-10)
The February 2017 Waterkeeper magazine features coverage of the Florida Waterkeeper organizations. John Paul, as President of Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association (Calusa Waterkeeper) discusses how some progressive farmer are doing their part. [Waterkeeper Alliance]
Kennedy Jr on Trump (2017-02-10)
At an art auction benefiting Waterkeeper Alliance, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. criticized Trump's pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency. "It's 33 years of my work are being dismantled in a number of days," said RFK Jr., President of Waterkeeper Alliance. [Bloomberg]
John Cassani About ASR (2017-02-10)
During a WGCU-FM interview, Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani was asked about Aquifer Storage Recovery, and he said ASR is potentially a "good thing" because that stored water would be available during the dry season to spread around wherever needed. Listen at the attached audio to know more. [WLRN] [John Cassani] [Audio]
Coastal Angler Magazine (2017-02-08)
Each month Riverwatch writes articles for the Okeechobee edition and the Ft. Myers edition of the fishing enthusiast publication titled Coastal Angler. It's a great way to reach out to the fishing communities throughout our area. [Article] [Coastal Angler Magazine]
ECOSWF Discusses Its Future (2017-02-03)
Calusa Waterkeeper is a member of ECOSWF, the Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, a group based in Sarasota that leads on many policy and legal actions. It recently decided to begin holding its gatherings in more geographic areas to allow members to more easily attend. [Details] [Website]
North or South? Both (2017-02-01)
On Jan 11, Dr. Wendy Graham of the University of Florida Water Institute told the Senate Appropriations Committee said water storage is needed north, south, east and west. When pinned down on the benefits of north vs. south, Dr. Graham said a variety of combinations of north and south storage work. [Okeechobee News] [Dr. Wendy Graham]
January 2017 Newsletter (2017-02-01)
The January 2017 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]
Recruiting Water Quality Rangers (2017-01-31)
Contact Waterkeeper @ if you are interested in serving as a volunteer Rangers. The Rangers will monitor quality of area waterways (Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, Charlotte Harbor, the Caloosahatchee River, & Lake Okeechobee).
Biodiversity Conference (2017-01-31)
Calusa Waterkeeper is a co-sponsor of the FGCU Biodiversity Conference "Conserving Biodiversity: Challenges for Florida in the Anthropocene" on March 7-9 in the Cohen Center. Plenary speaker is Dr. Reed Noss of University of Central Florida. [Plenary Session Announcement] [Web Page]
Thank you, Sarah! (2017-01-31)
We would like to thank Sarah Lepa and her father John Cassani with whom she worked to create the new Calusa Waterkeeper logo. Her design is based on the smalltooth sawfish concept suggested by Gene Gibson and the group name proposed by John Capece. Teamwork!
Win a Canoe at Swamp Cabbage (2017-01-31)
Come and win a canoe at the Calusa Waterkeeper exhibit at the Swamp Cabbage Festival on Feb 25-26 (Sat-Sun) in Barron Park, LaBelle. Chance tickets are $2 or three tickets for $5. It's great fun, a great canoe, and a chance to talk with our new Waterkeeper & officers. See you there! [Contest Poster] [Old Town Canoe] [Canoe Description] [Festival Web Page]
Climate Conundrum (2017-01-31)
Have we gone over the tipping point on global climate change? According to Philip Schwartz, humanity is in a climate "conundrum" today. We may still have time, so if you ask yourself what can you do, "Educate yourself and get involved." [News-Press] [Bill Gates Comments on Climate]
Losing a Valuable Public Asset (2017-01-30)
The Mainsail Harborside hotel will displace the downtown boat ramp. Many cannot imagine losing their favorite fishing spot and boat launch. Construction will begin in April, and until then the ramp will remain open. Calusa Waterkeeper has long advocated planning for the ramp's immediate replacement. [NBC-2]
Grass Carp invasion (2017-01-30)
Grass carp were introduced to the U.S. in the early 1960s to control weed growth in waterways. Today they are invading three of the Great Lakes and pose a significant environmental risk. They are used extensively in Florida but careful programs releases only sterile, triploid-bred fish. [The Washington Post]
Good Jobs Program or Giveaway? (2017-01-30)
U.S. Sugar and Hilliard Brothers are seeking to acquire/privatize the publicly-owned Airglades Airport from Hendry County. They are promoting the deal by appearing to claim the transfer would yield more jobs than Hendry County government could ever generate by leasing access to private companies. [The Des Moines Register]
Why Smalltooth Sawfish? (2017-01-27)
Calusa Waterkeeper selected the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) as its emblem because this critically endangered coastal fish is native to SW FL and is an ideal indicator of success or failure of our stewardship. Its preferred habitat is a healthy estuary with balanced salinity. [Recovery Plan] [Shrinking Range] [Sawfish species]
Why Calusa? (2017-01-27)
The name Calusa was chosen because our mandate has expanded beyond the Caloosahatchee River & Estuary to also include Lake Okeechobee, Charlotte Harbor and Estero Bay. The native Calusa people inhabited this entire area and are known for shell mounds, canals, ferocity, watercraft & fishing. [Calusa Background] [The Shell People]
Drones To Detect Algae Blooms (2017-01-26)
Calusa Waterkeeper director Dr. John Capece attended a workshop and seminar by St Louis University professor Dr. Wasit Walamu. He described using drones to carry special cameras to measure light of specific wavelength ranges to detect algae blooms. [Dr. Walamu 1] [Dr. Walamu 2] [Microcystis Paper]
Sanibel Considers Sea Level Rise (2017-01-26)
Dr. Harold Wanless, Univ of Miami Chair of the Geology Department, said that sea level rise may reach 6 feet by 2100, whereas only 3 to 4 ft will make most Florida islands like Sanible & Captiva uninhabitable. James Evans talked about what Sanibel is doing to deal with sea level rise issues. [Captiva Sanibel] [Sanibel Chronicle] [Evans Slides]
Welcome Waterkeeper Movement (2017-01-26)
Waterkeeper Alliance welcomes three Waterkeeper groups: Calusa Waterkeeper - John Cassani (Florida), Suwannee Riverkeeper - John Quarterman (Georgia), Huong River Waterkeeper - Pham My (Vietnam), & one Waterkeeper Affiliate: Voice of the Old Brahmaputra (Bangladesh) to the Waterkeeper Movement. [Details] [Photo] [Webpage]
List of City Planning Concern (2017-01-26)
Calusa Waterkeeper Vice President Gene Gibson has presented questions and comments concerning the Fort Myers downtown and midtown density study and the proposed amendments to the Fort Myers smart growth code and comprehensive plan. [Gibson List of Concerns] [NBC-2]
Citizens Help Conservation (2017-01-26)
A new group of citizens are going to help Lee County's conservation 20/20 program, under the name of "eYes on conservation 20/20". By using social media, they intend to make a call to "action" message to supporters. The group seems dynamic and ready to make their plans for county's "conservation". [News Press]
Lawsuit Against Cape Coral​ (2017-01-25)
The City of Cape Coral could face lawsuits on several fronts from civic organizations and residents as a result of its Dec 12 vote to annex 5.67 acres of land near Matlacha. About 100 demonstrators lined Pine Island Road on Jan 8 to protest against Cape Coral. [News-Press] [WINK News] [Subject Parcels] [Annexation Rally] [Pine Island Strong]
New Facebook & Web Page (2017-01-25)
We have launched our new Calusa Waterkeeper web page & Facebook page. Please visit the web site and Like us on Facebook /CalusaWaterkeeper and share the links with friends and family. We encourage everyone to stay informed and engaged. [Calusa Waterkeeper Facebook Page] [Calusa Waterkeeper Web Page]
Welcome to Our New Website (2017-01-25)
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new website It has been crafted to reflect our new name Calusa Waterkeeper, which we adopted after achieving a full Member status in Waterkeeper Alliance in Dec 2016. The new web site allows responsive layout for all platforms. [Calusa Waterkeeper Website]
New Logo Announcement (2017-01-25)
We are proud to announce the launch of a new logo featuring a smalltooth sawfish and the term Calusa to reflect our more regional coverage and responsibilities. In 2016 we achieved full Member status in Waterkeeper Alliance, adopting the new name Calusa Waterkeeper. [Calusa Waterkeeper Logo]
Environmental First Responders (2017-01-24)
From Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf, our local rivers, streams and water bodies have new guardians: ecologist John Cassani & former Fort Myers Beach public works director Jack Green, and a host of volunteer "rangers" who will volunteer both their time and water vessels to help monitor local waterways. [FMB Observer] [Jack Green]
New Group Protects Waterways (2017-01-24)
Calusa Waterkeeper focuses on immediate response like targeting pollution problems and testing for high concentrations of cyanobacteria. About 10 rangers will be trained to take in water samples, but the non-profit organization depends on you to keep a look out for anything suspicious. [NBC-2 Article] [NBC-2 Video]
John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper (2017-01-02)
Career scientist and outspoken water advocate John Cassani is the Calusa Waterkeeper. He leads the international Waterkeeper Alliance programs in the region that includes Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee and the shoreline & estuary system from Charlotte Harbor to Estero Bay. [Resume] [Short Bio] [Photo]
Jack Green, Executive Director (2017-01-02)
Jack Green serves as Executive Director of the Calusa Waterkeeper program. Jack spent his first career in the Coast Guard and later served as Fort Myers Beach Director of Public Works (including responsibilities for water utilities). His home is on the shores of Estero Bay in Fort Myers Beach. [Resume] [Short Bio] [Photo]
Cassani on Reservoir (2016-12-31)
The just released report on Everglades Restoration, “Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review, 2016”, corroborates much of what Caloosahatchee Riverwatch has been saying about the plan for the C-43 Reservoir for more than a decade. [Cassani Opinion in News Press]
December 2016 Newsletter (2016-12-31)
The December 2016 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [December Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]
Everglades Coalition Conference (2016-12-31)
Three Estuaries, One Solution: Caloosahatchee, St. Lucie, and Florida Bay is the theme of the 2017 annual conference of the Everglades Coalition scheduled for Jan 5-8 at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort. The conference is attended by a vast array of public and private interests. [Conference Website]
Matlacha Protests Cape Coral (2016-12-31)
After Cape Coral annexed pieces of Matlacha, residents of both Pine Island and Matlacha protested and began to schedule meetings to discuss incorporation as a defense against futher annexation by a city they see as having been damaging to their waters and other interests. [Cape Coral Breeze] [News Press] [Photo]
January Board Meeting (2016-12-31)
The CRCA-Riverwatch Board of Directors will meet at 6:30pm on Wednesday, Jan 4th, at the High Point Place conference room, in Fort Myers. This meeting is open to members of CRCA. [Location] [Photo High Point Place]
Sea Level Rise on Captiva (2016-12-31)
On Friday, Jan. 13 Captiva Community Panel holds “Now In My Backyard” , a symposium discussing how sea level rise will affect Sanibel and Captiva, what is being done about it and what more can possibly be done. Dr. Harold Wanless from the University of Miami is the featured speaker. [Sanibel Captiva News] [Details] [Tickets]
Water Resources Conference (2016-12-31)
The 26th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference is tasked each year to predict our water future. Come hear the predictions on Jan 13 at FGCU/ Riverwatch has co-hosted the event for more than 10 years. Riverwatch members are encouraged to attend to learn about important water issues. [Fort Myers Beach Observer] [Conference Website]
WWALS Now Suwannee Riverkeeper (2016-12-31)
The Waterkeeper Alliance Board of Directors has approved its Affiliate WWALS Watershed Coalition, Inc. to become a Member. The newly appointed Suwannee Riverkeeper, John S. Quarterman, will work to protect and preserve the Suwannee River Basin by combining his firsthand knowledge of the waterways. [Press Release]
Fisheating Creek Ruling (2016-12-31)
A new ruling in the legal battles over Fisheating Creek states that Fisheating Creek/Cowbone Marsh boat access must be maintained by a cut/dredged channel at least 3ft deep and not narrower than 25ft, as advocated by the group Save Our Creeks. The State of Florida wanted to fill it the cut. [Glades County Democrat] [Court Ruling] [Comment] [Map]
Our Rangers are not Lone (2016-12-21)
If you become a Calusa Waterkeeper Ranger then you won't be alone. The volunteer program to help patrol regional waterways (with sampling bottles, not guns) from Lake O to Caloosahatchee Estuary to Estero Bay and Charlotte Harbor meets on Thursday, Jan 5 at 7pm in the Ft Myers library. [Ranger Meeting Announcement] [Add Event to Your Calendar]
Riverwatch Helps American Rivers (2016-12-17)
Groups from Ferndale, Washington to Fort Myers, Florida participated in the 25th Annual American River 25th National River Cleanup®. Over 53,000 volunteers removed more than 3.4 million pounds of trash from nearly 2,000 cleanup sites. Thank you to CRCA members and FGCU students who made this happen! [American Rivers]
Waterkeeper Comes to Beach (2016-12-15)
CRCA Executive Director Jack Green is reaching out to his fellow Fort Myers Beach residents with a support appeal letter for Riverwatch and its new Waterkeeper program. The letter was sent to 850 beachers with the remaining 6500 addresses planned when finances permit. [Appeal Letter] [Letter Back Images]
Lee County Conservation Program (2016-12-14)
The Conservation Land Program is not new, explains John Cassani. Back in 1996, grass-roots activists were already asking for it. At that time, the referendum gave 53% in favor for 400,000 inhabitants. The program is now largely supported. As the population grows, this action becomes imperative. [News-Press]
Red Tide in Charlotte Harbor (2016-12-14)
Tha alarming amount of pollution from human waste in Charlotte Harbor estuary is contributing to the recent red tide. Dr. Brian Lapointe completed a study showing the waste are fuel for the algae bloom. Waterways can be saved if the county gets good sewer systems in the coming years. [NBC2]
SWRR Conference (2016-12-13)
Florida Earth Foundation hosts the Sustainable Water Resources Roudtable at FGCU on Dec 14-15 from 8:30 am to 6 pm. The case study, for innovation and inspiration on water-related solutions, will be Babcock Ranch, City of Tomorrow. The conference is free and open to public. [Event Summary] [Website]
It is Not Over (2016-12-12)
The Army Corp decision did not put a stop to the Dakota Access Pipeline or its placement. It does not suggest that the optimal route will be Lake Oahe or that they will prepare a valid Environmental Impact Statement. We still need to pressure the Army Corp and President Obama, the fight is not over. [Waterkeeper Alliance Message] [The Legal Reasons]
Waterkeeper Weekly (2016-12-12)
Riverwatch will soon be a full member Waterkeeper. This alliance gathers Waterkeepers around the world to be stronger. The next annual Waterkeeper conference will be held on June 7-11 in Park City, Utah. It is an excellent opportunity to meet and share experiences and ideas with other Waterkeepers. [Waterkeeper Weekly]
95%, 99.7% or 99.99% (2016-12-12)
Watch for arctic ice area data on Jan 1, when ice area is least variability. The data will be 2, 3 or 4 "standard deviations" below average, reflecting 95%, 99.7% or 99.99% chance the climate system is abruptly changing. Given those odds, are you betting your grandchildren's lives by doing nothing? [NSIDC] [Graph] [Ice Area Link] [Ice Volume Link]
Coastal Angler Magazine (2016-12-09)
Each month Riverwatch writes articles for the Okeechobee edition and the Ft. Myers edition of the fishing enthusiast publication titled Coastal Angler. It's a great way to reach out to the fishing communities throughout our area. [Snapshot] [Article] [Coastal Angler Magazine]
EAA Land Purchase Rally (2016-12-08)
On Dec 8, Riverwatch was at the rally outside SFWMD HW with Sierra Club to support Senator Negron’s EAA Land Purchase Plan. John Cassani, our Riverkeeper, gave a speech. Indian Riverkeeper, Bullsugar, Riverwarrior Lodge and the Friends of the Loxahatchee Refuge also participated in the rally. [Flyers] [Photos]
Who in Our Area Will Lead? (2016-12-07)
The City of St. Petersburg has a plan to increase public attention on the effects of climate change so that the city can more easily take steps to minimize, prepare and adapt. SW Florida faces the same challenge, but who will lead? Will Riverwatch (soon to be Waterkeeper) lead this effort? [Saint Peters Blog]
Support for EAA Reservoir (2016-12-06)
Riverwatch joins the event on Dec 08 in West Palm Beach to support Negrons proposal. Rick Scott has to make a decision on Lake O. management and it must be on behalf of the people and water, not Big Sugar profit. Join us on Thursday, 11 am, to support the project! [Press Release] [Flyer]
FGCU Students with Riverwatch (2016-12-06)
FGCU students made a video of their project with Riverwatch about toxic algae bloom. They could observe the facts, and raise awareness about this issue by getting the people to sign a petition for clear water and educating young students about the pollution. Thanks you for your investment! [Video]
North VS. South (2016-12-05)
The SFWMD established an infographic to compare North vs. South water storage.The conclusion they want to highlight is obvious: North is better than South for operations, storage, economy and even environment. In their demonstration, a big point is missing... What about the Everglades? [Infographic]
FGCU Internship Symposium (2016-12-05)
On Dec 02, the FGCU STEM Undergraduate Research and Internship symposium was held. The Riverwatch interns Kayla and Florine, presented their work with the association on posters. It was a good opportunity to discuss with the students about the goals of Riverwatch and the internship opportunities. [Pic1] [Pic2] [Poster]
Chiquita Lock ERP Application (2016-12-05)
FDEP requested more information from Cape Coral, the Chiquita Boat Lock removal applicant. While the questions are essential, DEP may be doing this merely as a formality so they can say the issues were raised and resolved, should the issue ever end up in court. It could be administrative theater. [Request For Additional Information] [Previous News Box]
Data Reveal The Real Sources (2016-12-05)
While Mitch Hutchcraft claims that there is a well-established scientific link between septic tank and high level of nutrient in our estuary, CRCA member David Bogert clarifies this scientific link: septic tank are responsible for 8% of the problem while fertilizers are responsible for 84%. [News-Press] [Hutchcraft Opinion] [Leland Comment] [Grier Comment]
Riverwatch Intern (2016-12-01)
Kayla Koszela, a FGCU student in Environmental Studies, recently held an internship with Riverwatch. She had diversified missions, working with Mary Rawl, on events, communication and monitoring the River. She said she learnt a lot about running a successful non-profit. Thank you Kayla! [Internship Poster]
Waterkeepers in Month of Action (2016-12-01)
The Standing Rock demonstrators calls for a month of solidarity through December. You can join them at Standing Rock, but also take action in your community, at the financial, governmental and corporate target, and encourage divestment or donate to the frontlines. There are many way to act! [Waterkeeper Alliance Message]
Caloosahatchee Nov 22-28 (2016-12-01)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 decreased to an average of 665 cfs. Lake O discharges to the river, measured at S-77, increased to an average of 875 cfs. Salinities have risen rapidly in the upper estuary. Red tide have caused fish kills from north of Bokeelia Pine Island throughout the Refuge. [Condition Report] [Table] [More SCCF Report]
November 2016 Newsletter (2016-11-30)
The November 2016 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [November Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]
Wanted: Water Quality Rangers (2016-11-30)
The 1st Calusa Waterkeeper Rangers meeting was held on Nov 19. The volunteer Rangers will monitor quality of area waterways (Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, Charlotte Harbor, the Caloosahatchee River, & Lake Okeechobee). If you are interested, contact Waterkeeper @ [Ranger Update] [Photo]
Telegraph Creek Fish Kill (2016-11-30)
On Nov 20 Calusa Waterkeeper (designate) John Cassani and NPR reporter Jessica Maszaros investigated the scene of a fish kill on Telegraph Creek where it runs through the Lee County Bob Janes Preserve. Tests were performed and samples taken for analysis. Results may shed light on the cause. [Actions Update] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
Great Boat Donation! (2016-11-30)
Thank you to Tom Torgerson or TPI Hospitality for his generous donation at the Cocktails & Conversations event held on Captiva Island. The Zodiac Yachtline 420 Deluxe will power one of the seven planned Calusa Waterkeeper Rangers as they travel our waterways investigating water quality issues. [Zodiac Photo 1] [Zodian Photo 2] [TPI Hospitality]
Budget Cuts (2016-11-30)
Despite the call for budget cuts from the House Speaker, Senate President Joe Negron wants the state to build a $2.4 billion reservoir to store and clean water, in western Palm Beach County. He stays optimistic that they will find revenue to meet the priorities of both the House and the Senate. [WFSU]
Riverwatch Volunteer Recruitment (2016-11-30)
On Nov 19, some potential ranger candidates attended the volunteer recruitment meeting. The ranger recruitment is still on-going. If you are interested in helping monitor the water quality of our waterways, please, do not hesitate to contact us. [Details] [Contact Us]
Please Dig Deep This Year (2016-11-30)
With the elevating of Riverwatch to a full Waterkeeper member and the hiring of staff, we need each of our members to dig deep this year when they renew their membership. Letters have been sent to all current member. Please respond soon and generously. We thank you. [Membership & Donations Request Letter] [Renewing Members] [New Members] [Donations]
Steve Berlin, Boat Surveyor (2016-11-30)
Riverwatch expresses its appreciation to Steve Berlin of Independent Marine Surveyors, Inc. for its assistance in assessing the value of boats donated to our new Waterkeeper program. [Independent Marine Surveyors, Inc.]
They Will Really Do It (2016-11-30)
DEP intends to grant Cape Coral permission to remove the Chiquita Lock so boats can get from homes to estuary more quickly. Many are objecting to this proposal but DEP under the Scott administration does not really care about environmental impacts. [Roger Wood Objection] [CRCA Report]
Recovery of The Seaside Sparrow (2016-11-30)
The Center for Biological Diversity are urging the US Army Corps of Engineers to move forward on the proposition for Everglades restoration and recovery of the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow. They ask to move more water to the East, to Northeast Shark River Slough, a historical path. [Center for Biological Diversity] [Website]
Water Matters More Than Lawns (2016-11-30)
With 15 million new residents due to arrive here in the next half century, Floridians need to seriously reduce our water consumption. John Moran asks Floridians to stop spending so much water and fertilizer in lawns and to realize what is really important: to have enough good drinking water. [News-Press]
Dec 8 EAA Reservoir Rally (2016-11-30)
On Dec 8, a rally is organized to support senator Negron’s EAA Land Purchase Plan & save the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Rick Scott has to make a decision and we do not want it to be at the cost of the environment again. The rally will be held from 11 am to 12 pm at West Palm Beach. [Flyer] [Video] [Facebook Event]
Abrubt Climate Change (2016-11-30)
Climate expert Paul Beckwith says we can no longer hope to halt abrupt climate change by reducing GHG emissions. We now must also deliberately cool the Arctic and also remove CO2 from the atmosphere. He explains how and why this year the Arctic is failing to form sea ice. It is unprecedented. [Explained Part 1] [Explained Part 2] [Paul Beckwith]
Greed VS The Everglades (2016-11-29)
Mary Barley, explains how the greed of Big Sugar and corruption in politics are destroying the Everglades. 75% of the voters approved the Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment but nothing has been done. Big Sugar does not want to sell its land and politicians do not want to offend Big Sugar. [Miami Herald]
Focus Restoration Efforts North (2016-11-29)
Samuel E. Poole, does not agree with the storage and treatment project South of the Lake. He believes that the first priority should be to stop the nutrients from entering the Lake with treatment facilities North of the Lake. We could, thus, protect the Lake and estuaries from toxic algae bloom. [Tampa Bay Times]
Lake Okeechobee Level (2016-11-29)
Lake O. level dropped nearly a foot during November and is now under 15 feet. The lake level is not likely to drop low enough to trigger water shortage before summer. Apparently, the lake is in good shape for agriculture irrigation and drinking water supplies in case of drought. [Sun Sentinel]
Florida Conservation Voters (2016-11-29)
Florida Conservation Voters was founded with the goal to make the environment a key issue in elections. The last elections were successful for the local ballots on Conservation 20/20, Save Our Indian River Lagoon and Wild Spaces & Public Places. Another victory was the rejection of Amendment 1. [2016 Election Report] [Website]
Climate Change a Hoax? (2016-11-28)
After describing climate change as a hoax, Trump is now admitting some connectivity with human activity... He says he keep an open mind about withdrawing the USA from the Paris agreement. Such an action would set back international efforts to limit rising temperature. [CNBC]
Birth of Caloosahatchee River (2016-11-28)
14,000 years ago, during the last glacial period, the peninsula of Florida emerged. Over the thousands of years, the peninsula has changed . The ice melted, rising the sea level, sculpting the coasts and lakes of Florida. 5,000 years ago, the Caloosahatchee River was born. [News-Press]
Trump Effect on Florida (2016-11-28)
Trump knows well Florida. He lives here, has property and business here. Many of his campaign promises could have a direct negative impact on Florida. For example: expanding offshore drilling and reducing regulation and spending would have a bad effect on the environment. [Tallahassee Democrat]
No Arctic Ocean Drilling (2016-11-28)
It is recognized by a large majority that Arctic drilling is too risky and dirty to allow. For Karen Scherer, it is good news for Floridians that the government does not allow offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean. More than ever, Florida is concerned by the consequences of climate change. [News-Press Mailbag]
Pulse Flow Mitigates Harm (2016-11-28)
The Army Corps of Engineers releases Lake O water in "pulses" designed to mimic the natural flow of water after rains. Those stoppages, even though they were just a couple of days each time, really helped keep the oysters around the Stuart alive in 2016. [TC Palm]
Sustainability of the Estuary (2016-11-23)
The NWNA and the CHNEP held a workshop on Sept 29, to explore challenges, and to identify strategies for balancing growth with restoring estuary health in Northwest Cape Coral. The CHNEP may organize a workshop on tidal creeks after the Charlotte Harbor Watershed Summit on March 28-30. [Workshop Report]
Cocktails & Conversations (2016-11-23)
Jack Green, CRCA Executive Director & John Cassani, our first Waterkeeper, spoke at the Nov 9 Cocktails & Conversations. Thank you to our sponsors Sanibel Captiva Bank and Tween Water Inn, event organizers Rob Wilson and Mary Rawl, and generous donors Robin Krivanek, David Laties & John Gucciardo. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
Billys Creek Cleanup Success (2016-11-23)
Over the past four semesters, more than 150 volunteers have spent well over 600 hours collectively working to help ensure the waterway stays clean. During the Nov 4 event, over 60 volunteers removed 8 cubic yards of trash from the waterway. They accomplished 6 work week of service in one morning. [Billy's Creek Story] [Website]
New Paddle-Craft Launch (2016-11-23)
A $56,300 project was done in September to renovate all the dock and launch area by Riverside Park in Bonita Springs. The reconfiguration of the launch is more suitable for canoe, kayak and paddle-board. No need to climb down a slippery sandy, grassy embankment to climb aboard craft anymore. [News-Press]
Aggression at Standing Rock (2016-11-23)
Waterkeeper Alliance is denouncing again the aggressive methods used against peaceful protesters at Standing Rock, who are asking for law and order from a criminal enterprise. Make your voice heard with Waterkeeper Alliance by calling President Obama, demanding a halt to the Dakota Access Pipeline. [Waterkeeper Alliance Message] [Waterkeeper Alliance Website]
26th Water Resources Conference (2016-11-23)
The Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference has announced the lineup of speakers for the 26th conference to be held on Jan 13. The topic is about the need of cooperation from all elements of society to improve the water system. Carol Collier of Drexel University is keynote speaker. [Florida Weekly] [Conference Press Release] [Conference Program]
Miami Dredging Killing Coral (2016-11-23)
Dredging at PortMiami to make way for massive ships killed far more coral than the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicted. A study says sediment spread across an area about 14 times bigger than allowed. The severity and the extent of the sediment impacts on the reef were underestimated by the Coprs. [Miami Herald]
Move Faster With Funding (2016-11-22)
The project of a reservoir south of Lake O is scheduled to begin in 2021, but it could get started sooner if funding were available. Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds says the storage south of the lake is the next major planning effort for the Everglades restoration project. [WMFE]
Unprecedented! (2016-11-22)
Polar night, when the sun never rises in the Arctic, typically triggers rapid ice growth as bitter cold sets in. However 2016 temperatures are a shocking 20 degrees C (38 degrees F) above average. Graphs of ice area show low seasonal ice patterns never before seen since record keeping began. [CNN] [Snopes]
Red Herring in The Water (2016-11-22)
Do not be fooled says Tom Grier. The Mitch Hutchcraft commentary was another effort to stop Lake O water from going south and impacting Sugar. Tom Grier does not believe the C-43 reservoir will be good for the river, it will just allow to send dirty water during wet AND dry season in the river. [News-Press Mailbag] [Mitch Hutchcraft Commentary]
Earmarks for Water Projects (2016-11-22)
Florida Rep. Tom Rooney wants to bring earmarks back. He offered a proposal that would allow lawmakers to designate money for water projects. The proposal is echoed by other lawmakers who feel the executive branch has too much authority, letting them decide to fund or not projects. [Tampa Bay Times]
BP Oil in the Food Chain (2016-11-21)
A study proved that the disastrous BP oil spill in Gulf of Mexico, in 2010, has officially enter the food chain on the long-term. The scientists found oil carbon signatures consistent with the Deepwater Horizon event in each of 10 birds tested. Oil likely entered the food chain through zooplankton. [EcoWatch]
Fish Kill in Matchala (2016-11-21)
Large numbers of dead fish appeared in the area of Matchala. A map released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission shows concentrations of red tide in the area, but people are suspicious and some are wondering whether the toxic algae is to blame for the dead fish. [NBC 2] [Wink News]
EPA to Be Abolished? (2016-11-21)
One of Trump campaign promise was to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Treasure Coast environmentalists are hoping it will not become presidential action. Indeed the Indian River Lagoon Council received $625,000 from the EPA this year for research and restoration projects. [TC Palm]
Say No to Dakota Access Pipeline (2016-11-18)
Marc grew up next to the Susquehanna River, Pennsylvania, spending most of his time playing in the river. In Oct, the rupture of a gas pipeline spilled 55,000 gallons of oil in the river. Marc says no to Dakota Access Pipeline. Pipelines are not safe and fossil fuels should stay underground. [Waterkeeper Alliance Message] [Susquehanna Riverkeeper] [Waterkeeper Alliance]
They Will All Fail Eventually (2016-11-18)
Looking at a map of the past and current gypsum stack failures, it is obvious that these waste ponds on sink hole-prone land are guaranteed to eventually fail and contaminate groundwater. DEP's own assessment now admits this same reality. The question is, what to do now? [ABC Action News] [Florida Sinkhole Poster] [Sinkhole Mosaic Map] [News Box 1] [News Box 2]
Caloosahatchee Nov 8-14 (2016-11-18)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 during the past week dropped to one third of the previous week averaging 782 cfs. Lake Okeechobee discharges to the river, measured at S-77, decreased to an average of 1,014 cfs. The USACE reduced flows to the Caloosahatchee to a 7-day average pulse of 650 cfs. [Condition Report] [Table] [More SCCF Report]
Leland Comments on Hutchcraft (2016-11-17)
About the article of Mitch Hutchcraft for News-Press, Leland Garvin comments: Exactly what I would expect to hear from an Everglades sugar grower whose linkedin profile says his job at King Ranch is protection of assets from changing regulations, long term value enhancement of real estate assets. [Linkedin Profile] [News-Press] [Comments] [Internet Profile]
False Promise South of The Lake (2016-11-17)
M. Hutchcraft of King Ranch serves on the SFWMD Governing Board. He says the C-43 Reservoir and other investments in more water storage North of the Lake are good solutions while sending water South is false promise distracting from real progress. [News-Press] [Comments]
Treatment of Indian River Lagoon (2016-11-17)
A new technology developed by Greenfield Resources, can treat water pollution without any chemical, using electrical current. The company will test the treatment on the water of the canal flowing to the Lagoon. It could be a solution to reduce bacteria and toxic algae concentration. [TC Palm] [Greenfield Resources Technology]
Waterkeeper Alliance Stands Up (2016-11-17)
On Nov 15, Waterkeper Alliance President, Robert F. Kennedy Jr, stood on the front line of Standing Rock to support their fight. He calls for the end of Dakota Access Pipeline project and denounces the deployment of police and military power against peaceful citizens. [Waterkeeper Alliance] [Video] [Website]
Too Clean Water Can Kill (2016-11-16)
To overcome drought, Israel supplies desalinated drinking water to 80% of the population, since 2005. 11 years later, an increase in mortality following the switch to desalinated water was noticed. The inaction of the government brings to mind the disaster of Flint, Michigan. [Haaretz]
Running Out of Water by 2070 (2016-11-16)
If building trends continue along their path, it could bring 15 million more people to Florida by 2070 and paved more than 1/3 of Florida. Under the current development patterns, the water use will double and such amount of water is not available in Florida. Solutions are to change our use of water. [Florida Today] [Sun Sentinel]
Accelerate Everglades Restoration (2016-11-16)
The Everglades are unique and iconic landscape, unlike any other in the world. The water management system has resulted in massive fish kills and state of emergency. Rob Moher wants the community to speak with a unified voice to accelerate effort to restore the Everglades. [Sun Sentinel] [Conservancy of Southwest Florida]
Hypocritical Denial (2016-11-16)
How can coastal communities expect all Floridians or any other Americans to pay for their beach restoration when they deliberately elect people who deny the human causes of the long-term beach losses, climate change and sea level rise. Pumping sand is a band-aid; we need long-term solutions too. [Naples Daily News]
No Changes Despite 20/20 Passage (2016-11-15)
83% votes gave the endorsement to the 20/20 land purchase program on Election Day. But the current set of county commissioners have absolutely no intention of changing their breakneck pace of development and disregard for environmental impacts. BOCC member Pendergrass comments make that very clear. [News-Press]
CRCA Co-hosts Water Conference (2016-11-15)
Registration for 26th Annual Water Resources Conference to be held Jan 13 at FGCU is now open. The theme of this year is: Cooperative Solutions: Working Together to Address Water Challenges. This will be the 11th year CRCA-Riverwatch has co-hosted the event. [Conference Committee Announcement] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Website]
Call for Support to CWA (2016-11-15)
Carl Veaux is calling for support to stop the boardwalk that is supposed to be built on the beach in Estero Bay. It concerns a Critical Wildlife Area, where shore birds nest and rest. Email the Fort Myers Beach town offices to express your support to protect these CWA by Nov 16. [News-Press] [Critical Wildlife Areas]
Starting Dry-Season Mode (2016-11-14)
Dry-season discharge patterns began Nov 11 with reduced Lake O releases to the Caloosahatchee. Flow is reduced to a weekly average of 650 cubic feet per second. Col. Jason Kirk recognizes much need to be done to create a water management system, more environmentally friendly, in South Florida. [WINK News] [Graph]
Beaches Washing Away (2016-11-14)
Beaches in Florida are shrinking. More than a third of the shoreline has lost ground over the past five decades...and it will get worse. The state receives more than $3 billion in sales taxes from tourists to beach counties but no amount of money will keep up with beach losses from sea level rise. [Naples Daily News] [Video]
Phosphate Mining Pollution (2016-11-14)
Morocco and Western Sahara have around 75% of global reserve of phosphate rock. Miners have poor protection and are exposed to toxic dust and gases. A lot of workers are diagnosed with cancers and tumors but the companies deny the connection and nothing is done for the safety of the miners. [The Guardian]
Overview of Ecological Conditions (2016-11-11)
A SFWMD presentation gives an overview of the ecological conditions from Kissimmee River to Florida Bay. It details the conditions of Lake O since last year, for example, on algae bloom or aquatic vegetation. It also shows the conditions of St Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries concerning salinity. [SFWMD Presentation]
The Standing Rock Protestation (2016-11-11)
Camille Seaman immortalized a historical moment: the Standing Rock protesters trying to block construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would cut through tribal lands and threaten the water supply. For her, this is also an opportunity to shift away from fossil fuels. [TED] [Gallery of Portraits]
Endangered Species VS Water (2016-11-11)
There is no easy solution to reduce the discharge of water to estuaries. Here is an other reason: we cannot discharge water to the Everglades between Feb. and Aug. as it could impact the endangered seaside sparrow, nesting 6 inches off the ground. Is it now about choosing which species can survive? [News-Press]
The Massive Effect of One Man (2016-11-10)
Trump promised to withdraw the USA from the Paris Agreement and to terminate Obama’s Clean Power Plan. His election might have a massive effect on Earth's fate. If actually implemented then Trump’s policies will likely ensure that the global temperature rises higher than 1.5 degrees Celsius. [The Atlantic]
The Waterkeeper Alliance Message (2016-11-10)
Despite the results of US Presidential elections, which does not sound favorable to environmental protection, the Waterkeeper Alliance ensures that they will not stop fighting. Waterkeepers must keep in mind that they must stay united, fight for clean water and our future more than ever. [Waterkeeper Alliance Message] [Website]
Florida 2070 Project (2016-11-10)
The University of Florida's Geoplan Center, FDACS and 1000 Friends of Florida are hosting a free Water 2070 Webinar on Nov 17 from 12 to 1:30. Florida 2070 project assesses the growth in population in Florida and its impact, and gives alternative solutions to limit the negative effects. [Webinar] [Florida 2070]
Changes at the Conservancy (2016-11-10)
Jennifer Hecker has been with the Conservancy of Southwest Florida for more than 12 years. She advocated for Everglades restoration project and cleaner water in Caloosahatchee River. She is now the new executive director of Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program. [News-Press]
Caloosahatchee Nov 1-7 (2016-11-10)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 2,163 cfs, dropping below the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake Okeechobee discharges to the river, measured at S-77, decreased to an average of 2,081 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 during the past week averaged 406 cfs. [Condition Report] [Graph] [More SCCF Report]
Are the Things Really Changing? (2016-11-09)
Paul Reynolds denounces the too powerful sugar industry in Florida that is blocking the process of solving the water crisis. Building reservoirs all around the Lake cannot be a safe and sustainable solution. The only way would be to treat the water, with marsh filters, and send it south. [News-Press]
Amendment 1 Rejected (2016-11-09)
Solar Amendment 1 garnered less than 51% of the vote. It needed 60% to pass. Florida big energy companies were the biggest donors to the $26 million campaign, 100 more than what the opponents spent. In the end, the victory is for the little ones. It is one of the most expensive failed ballot. [News-Press]
Pull the Plug to Get Water South (2016-11-09)
We need a solution now for the water discharge of Lake O. As good as the EAA reservoir seems to be, it will not give any result before ten years. Dave Ulrich ask for action now to send more water from the WCA to Florida Bay, taking into account sparrow nesting areas and phosphorus levels. [News-Press]
Waterkeeper Membership Proposal (2016-11-09)
On Nov 8 Riverwatch submitted a proposal to Waterkeeper Alliance to upgrade our status from affiliate to full member. If the proposal is approved by the Alliance on Dec 23, CRCA will change its name to Calusa Waterkeeper becoming part of the largest non-profit organization focused on clean water. [Waterkeeper Proposal] [Waterkeeper Alliance Website]
Calusa Waterkeeper Selected (2016-11-07)
Career scientist and outspoken water advocate John Cassani has been selected to become the Calusa Waterkeeper. This title becomes effective once Waterkeeper Alliance approves the application submitted by CRCA Riverwatch to become a full Waterkeeper member organization. [John Cassani Resume] [John Cassani Bio] [John Cassani Photo]
Call for Water Quality Sentries (2016-10-30)
Riverwatch seeks volunteers to help monitor the quality of area waterways (Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, Charlotte Harbor, the Caloosahatchee River, and Lake Okeechobee). Those interested may attend a volunteer recruitment meeting at 9am on Nov 19 in Ft. Myers. [Meeting Announcement]
Executive Director Selected (2016-11-07)
Jack Green who spent his career in the Coast Guard and later served as Fort Myers Beach Director of Public Works (including responsibilities for water utilities) has been selected as the Executive Director for CRCA-Riverwatch, which will soon change its name to Calusa Waterkeeper. [Jack Green resume] [Jack Green bio]
Look North of Lake Okeechobee (2016-11-08)
Melanie Peterson, member of SFWMD governing board, supports the idea of water storage north Lake O. 92% of water flowing into the Lake comes from north and so do most of harmful nutrients. According to her, northern storage provides greater flexibility and treatment before water enter the lake. [Orlando Sentinel]
Mt St Helen Eruption Every 3 Days (2016-11-08)
The volcanic eruption of Mt. St Helen in 1980 is considered as a significant one. A comparison has been made for CO2 emissions between a volcano eruption and human activities. The passenger vehicle in the USA only emit as much CO2 as a Mt St Helen eruption happening every 3 days in America. [Skeptical Science] [Illustration] [Comments] [CO2 Level Graph]
Build an EAA Reservoir (2016-11-08)
Eric Eikenberg points out the importance of water storage to economy of Florida. Because of toxic algae, tourists have ran away. The economic loss do not end on the coasts. If we do not send more water south, the Everglades could become the only desert that gets 60 inches of annual rainfall. [TC Palm] [Comments]
Red Tide Persists in SW Florida (2016-11-07)
Red tide is still occurring in Southwest Florida, from Pinellas to northern Collier County. It mainly persists in Sarasota and also in southern counties in lower concentrations. Fish kills have been reported but no respiratory irritation over the first week of November. [Fl Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
Audubon Breakfast in News-Press (2016-11-07)
For the Sunday News Press of Nov 6, the media published photos covering Audubon Environmental Breakfast, held on Oct 27. The article mentions the main topic: Lee County conservation 20/20 program and also the award of the conservationist of the year, attributed to Carl Veaux. [News-Press Part 1] [News-Press Part 2]
Cocktails & Conversations (2016-10-13)
Want to hear all the facts about our River and Estuaries that you will not hear anywhere else? Please join us on November 9th at Tween Waters Inn. We need your help to keep our water clean. Enjoy great food and drink while our guest speakers discuss problems and solutions and what we can do to help. [Event Poster] [Details] [Register]
News-Press for Water Quality (2016-11-07)
Bob Holder thanks News-Press for informing the public on water quality. But he also notes an important missing information. Apparently, the US sugar industry accounted for 40% of lobbying expenditures and is dispensing favors to politicians who maintain policies to protect the industry, not water. [News-Press Mailbag] [Cartoon]
1975 Lake Okeechobee Report (2016-11-07)
The preface to the 1975 Lake O water quality warning report included a quote: Scientists will have to persuade the world to listen to what they have discovered. If they cannot succeed in this difficult enterprise, man will destroy himself by his halfway cleverness. - Bertrand Russell [1975 Report]
Billys Creek Cleanup (2016-11-04)
The CRCA-hosted Billys Creek cleanup was successful. More than 50 students plus a dozen community volunteers joined the event on Nov 4. Huge piles of trash from the Creek and the new Ford Street filter marsh were collected. TV stations covered the event. Many thanks to Felicia Nudo, the organizer. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Wink News Video] [More Coverage]
WKA Calls on President Obama (2016-11-04)
Waterkeeper Alliance called for the President, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to order a halt to work on the Dakota Access Pipeline until a full analysis of the impacts to the natural & cultural resources. WKA is supporting the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to protect water, sacred sites. [Waterkeeper Alliance] [Take Action] [Letter to President Obama] [Twitter]
UN Climate Change Conference (2016-11-04)
Rock Aboujaoude Jr, a Univ of Florida student from LaBelle represented US students at the UN climate change youth conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, Nov 3-6. Rock studies in the Food & Resource Economics Department. He traveled to Marrakech to talk about US student & NGO activities on climate change. [Morning Ag Clips] [Photo 2] [Press Release] [Photo 3] [COY12] [COP22]
Caloosahatchee Oct 25-31 (2016-11-04)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 2,965 cfs, over the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake Okeechobee discharges to the river, measured at S-77, decreased to an average of 2,674 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 during the past week averaged 703 cfs. [Condition Report] [Table] [More SCCF Report]
Hunt for Green Mussels (2016-11-04)
Florida Department of Environmental Protection staff at Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves have reported an increase of exotic green mussels, native to the Pacific Ocean. They are asking the community to report sightings. This species can be problematic because they can form dense mats very quickly. [Department of Environmental Protection] [Contact to Report Sightings]
Before the Flood (2016-11-03)
Leonardo Dicaprio gives, in this movie, a large overview of the climate change situation nowadays. All over the world, the threat is real and the consequences are already happening. No more talk, no more excuses, no more 10-year studies. It is time to act. Free access video on Internet until Nov 5. [Skeptical Science] [Documentary Video]
Failure of Toxic Rule (2016-11-03)
Mary C. Christman, bio-statistician, addressed a letter to the EPA, to give technical comments on the new water quality rule. Statistical details are insufficient to review the method. She highlights the difficulty to determine if the criteria are adequately protective for Floridians. [Florida Clean Water Network] [Revision of Water Quality Criteria]
Lake O Business Alliance (2016-11-03)
Lake Okeechobee Business Alliance is launching a protest on Nov 5 in Clewiston, against the project to build a reservoir South Lake O. the members claim their non-profit group is not an industry front. They fear the project will destroy the local economy, jobs and way of life. [WFSU] [Lake Okeechobee Business Alliance]
Ghost Forests (2016-11-03)
While freshwater is killing the estuary during the wet season, rising seas are pushing to much saltwater into the coastal wetlands, killing the trees and turning these stands of hardwoods into ghost forests. This is occurring from Florida to New Jersey, and it is about to become a worldwide problem. [Yale Environment 360]
Caution! Manatees Are Back (2016-11-02)
November is the beginning of migration season for Florida manatees. The FWC reminds people in boats and personal watercrafts to use cation while on the waters. In Feb 2016, 6,250 manatees were counted in Florida waters but sadly, there have been 91 manatee fatalities caused by boat strikes in 2016. [My Sun Coast]
Fields of Filth (2016-11-02)
Smithfield Foods, the pork producer has created fields of filth that are polluting the waterways of North Carolina. All the waste produced by the swine are stored in huge open-air pits that are not handled properly. The Waterkeeper Alliance need your help to support Pur Farm, Pur Water campaign. [Waterkeeper Alliance Mail] [Field of Filth] [Donation]
The US Army Corps Progress (2016-11-02)
Col. Jason Kirk from the US Army Corps summarizes the progress of Everglades restoration. From the Kissimee River restoration, to the east and west Lake O reservoirs, the aim is to improve the water flow and send more water south of Lake O. The work is in progress from the US Army Corps viewpoint. [News-Press]
Worst Year Ever (2016-11-02)
According to flow estimates reported by the Corps of Engineers, the Caloosahatchee has delivered harmful volumes of water to the estuary for 232 of the 285 days (81%) in 2016. This is more days than any year since records began in 1963. The previous record was 2005 with 230 days. [Daily Flows at Franklin Lock] [Press Release PDF] [Days per Year]
EBAP 50th Anniversary (2016-11-02)
The Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve (EBAP) will celebrate its 50th Anniversary Dec 2 at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs. On the program, a dinner, a silent auction, the Living Waters exhibit of photographer Clyde Butcher, and presentations of the past, present and future of the EBAP. [Invitation] [Save the Date Card] [Mail] [Estero Bay Buddies]
Scientists Stand Their Ground (2016-11-01)
Saying what politicians do not want to hear can be risky for a career. This is what professor Marc Edward did. He spoke up about the polluted drinking water from the Flint River. In Florida, scientists and officials have been fired for questioning the progress of the state in solving a water crisis. [Florida Weekly] [Web Article]
Investigation on Owls Killing (2016-11-01)
Law enforcement is investigating what appears to be the deliberately killing of a family of burrowing owls. These owls are a "species of special concern" resulting in protective laws for them and their habitat. Occasionally landowners purge protected species from their land to avoid regulations. [News-Press] [Video]
Holistic Approach to Water (2016-11-01)
Mali Soto Gardner wants clean water for Lake O. If the water must be sent south, it must be clean water. To truly address this issue, we must look at the entire natural water system, from Kissimee River to Florida Bay, not just focus on the Lake. We need a holistic approach. [News-Press Mailbag]
Public Relations Reservoir Mirage (2016-10-31)
C-43 Reservoir is not a cost-effective solution to estuary problems. Denying this publicly it nevertheless pushes the project farther into the future, not wanting to lose this public relations valued mirage. Since proposing it in 1996, SFWMD has slid the project farther into the future, now to 2024. [2015 Schedule] [2016 Schedule] [Reservoir Mirage Schedule]
October 2016 Newsletter (2016-10-31)
The October 2016 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [October Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]
Mother of the Rouge (2016-10-31)
Back in her home country, CRCA member Lois James is known as the Mother of the Rouge, the only viable wilderness watershed remaining in the Toronto area. She has spent more than 50 years devoted to the protection of the river. For her accomplishment, she was awarded in 2003 the Order of Canada. [] [Ganaraska Forest]
Contamination Partially Resolved (2016-10-31)
Florida Power & Light began work to clean up an underground plume of extremely salty and toxic water flowing from its nuclear power plant. An advocacy group says the plan will not stop the pollution, only clean up the old pollution. The underground plume is consuming potential drinking water. [My Palm Beach Post]
Ailing Rivers (2016-10-31)
Digging canals to drain the excess water of Florida changed the hydrology, causing damage to the rivers. Now the challenge is to reverse the past water management strategy in favor of cleaner water. This will require massive volumes of storage, north, south, east and west of Lake O. [News-Press]
November CRCA Board Meeting (2016-10-31)
CRCA-Riverwatch Directors will meet on Wed, Nov 2, at Evans Pizza in Fort Myers (next to Oasis Towers) at 2975 Palm Beach Blvd in Ft Myers. We will finalize action on letters of appointment for our Waterkeeper and Executive Director as well as approve our Waterkeeper full member application. [Evans Pizza]
License to Kill (2016-10-30)
It may be MS4 rather than 007, but it is still a license to kill - in this case our aquatic ecosystems. MS4 is the Cape's stormwater permit from Florida DEP allowing storm water pollution, including our anemic efforts to reduce nitrogen and phosphorus discharges to the river and estuary. [Lee Co MS4 Permit]
Audubon Environmental Breakfast (2016-10-28)
More than 110 people attended Audubon's Annual Environmental Breakfast. Carl Veaux spoke to the audience accepting the Conservationist of the Year award presented by Dan Van Norman, President of Audubon of SW Florida. Riverwatch director Wayne Daltry assisted Dan in organizing the event. [Carl Veaux] [Frank Mann] [Audience] [Audubon SW Florida]
Save Our Water Summit (2016-10-28)
Save Our Water Summit held on Oct 26 drew hundreds of people. This year has been particularly devastating for the Caloosahatchee River. Almost everyone agrees the solution is to build huge reservoirs. But there is serious disagreement on the types of reservoirs and where they should be located. [News-Press] [Comments] [Photo]
Caloosahatchee Oct 18 - 24 (2016-10-28)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 3,638 cfs, over the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake O discharges to the river, measured at S-77, decreased to an average of 3,133 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 averaged 604 cfs. [Condition Report] [Table] [More SCCF Report]
Pollution-Notification Rule (2016-10-28)
The proposed pollution-notification rule ordered by Gov. Scott is raising lots of questions from the industry. They criticize the exltremly vague definition of pollution in the statute and the fact that minor incidents would cost a lot to the companies and may lead to "uncontrolled public hysteria". [The Ledger] [Cartoon]
The EAA Under Water (2016-10-27)
If Caloosahatchee and St Lucie Rivers were not connected to Lake O as before, how much the EAA would be covered in water? Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch tried to imagine: only for St Lucie discharge, 90% of the EAA would be covered. Caloosahatchee discharge is 3 times higher so it would be lots of water! [Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch Article] [Map] [Cartoon]
Support 20/20 Program (2016-10-27)
Lee County Conservation 20/20 is a 20 year-old environmental land buying program. A referendum is on Lee County ballots. Supporters of 20/20 are optimistic of its passage as there is no apparent organized opposition. They hope for public support to strengthen the program and ensure a good future. [News-Press] [News-Press: 5 Facts] [Conservation 20/20] [Yes 20/20]
Southern Flow Not a Silver Bullet (2016-10-27)
Water releases from Lake O have been disastrous for estuaries. The best solution seems to be sending more water south. But it is not that simple, as it could bring new problem in the Everglades. It's a shared adversity, a situation in which one area of the system may flourish while another fails. [News-Press Story] [Cartoon]
Land Purchase 20 Years Later... (2016-10-27)
The project to build a reservoir south of Lake O has been discussed for more than 20 years now and there is not much progress in 2016. Indeed, the execution is not planning to start the project until 2020 and the purchase of the lands is far from reaching the initial goals of 194,000 acres. [News-Press] [SCCF] [Map of EAA Land Use]
Pipeline Project Threatens Rivers (2016-10-27)
Environmental groups seek to block the construction of the Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline by filing a motion for a stay of the FERC order. The Sabal Trail pipeline would affect 83.7% of the environmental justice communities, threatening the Flint, Chattahoochee, and private property. [Press Release] [Flint Riverkeeper]
A Wolf in Sheeps Clothing (2016-10-27)
Joan Marshall denounces the dishonest appeals of the utilities who ask Florida voters to support Amendment 1. From now until 2025, the utilities' approach will increase renewable energy from 1% to only 2% of Florida power. However, Joan believes we can do far more if we vote against Amendment 1. [News-Press ] [Cartoon]
Ding Darling Water Exhibit (2016-10-26)
Ding Darling Visitor & Education Center will be hosting a free Soak-It-In Speaker Series on select Fridays at 1 pm from Oct 28 to Dec 7. The exhibit will take a global look at water relative to environment, culture, history, and spirituality. Admission is free but limited on a first-come basis. [News-Press] [Event]
Mary Ann Parsons (2016-10-26)
Former Riverwatch director Mary Ann Parsons is a volunteer Lee County Master Gardener who teaches Florida Yards & Neighborhoods classes of UF IFAS. She uses her knowledge to help undo decades of urban and agricultural land management practices that helped create the Cape Coral algal blooms. [News-Press]
Now or Neverglades Tour (2016-10-26)
The Everglades Foundation launched 12-day bus tour to drum up public support for the purchase of sugar land in the EAA. The bus will stop at several place in South Florida. The goal is to have people weigh in on the Legislature decision to get the money in the budget and start taking action. [Tampa Bay Times] [Road Trip to Restoration] [Now or Neverglades Declaration]
National Problem of Algae Bloom (2016-10-26)
Toxic algae blooms do not only concern South Florida; they are a global problem. The U.S. Geological Survey shows toxic algae blooms are implicated in human and animal illness and death in at least 43 states. Nutrients from fertilizers and septic tanks and a warming climate fuel their development. [WMFE] [National Algae Distribution Map] [NOAA Operational Conditions Reports]
226 Days of Harm (2016-10-25)
2016 has surpassed 1995 to become the second worst year for the number of days that the Caloosahatchee River delivered harmful volumes of water to the Estuary. With 2016 recording 226 days, only 2005 was worse with 230 days. Record keeping began at S-79 (Franklin Lock) in 1963. [Press Release] [Days of Harm by Year] [Total & Harm Volumes by Year] [Lake vs Watershed]
Annual Environmental Breakfast (2016-10-25)
Audubon of Southwest Florida organizes its 19th Annual Environmental Breakfast on Oct. 27 at 7am, with coffee and breakfast served at 730 am, at Riverside Community Center, Fort Myers. They will have a panel on 20/20. Please, RSVP to Audubon of SW FL at [Cape Coral Daily Breeze] [Audubon SW FL]
Study of Global Warming Effects (2016-10-25)
The WHOI published a study about the effect of changing ocean temperature on phytoplankton. This could be the key to understand how marine ecosystems are responding to shifts in climate. Researcher are watching the balance of bacteria and consumers and bloom cycle year after year. [National Science Foundation]
Trump Flies Over Everglades (2016-10-25)
Joking about the gators and snakes in the Florida Everglades, Trump comments that its better to go around them or to have a good helicopter. But he said that he would work to protect the Everglades nevertheless. He promised to repair the dike around Lake O and upgrade water and wastewater treatment. [Daily Mail]
Worst Year Ever For Crabbers (2016-10-25)
Frank Rogus has been crabbing the Caloosahatchee for decades. He says this has been the worst year ever to be a crabber. He says the crabs want nothing to do with our river these days. They run for the Gulf whenever flow is high and the water bad. [News Press Video]
C-43 Reservoir Project (2016-10-24)
Gene Gibson expresses Riverwatch's opinion on C-43 Reservoir in an editorial. This project is not as good as it seemed to be when first discussed 20 years ago. This project lacks a water quality component and poses safety issues. Riverwatch supports the proposal for storage/treatment around Lake O. [Environmental Editorials] [Gene Gibson] [Gibson Editorial] [Integrated Delivery Schedule] [Cartoon]
Hero in Flint Water Crisis (2016-10-24)
Marc Edwards, a civil and environmental engineering professor, revealed drinking water in Washington, D.C and Flint were not safe. Twice, the federal governments did not welcome his findings. He is set to come to Florida Southwestern State College in November to share his story. [Naples Daily News]
Serious in Decades or Centuries (2016-10-24)
Thawing of the Antarctic Thwaites Glacier could have an enormous impact on the world. The rate of ice loss accounts for about 10 percent of global sea level rise. The glacier contains enough water to produce more than 9 feet of global sea level rise. Its collapse could have huge consequences. [National Science Foundation]
Discharge Reduction from Lake O (2016-10-21)
Lake O discharges to the St. Lucie River will decrease again on Oct 21. The Army Corps of Engineers will reduce the discharges from about 1.16 billion gallons to 756.2 million gallons a day. The release is still very high but fortunately algae blooms are less likely now that the water is cooler. [TC Palm] [S-80 to St Lucie River]
Caloosahatchee River Situation (2016-10-21)
This article gives an overview of the situation of Caloosahatchee River, from the water release of Lake O to the consequences on the estuary. It also explains the impact of large amount of freshwater in the estuary and the toxic algae bloom on the touristic economy, vital for South Florida. [News-Press]
To Build or Not to Build (2016-10-21)
The Lee County League of Women Voters will meet on Nov 5, at The Helm Club at The Landings, Ft Myers. Wayne E. Daltry, who cares deeply about the preservation of the environment, will be speaking. The topic is To Build or Not to Build, and what areas should be protected from excessive development. [Event] [League of Women Voters]
Rock Mining Is Not Conservation (2016-10-20)
Conservation 20/20 program buys lands in Lee County to preserve environmentally critical lands. Even so, full protection cannot be guaranteed since the underground rights can be owned by another party. Thus mining and oil drilling are possible on conservation lands. [News-Press] [Conservation 20/20]
Caloosahatchee Oct 11 - 17 (2016-10-20)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 5,795 cfs, over twice the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake O discharges to the river, measured at S-77, increased to an average of 5,331 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 averaged 616 cfs. [Graph] [Condition Report] [More SCCF Report]
Pollution & Public Relations (2016-10-20)
After the sinkhole at Mosaic plant became public, the main problems discussed were the risk of pollution and also why it took so long to inform the public? This question led Gov. R. Scott to enact a new rule, that requires immediate disclosure to the public and the media of any pollution incident. [First Coast News]
Fixing the Sinkhole (2016-10-19)
The toxic sinkhole on Mosaic plant is at least 220-feet deep, but it is not possible to have accurate measurement. Engineers are now building a rig to use light rays to map distances. Recovery pumps are installed to retrieve the radioactive water. All of the operation can take months to be achieved. [ABC Action News]
ORCA Muck Study (2016-10-19)
Scientists from ORCA are getting samples of water and muck in C-24 Canal in St. Lucie County, to find fertilizer nutrients. The goal is to determine the source of pollution that is causing environmental devastation, and which lands are the biggest contributor. [TC Palm]
SFWMD Projects for the River (2016-10-19)
Mitch Hutchcraft, SFWMD governing board member and King Ranch rep talks about ongoing & future projects and investments to protect the river and the estuary. Creation of storage reservoirs and testing of nitrogen removal systems are long term projects started in the 1990's but still incomplete. [News-Press] [Comments] [SFWMD projects]
Water Messages of Significance (2016-10-18)
The News-Press editorial board has been watching closely the water crisis occurring in Florida. They regularly provide news articles about the different issues and different representatives. They are now hosting the event Save our Water Market Watch Summit, on Oct 26, with a team of expert speakers. [News-Press] [Expert Speakers] [Tickets]
Fracking Threatens Water Quality (2016-10-18)
Jenifer Hecker is warning about fracking that still threatens the water quality in Collier County. She considers these techniques risky and irresponsible without any independent scientific risk assessment. To learn more about this topic, join the 2nd Florida Fracking Summit at FGCU on Nov 2. [News-Press] [Conservancy of Southwest Florida] [Florida Fracking Summit]
Indian River Lagoon Riverkeeper (2016-10-18)
Marty Baum is the Riverkeeper of the Indian River Lagoon. His job is to protect the Lagoon wildlife. The toxic algae bloom has a devastating effect on species, killing thousands of fish. The problem started in 1970s as the population of Florida increased and the sugar farms developed. [Motherboard] [Indian Riverkeeper]
Solar Amendment 1 (2016-10-17)
Rich Housh encourages the citizens to vote No on Amendment 1. According to him, it will protect utilities, not the citizens and penalized the customers. On Oct 18, an event is organized at the Concervacy of Southwst Florida to learn more about this issue. [News-Press]
U.S. Sugar & Water Quality (2016-10-17)
Malcolm "Bubba" Wade Jr. explains that U.S. Sugar has helped reduce the phosphorus in the water flowing off farms by an average of 55 percent. He also believes that additional storage south of the lake will not significantly reduce the harmful discharges from Lake O. [News-Press] [Comments]
State House for District 79 (2016-10-17)
In a letter to the editor of Lehigh Acres Citizen, Philip G. Schwartz is supporting the democrat candidate John W. Scott, running for state house for district 79. He has the conviction that John Scott will represent the people, not the big money, and fight to protect the environment of Florida. [Lehigh Acres Citizen] [Eye On Miami]
King Tides (2016-10-14)
King Tides, the annual high tides, usually arrive in fall when sea levels are higher. Tides are swelling in South Florida, boosting by offshore currents from Hurricane Nicole. The rising tides are now causing flood on the East Coast of Florida. [Sun Sentinel]
Lake O Creeping Downward (2016-10-14)
On Oct 13, Lake O level was bellow 16 feet. The US Army Corps of Engineers is now more optimistic. Flows to the Lake are decreasing: the South Florida Water Management District is holding water in the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes to the North, and hopefully drier weather will continue. [News-Press]
Drones to Monitor Water Quality (2016-10-14)
Satellite images can be used to collect water quality parameters. However, images have poor resolution and are limited to large water bodies. Conservancy scientists are now testing a new method, using drones with UAV-based monitoring systems, that could provide more accurate data. [Cool Green Science]
Trump: a Fish out of Water (2016-10-13)
Trump surely understood the concern of Floridians for Lake O, and he considers this issue as an environmental priority. His idea is simple: stop letting the water out and keeping it in the Lake, to limit droughts. Well, in the 90s, the history has proven that his idea does not hold water... [Miami News Time]
Win the Jackpot (2016-10-13)
Everglades Foundation offers $10 million to anyone who can remove phosphorus from our waters for less than $55 per pound. It only costs a farmer $2.75 per pound to buy phosphorus fertilizer. Thus the cheapest way to remove phosphorus would be to not spread P on crops and lawns in the first place. [Science Mag]
Caloosahatchee Oct 4-10 (2016-10-13)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 7,325 cfs, exceeding the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake Okeechobee discharges to the river, measured at S-77, increased to an average of 4,598 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 during the past week averaged 1,650 cfs. [Condition Report] [More SCCF Report]
Confluence of Crises in Florida (2016-10-12)
Florida is going through multiple crises, particularly its water crisis. The Sunshine State is becoming less and less attractive to tourists and it is now urgent to solve these issues. Solutions require political attention both during and after election. [TC Palm] [Cartoon]
Save Our Creeks Annual Meeting (2016-10-12)
Please join us for our annual business meeting and hike on Fisheating Creek, on Sunday, Nov 13, at 11 a.m. at Palmdale, FL. Save Our Creeks is a non-profit organization devoted to the general purpose of conservation of natural resources, especially creeks and small waterways. [Details] [Website]
Welcome to the Future (2016-10-12)
Owners of beach homes are facing climate change issues. Beach errosion and storm-damaged homes are the results of years of inaction on global warming. Resources better spent on climate change avoidance will instead go to insurance claims, sand pumping, and sea walls. [First Coast News]
Algae Bloom & Over-Fertilization (2016-10-12)
The recent bloom of toxic algae in South Florida is not only due to water release from Lake O but also to over-fertilization and poor land management. Indeed, global warming and the high concentration of nutrients in water, contribute to the toxic algae development. [Foodtank]
Water Realeases From Lake O (2016-10-11)
Flows from Lake O to the rivers were maximized in preparation to Matthew. Fortunately the hurricane rainfalls were not extremely heavy. But the Lake remains high (nearly 16ft) therefore flows to the Caloosahatchee have continued at more than 4000 cfs, far above the estuary harm level of 2800 cfs. [News-Press]
Billys Creek Cleanup (2016-10-11)
On Nov 4, a cleanup is organized at Billy's Creek, Ft Myers, from 9 am to 12 pm to clean all the trash and aquatic debris of the area. The Creek flows into the Caloosahatchee River. Take action to protect the river and join us for the cleanup! [Details] [Website]
Caloosahatchee District Meeting (2016-10-10)
The Charlotte County Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting a distrinct meeting on Dec 7. The purpose is to discuss the issues and opportunities about the Caloosahatchee river, such as water quality, water storage, or potential funding. [Details]
Impact of Matthew on Lake O (2016-10-10)
Lake O is very likely to reach its highest point in a decade due to hurricane Matthew. To slow the rise of the lake and be prepared for possible other hurricanes, the US Army Corps of Engineers will maximized the outflow. This will doubtlessly have a strong impact on estuaries. [Politico]
Sea-Level Rise Threat (2016-10-10)
Sea-level rise is happening in Florida. The level increases by 1 inch every ten years and the drainage system in South Florida is starting to fail. About 80% of the residents in Florida live near the coast, and over 100 million tourists visit the coast every year. it is a serious threat for Florida. [WKYC]
Water Must Go South (2016-10-10)
More than 400 billion gallons of water from lake O have gone to the Caloosahatchee river during the last 247 days. On the other hand, only 160 billion gallons have gone South to the Everglades. It is possible to save our waters if we complete the projects to send water South says Mark Perry. [TC Palm]
Toxic Rule to Arrive DOA (2016-10-07)
Representing the Florida Clean Water Network, attorney Ludder’s addressed a letter to EPA, alerting about the newly adopted water quality rule that the FDEP will soon submit for approval. Indeed, they disregard federal rules that require states to give notice to the public before the hearing. [Letter] [Florida Clean Water Network]
Who Is Wrong Is Right (2016-10-07)
Pascal a leading hydraulic scientist, mathematician and Christian philosopher explained in the 1600's how to help people change their mind. He advocated before telling them that they were wrong, it was important to tell them how they were right, so they would not feel they were completely mistaken. [Blaise Pascal Approach]
No Man-Made Climate Change (2016-10-07)
The evidence has become unmistakable: we have more floods in some places, more droughts in some others and we are recording the hottest summer in the USA this year. But still, public policy has been paralyzed, sometimes from ignorance or uncertainty, but often from deliberate misinformation. [The Washington Post]
Mangrove Mania II (2016-10-07)
On September 17, Mangrove Mania II was organized at Cape Coral. Last year, the first event was successful with 10,000 red mangroves planted. Mangroves are a necessity for an entire ecosystem. We can find them in estuaries and they shelter fish, filter water, and help offset predicted sea rise. [News-Press]
Caloosahatchee Sept 07 - 13 (2016-10-07)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased to an average of 4,597 cfs, exceeding the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake O discharges to the river measured at S-77, decreased to an average of 532 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 increased to an average of 3,006 cfs. [Conditions Report] [More SCCF Report]
SWFL Clean Water Movement (2016-10-07)
The SWFL Clean Water Movement is now forming a non-profit organization with the aim to educate people about water quality and Fort Myers Beach. It will give them a finacial backing allowing to reinforce their advocacy. [Fort Myers Beach Talk]
Downtown Boat Ramp Removal (2016-10-07)
Ft Myers City Council will very soon remove the Centennial Park public boat ramp so they can build a private hotel. The community needs a replacement ramp. Building it will take time and money. We must demand that Ft Myers take immediate action to build a replacement boat ramp. [Coastal Angler] [Downtown Boat Ramp] [CRCA Using Ramp]
Climate Scepticism and Politics (2016-10-07)
Conservative commentator Matt Drudge is accusing the government of manipulating information about hurricane Matthew to make exaggerated point on climate. An article of Skeptical Science explains how science knowledge about global warming matters more for Democrats than Republicans. [Skeptical Science] [NewsWeek]
Bring Disney Back (2016-10-06)
In a mail to News-Press, Jack Holt describes lake O. as a place better than Disney before the water issues. Now the pollution has transformed this beautiful place and it is not a touristic place anymore. Politicians must pay attention to this dramatic situation. [Mail]
Hottest Summer Nights in 2016 (2016-10-06)
The summer of 2016 had hotter nights than any summer since records began in 1895, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 2016 is likely to be the hottest year ever, with 2015 and 2014 second and third. The past 17 months have been hotter than all previous. [USA Today]
Afro-American Opinion Counts (2016-10-06)
The plan to buy up 60,000 acres for Everglades restoration concerns lands in the poor, mostly black community, South of the lake O. It is a plan designed to benefit the wealthy at the expense of another African-American community that did not have the chance to give its opinion about it. [The Huffington Post]
Audubon - SFWMD Tensions (2016-10-06)
Audubon of Florida is suggesting that the South Florida Water Management District should use its own funds to pay for the removal of invasive plant species rather than asking the federal government. The answer of SFWMD is full-throated. [My Palm Beach Post]
Keep River Hall Rural (2016-10-06)
In a mail published in News-Press, Carl Veaux gives his opinion about River Hall development. According to him, River Hall should remain rural to protect the wildlife of the area and its prime habitat. [Mail] [News-Press]
The Sun Makes Water Drinkable (2016-10-05)
A laboratory has developed a quick method to obtain drinking water by using the sun. This rectangle device, about half the size of a postage stamp, is made of glass substrate and can disinfect the water in only 20 minutes in the sunlight. [News Altas] [Illustration]
Corp Proposal for Lake O (2016-10-05)
Army Corps of Engineers plans to renovate the Herbert Hoover dike that surrounds Lake Okeechobee. But this would not completely end an ongoing push-and-pull between maintaining lake water at a level that does not overwhelm the dike, and keeping potentially harmful water out of the Caloosahatchee. [WINK News]
When Your Prognosis is Terminal (2016-10-05)
100 people gathered in Centennial Park for a water-blessing ceremony organized by Holley Rauen of Happehatchee Center in Estero. She believes in the power of prayer and sound. As in government solutions, does the prayer strategy's success require agreeing on a common prayer in which to invest? [News-Press]
Changes of Water Pollution Rules (2016-10-05)
The FL state is planning to ease some limits on potentially carcinogenic chemicals in water. While supporters consider the proposal as a safe, science-based update, opponents argue it is an industry-friendly plan that risks public health. [Sun Sentinel]
Caloosahatchee Sept 27 - Oct 03 (2016-10-05)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased to an average of 8,100 cfs, exceeding the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake O discharges to the river, measured at S-77, averaged 3,648 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 increased to an average of 2,213 cfs. [Condition Report] [More SCCF Report]
Stand Up North Florida (2016-10-05)
Stand Up North Florida is a new mystery entity asking North Florida local governments to oppose Everglades land buying proposal. Some environmentalists say this entity is a front group for the sugar industry which is also fighting the proposal. [Politico]
Water Crisis Upsets Latvala (2016-10-05)
After the accumulation of water incidents in Florida, Sen. Latvala says being very upset as it is just a fundamental responsibility of government to protect citizens and their water supply. For him, environmentalists should not be the only ones sounding the alarm. [Tampa Bay Times] [Florida Politics]
The Burden of Young People (2016-10-05)
For James Hansen, if climate is to be stabilized on the century time scale, we do not only need to reduce CO2 emissions, but to have negative CO2 emissions. The challenge of the new generation is now to find sustainable solutions to extract CO2 from the air. [Article]
Hurricane Threatens Lake O (2016-10-05)
Hurricane Matthew is heading toward South Florida this week and it is not good news for Lake O. The lake level is already high and the heavy rain of q hurricane could cause the failure of the dike. The Army Corps advised people around the lake to be prepared to take action. [Sun Sentinel]
CHNEP Watershed Summit (2016-10-04)
On March 28-30, 2017, the CHNEP hosts the Charlotte Harbor Watershed Summit to learn about current research and restoration efforts and critical environmental issues affecting the Charlotte Harbor watershed. the Summit calls for oral and poster presentations, to be submitted by 9 am Monday, Oct 17. [Submission] [Details]
Chiquita Lock Removal (2016-10-04)
FL Dept of Environmental Protection will be reviewing Cape Coral's application for permission to remove the Chiquita Lock. Lock removal will come at the expense of estuary water quality. It's a sad commentary on the lack of oversight and environmental protection by our local and state government. [NBC-2]
Finding The Guilty Party (2016-10-04)
When it comes to environmental disasters, contradictory theories are revealed to find out who is responsible. In this article, John R. Smith gives his opinion bluntly about South sugar farmers accused to pump water to Lake O. This theory, apparently, does not hold water. [Bizpac Review]
Paris Agreement Insufficient (2016-10-03)
While the European Parliament is expected to vote to ratify the Paris Climate Agreement on Oct 4, Scientists are warning that the current pledges are far from being sufficient to stay below 2 degrees. Radical changes are needed. [Common Dreams] [Inside Climate News]
Red Tide Warning (2016-10-03)
The red tide threat is spreading South from Pinellas County. This harmful bloom can cause kill fish and respiratory irritation. Water samples show red tide is present in Lee and Collier Counties but for the moment, no trace of the bloom has been found at Sanibel. [Count On 2 First] [Nature World News]
Hurricane in Caribbean (2016-09-30)
Matthew strengthened to a category 5 hurricane then weakened. Computer models expect it to head North but there is no certitude about its impact on Florida or other parts of the US East Coast. If heavy rains strike Florida this will exacerbate a bad year for Lake O, the Caloosahatchee, & St Lucie. [Pathway Map] [News-Press]
A Vital Step Forward for the CEPP (2016-09-30)
US Senate authorized a water resources development bill of $1.9 billion for the Central Everglades Planning Project. For Rob Moher, it is a vital step forward, but there is still a long way to go to resolve the negative impact of high-volume discharges to the rivers. [News-Press]
Save Our Water Summit (2016-09-30)
On Wed, Oct 26 the News-Press Media Group is presenting “Save Our Water” at the Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa. It includes education on the key aspects of the water crisis, a unique water experiences tour, and many other events! [Details & Tickets]
Caloosahatchee Sept 20-26 (2016-09-30)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased during the past week averaged 5,247 cfs, exceeding the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake O discharges to the river, measured at S-77, increased to an average of 3,907 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 & S-79 averaged 1,563 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Report]
Sinkhole Radioactive Pollution (2016-09-29)
A giant sinkhole opened up in Mulberry, FL, in late August, swallowing millions of gallons of toxic wastewater. Mozaic, the owner of the plant, informed the EPA promplty when it happened, but informed the public only two weeks after the incident. [Illustration] [WLOX] [Video]
Snowball Effect in the Arctic Sea (2016-09-29)
The Arctic sea ice melting begins to affect the global climate. The disappearance of the ice cap might be partly responsible for the increase in temperature, the release of greenhouse gases, and like a snowball effect, the ice is melting even more. [Yale Environment 360] [Graphic Illustration]
Florida Remains Butt of Jokes (2016-09-29)
Florida's water crisis is an ongoing problem. There is no doubt that the water situation only got worse during the recent decades of ineffective protection programs and water reforms, says John Cassani. Isn't it time for politics to bring a fresh perspective on this crisis to solve it? [News-Press] [Online Image]
Bonnie Says Clyde Innocent (2016-09-26)
Like Clyde asking Bonnie to declare him innocent, Cape Coral asked DEP for a letter releasing it from further action after its Ceitus Boat Lift removal. DEP provided the Cape with such a letter. The Cape then moved for final judgement in the case brought against the Cape by Riverwatch & others. [Motion] [Status] [DEP-Cape Letter]
New Sport - Reef Death Watch (2016-09-13)
Soon Florida divers will have a new recreational activity. They can join university & marine institute professionals in documenting the decline of a coral reef. They will be trained to determine if a reef is almost dead, dead, or dead and gone & use highly technical terminology in describing dead. [DEP Press Release] [SEAFAN]
Support Riverwatch Every Time You Shop (2016-09-13)
Support Caloosahatchee Riverwatch by starting your shopping at Amazon will donate to Riverwatch every time you shop on AmazonSmile without any extra cost to you. This link will take you directly to in support of Riverwatch: [Go to]
MFL Science Symposium (2016-09-12)
Caloosahatchee Estuary MFL (minimum flows & levels) science symposium is Sep 14-15 at Ft Myers SFWMD. Excluded from the agenda is discussion of whether science will yield an improved MFL or when. The MFL has been stuck at 300 cfs for more than a decade despite previous science advising a higher MFL. [Low Flow Assessment] [Announcement] [Agenda]
Riverwatch on WGCU-FM (2016-08-05)
On Thursday, Sep 15 at 4pm, Riverwatch Vice President Rob Wilson and CRCA Director John Cassani will be on the radio live at WGCU to help with a pledge drive. Each $35 you donate provides Riverwatch with a future public information announcement (spot) on WGCU. 2 for $70, 3 for $105, 4 for $140, etc. [Letter] [DONATE]
Wanted: Waterkeeper & Exec Director (2016-07-31)
Riverwatch announces its search for two employees - a Waterkeeper & an Executive Director. The Waterkeeper is the CRCA face to the media and presence on our waterways. The Waterkeeper will be our local Aquaman (or woman) - a water superhero. The Executive Director will fuel the program. [Waterkeeper Position] [Executive Director Position]
Harbinger of Future Destruction (2016-09-05)
Things will only get worse as mankind struggles, using brute force methods, to suppress & treat the symptoms of its systemic damage to the planet. Examples are Zika spraying, intensified farming to compensate for greening, hardening shorelines against sea level rise, & other “maladaptive” reactions. [Washington Post] [News Press] [Union of Concerned Scientists]
Service Learning Contact (2016-09-01)
Mary Rawl supervises students for the Billy's Creek clean-ups and other river related projects in Ft. Myers. You can email her at She can also assist you or refer you to other Riverwatch officers managing specific projects. [Send Email]
FGCU Service Learning Projects (2016-09-01)
FGCU students complete service learning hours as part of their bachelor's degree. Riverwatch is offering these students several opportunities: Billy's Creek Clean Up, LaBelle Nature Park, Water Conference, Website, Oxbows Research, River Ride, Information Tables, Plant IDs & Swamp Cabbage Festival. [Student Project Descriptions]
Billys Creek Clean-Up Day (2016-09-01)
Join Riverwatch, FGCU and other community partners for a clean-up day on Billy's Creek on November 4, 2016 in Ft. Myers. This Creek flows into the Caloosahatchee River near downtown Ft. Myers. Help us protect the Caloosahatchee by cleaning up Billy’s Creek. Email for details. [Website] [Previous Clean-up]
Recreational Outing Organizing (2016-09-01)
Students can help organize recreational outings (canoe & kayak trips) for Riverwatch members and the public. Favorites places include Fisheating Creek, Telegraph Creek, Imperial River, and Estero Bay.
Annual Water Resources Conference (2016-09-01)
Riverwatch is co-hosting the 26th Annual SW FL Water Resources Conference. The theme is "Resiliency: Reducing Impacts and Bouncing Back" and will explore choices facing our region on how to prepare for extreme events. Students are invited and can help organize the event. [Conference Web Site]
August 2016 CRCA Newsletter (2016-08-31)
The August 2016 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [August Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]
Marshall Foundation Symposium (2016-08-31)
The Marshall Foundations invites you to its Everglades Symposium to be held Oct 8 in West Palm Beach at the downtown Marriott. Keynote speaker is author and journalist Michael Grunwald. [Announcement] [Call for Presenters] [Marshall Foundation]
Solar Tax Breaks Approved (2016-08-31)
73% of voters approved Amendment 4 eliminating ad velorem taxes on solar and other renewable energy equipment on commercial properties. This will encourage businesses to use more solar. Next is the effort to vote down Amendment 1 on the November ballot - a fake pro-solar amendment. [Floridians for Solar Choice] [Victory + Opposition]
Calm Before the Storm (2016-08-30)
Lake Okeechobee discharges to the Caloosahatchee have been moderate in late August. However this may be the calm before the storm depending on how much rain the tropical depression in the Gulf brings to South Florida. Harmful Lake O discharges will soon pass the 1 million acre-feet mark. [S-79 Hydrograph] [Estuary Harmful Flows]
Fort Myers Beach Pirate Festival (2016-08-30)
Join jolly pirates, wenches, corsairs and beauties as they make camp and prepare for battle on the edge of the Historic Seaport District of Old San Carlos on Ft Myers Beach. The swashbuckling fun doesn’t stop for a moment during the Columbus Day weekend Oct 7-9th, 2016 celebration. [Website]
AWRA Annual Conference (2016-08-30)
The 2016 AWRA Annual National Conference is Nov 13-17 at Florida Hotel & Conference Center in Orlando. The Conference is a perfect opportunity for you to meet, learn from and share ideas with practitioners, policy and decision makers and academics across all fields in the water resources community. [Details]
Zika Drug Breakthrough (2016-08-30)
A team of researchers from Florida State University, Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health has found existing drug compounds that can both stop Zika from replicating in the body and from damaging the crucial fetal brain cells that lead to birth defects in newborns. [FSU News] [Photo] [Video]
Learn from Einstein (2016-08-29)
The remaining climate change deniers would be wise to learn from Einstein whose theories offered no tangible proof of an atomic bomb, but his theories & the models of other showed it would come into being. The USA wisely believed Einstein and embarked on a national program to command the future. [Skeptical Science]
Just for Sport, No Eating (2016-08-29)
Hundreds of fish and other marine life in the Indian River Lagoon washed up on area shores dead on Aug 25th. It's just the latest of many reports of fish kills Florida Fish and Wildlife has received over the summer. Residents who live and fish along the lagoon fear things are getting worse. [MyNews13]
Algae Cleanup (2016-08-29)
State data show a St. Lucie River marina choked with thick mats of toxic blue-green algae was toxin-free after a week of treatment by Ecosphere Technologies. Yet the Stuart company's algae removal method was "not viewed favorably" by a Florida DEP panel that assess dozens of businesses' proposals. [TCPalm] [Video]
Daniels Preserve (2016-08-29)
Ruby Daniels is a long-time Riverwatch member and friend. She's one who takes local preservation very seriously. Her family bought the Lee County ranch lands in 1944 and in 2005 she passed it to the County for preservation through the 20/20 program. [News-Press] [Ruby Daniels] [Daniels Preserve at Spanish Creek]
Doug MacGregor Cartoons (2016-08-29)
Anyone receiving the Riverwatch newsletter knows that we love cartoons. They cut to the heart of an issue. There are many great political cartoonists in Florida and Doug MacGregor is our local champion of chagrin. Big Arts features an exhibit of his works. [Cartoon] [More Cartoons]
Keep Calm & Carry Spray (2016-08-29)
Late August and September are the slowest months for tourism in Southwest Florida, but regardless of Zika concerns, visitors are still coming and enjoying a late-summer fling at our beaches, attractions, resorts and hotels. Keep calm and carry mosquito repellent! [News-Press]
Knock Before Entering Water (2016-08-29)
This is mating season for manatees and it is not that uncommon for people to see them on local beaches, splashing around each other with their big blubbery bodies. Please be cautious if you happen to witness this, and please, give them room. Stand back observe, But in no way should you interfere. [News-Press] [Video]
Sustainability Chautauqua (2016-08-29)
Please RSVP for the inaugural FGCU Sustainability Chautauqua on Sep 30 from 9am-3pm to be held at the newly opened Emergent Technologies Institute located on Alico Road. Registration is limited to the first 100 respondents, so register early if you want to contribute to the conversation! [Details] [Register]
Building Future Liabilities (2016-08-29)
You've heard of rearranging deck-chairs on the Titanic, but Cape Coral citizens are debating how to build new deck-chair on the Titanic. Just as 30-year mortgages finish on the 7-Islands planned developments, homeowners could start demanding government relief for sea level rise flooding. [News-Press]
Vacationer Disappointed in Water (2016-08-29)
A former Southwest Florida vacationer says, "I appeal to you to elect officials that will step up, immediately restore, and protect your beautiful region and attractions for the future and encourage business and continued tourism." [News-Press]
Time to Lawyer Up (2016-08-29)
On Aug 26 Governor Rick Scott named two lawyers to the Water Management District Board: Daniel O'Keefe and Federico Fernandez. The board now consists of 3 lawyers, 3 realtors, 1 developer, 1 farmer, and 1 engineer. [Press Release]
Watershed Moment (2016-08-26)
John Moran a Florida nature photographer and clean water advocate says our springs, rivers, lakes and coastal waters have been heading south for many years. The sliming of our waters is a growing public health threat, a deepening environmental crisis, and a looming economic disaster. [] [John Moran] [Photo] [John Moran Florida Nature Photography]
St. Johns River Restoration (2016-08-26)
St. Johns River Water Management District completed the restoration of the headwaters of the St. Johns River at Fellsmere Grade Recreation Area in south Brevard Co. It took decades to rehabilitate a span of St. Johns River birthplace more than double the size of Orlando, which is 50-80 miles away. [Orlando Sentinel] [Photo]
Caloosahatchee August 17-23 (2016-08-26)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 during the past week averaged 2,952 cfs, still exceeding the harm threshold of 2,800 cfs established for the estuary. Lake O discharges to the river, measured at S-77, averaged 545 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 & S-79 averaged 1,772 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
Exploring Florida Maps (2016-08-26)
The Exploring Florida Maps collection contains approximately 6,000 historic and contemporary Florida maps that support all subject areas in the K-12 classroom. A friendly license allows teachers and students to use up to 25 maps in non-commercial school projects without further permission. [Florida Maps Website]
Preparations for Heavy Flooding (2016-08-26)
South Florida water managers are preparing for potential flooding that might come Sunday or Monday, Aug 28-29 because of rain generated by a tropical wave currently in the Atlantic Ocean. It does have all indications it is going to be very wet, SFWMD spokesman Ran Smith said. []
Natural Filter (2016-08-26)
Making the flow of water more natural means removing man-made dams and levees under Lake O as well as focusing on keeping water inside the peninsula. Projects like bridging Tamiami Trail and building a reservoir to purify water from the lake help to do that, according to the Everglades Foundation. [Article] [North vs. South Fact Sheet Map] [Listen]
More than Negron Needed (2016-08-26)
A static reservoir won't stop the discharges, said Gary Goforth, a Stuart-based environmental engineer with more than 30 years of experience. To better use the existing treatment areas would require a policy of moving water south from the lake 52 weeks a year, not just during the rainy season. [TCPalm] [Gary Goforth]
Do Not Make Us Mad (2016-08-26)
If you want to keep a low profile, don't disagree with the SFWMD, or ask for its email list. That's what Lisa Interlandi, a lawyer with the Everglades Law Center, and other environmental advocates have learned in the last few months as they have become the target of email blasts by the state agency. [Tampa Bay Times] [Miami Herald]
Clean Water of the North (2016-08-26)
Michael Kintzel of Ft Myers, returning from a brief vacation 70 miles to the north, describes the area's pristine aquamarine. He relocated to Ft Myers in 2006, but wonders if he made a bad decision in hindsight. If the politicians don't make the right moves now, he says he just may have to himself. [News-Press Mailbag]
Comments on Howard Opinion (2016-08-25)
Riverwatch member Paul Reynolds and director Wayne Daltry offered comments on the anti-EAA land purchase editorial by Johnson Engineering President Lonnie Howard. Both challenge his perspective. People inland and on the coast stand to gain or lose money based on EAA land use decisions [Comment] [Howard Opinion]
No Fix On The Horizon (2016-08-25)
Big Sugar conference panelists from the SW region included Karson Turner, John Capece, Jennifer Hecker and Ray Judah. Riverwatch director John Capece presented on issues of the Caloosahatchee, explaining that no water fix is yet on the horizon. Karson Turner spoke on Hendry County economics. [Capece Presentation] [Cris Costello, Organizer]
Punta Rassa Boat Ramp (2016-08-25)
Work to replace the Punta Rassa boat ramp is scheduled to begin Monday, August 22, 2016 and two of the four lanes will be open for much of the next three months. Occasional closings for all ramp lanes may also be scheduled for safety. Construction is expected to be completed by Thanksgiving. [Details] [Punta Rassa Boat Ramp]
A Win-Win Solution (2016-08-25)
SACE has released a new report that assesses the feasibility of using cooling towers as the solution to replacing the leaking open industrial sewer called the cooling canal system at FPL’s Turkey Point power facility that has threatened South Fla’s drinking water and adjacent Biscayne National Park. [Miami’s Community Newspapers]
Melting the Hearts of Deniers (2016-08-25)
The number of conservative voters who believe in climate change has almost doubled in the past two years, according to a new poll that attributes the rise in part to a lessening hostility toward the issue by Republican leaders. The Pope's encyclical, a warm winter & Paris Agreement are factors too. [Climate Wire]
United States of Extinction (2016-08-25)
Some 29 species and subspecies that are official state symbols across 24 US states are at risk of extinction, according to New Scientist's recent analysis. Many were once widespread, or the cornerstones of regional economies, but have since dwindled to small, fragile populations in the wild. [New Scientist] [Interactive Map]
Value of the Gulf of Mexico (2016-08-25)
Economists have long tried to put an economic value on our natural environment, often without clear results, but the cost to BP of the Deepwater Horizon spill is an indication of the immense value of just one environmental resource — the Gulf of Mexico. $61.6 billion paid in cleaning up the mess. [Tampa Bay Times]
More Sand for Miami Beach (2016-08-25)
During the coming weeks, the Corps will start $11.9 million project, trucking in loads of sand to extend the eroded shoreline of Miami Beach near 46th and 54th streets by about 230 feet. The sand in these areas has eroded, and the distance from the dunes to the water is shorter than usual. [Miami Herald]
Spill the Water (2016-08-25)
To help prevent infection and to reduce the spread of mosquito-borne diseases, it is important for kids and parents to practice basic mosquito bite prevention: cover skin with long clothing and repellant and spill sources of standing water. More information is available at Dept. of Health website. [Information and Posters] [About Zika]
Zika Virus in Florida (2016-08-25)
With an abundant, almost year-round population of mosquitoes & a high volume of travelers from Zika-prone countries, Florida is especially vulnerable to an outbreak. According to Florida Dept. of Health, over 500 cases have been found in 35 counties in Florida, 70 of which involve pregnant women. [Zika Virus Info] [Daily Zika Update] [Spill the Water]
Return to Nature 2016 (2016-08-25)
Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium invites you to spend an evening of Oct 1st connecting with nature & Discovery Channel's Emmy Award Winning Cinematographer & Producer Andy Brandy Casagrande IV, benefiting Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium's 2017-2020 Revitalization Plan. Get your tickets now. [Flyer] [Tickets and Information]
Florida Birding & Nature Festival (2016-08-25)
The Florida Birding and Nature Festival, coming to south Hillsborough County Oct 13-16. The multi-day festival features a variety of outstanding speakers, how-to workshops, and small-group field trips to some of the best wildlife-viewing sites in West Central Florida. [Festival Website] [Tickets]
Climate Leadership Summit (2016-08-25)
8th Annual Southeast Florida Regional Climate Leadership Summit is on Oct 5-6 in West Palm. The annual summit is coordinated by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, a partnership between Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach counties, their municipalities and other partners. [Summit Website] [Register Online] [Agenda]
Big Agriculture Choking Our Waterways (2016-08-25)
Brion Blackwelder & Marc Yaggi (Waterkeeper Alliance National Executive Director) say Florida is a microcosm of our serious national economic, human health & environmental crisis, with causes that are well understood & solutions that are aggressively opposed by powerful agribusiness interests. [Sun-Sentinel]
Corps Statement on EAA Water Storage (2016-08-25)
For Everglades restoration to be successful, we're going to need a huge amount of water storage and treatment in the EAA, said Col. Grosskruger of the Corps. The Corps is committed to working cooperatively with the state & with all stakeholders to obtain crucial hydrological benefits from EAA lands.
Earlier Annual Snowmelt (2016-08-25)
Earlier annual snowmelt periods may hinder the ability of forests to regulate atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), according to the results of a new study. By mid-century, shift in snowmelt timing could lead to 45 percent reduction of forest CO2 uptake. [National Science Foundation]
Cape Seeks to Remove Lock (2016-08-25)
In a unanimous vote on Jul 25th, the Cape Coral City Council approved the plan to move ahead with the removal of the Chiquita Lock. Roger Wood a local boater says the lock is important as it maintains the balance of fresh water in the back channels. However, Cape Coral continues push for removal. [Wink News] [Roger Wood] [Video]
Closing the Barn Door After (2016-08-25)
Recently, NMFS determined that Florida's NNC criteria as approved by EPA for DO, N, P, Chl a and turbidity would not jeopardize sawfish and other endangered species with regard to the ESA. It is assumed they could become jeopardized if the criteria are breached or exceeded. [Letter]
Tepid Local Support (2016-08-25)
A few local legislators find themselves in touchy positions with a proposal by Sen. Joe Negron to spend $2.4 billion to buy land south of the Everglades for water storage and cleaning. Sen. Jack Latvala who said he is supportive of the concept but needs to look at numbers and the whole proposal. [Tampa Bay Times]
Sea Level Prediction (2016-08-25)
Dr. John Fasullo of National Center for Atmospheric Research and colleagues predict that satellites will detect accelerating sea level rise within the next decade. We should know in a few years if they are correct. Their research paper shows that acceleration of sea level rise is real and ongoing. [The Guardian]
Constructed Wetland (2016-08-25)
Can a constructed wetland ever meet the TP WQS of 10 ppb TP when SAV efficiently recycle one-third of the TP from accreting SAV peat soil? This root-mediated P recycling is also going on in portions of the impounded remnant Everglades, albeit by cattail instead of SAV. [Ecological Modelling]
How Much is Too Much Land (2016-08-25)
It was an inevitable question to arise within a cracking James Madison Institute session on “environmentalism versus property rights”. Sen. Joe Negron's proposal to buy 60,000 acres of sugar growers' farmland to build a reservoir was the 900-pound gorilla in the room. [Sunshine State News] [John Cassani Comment]
Bullying by SFWMD (2016-08-25) reports that SFWMD has been treating policy debates more like overt political battles when engaging the public on state water management issues. Journalists are reporting on "bullying" by state agencies. Such tactics are typically employed by political candidates, not agency staff. [Politico]
State Trying to Bully Public (2016-08-24)
SFWMD recently sent an email notifying everyone it communicates with that Winter Haven attorney Lisa Interlandi made a Freedom of Information Act request. The district fulfilled her request but it also released contact information for Interlandi, essentially "outing" her as a potential troublemaker. [News-Press] [About Lisa Interlandi]
Ding Darling Days 2016 (2016-08-24)
Mark your calendars for this year's "Ding" Darling Days birding and eco-festival at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island the week of October 16-22, 2016. Family Fun Day kicks off the week with free activities on October 16. [Poster] [Website]
Florida Fracking Summit (2016-08-24)
Mark your calendars and save the date to attend Florida Fracking Summit on November 2, 2016 at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers. The event is free to attend. Agenda TBA. A block of rooms has been set aside at the Holiday Inn Airport at Town Center. The rooms can be reserved before Oct 21. [Flyer] [Website]
Williamson Ranch (2016-08-24)
Frank Wesley Williamson III, an Okeechobee rancher, has developed practices that reduces his phosphorus footprint on Lake Okeechobee and surrounding waterways though south of the lake, where a federal lawsuit set strict standards, pollution has dropped to a trickle. [Miami Herald] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Record Warm Alaska (2016-08-24)