Calusa Waterkeeper Newsletter | March 2019

Reconnecting our Community with our Waterways in a Positive Way
Beginning Earth Day, April 22nd

We at Calusa Waterkeeper find ourselves talking all year about the bad news relating to our waterways - marine life dying by the millions, housing values declining, our tourist industries damaged, charter and leisure fishing suffering steep losses, people’s health compromised by blue-green algae and red tide - so this spring, we are planning what we hope will become an annual flagship celebration called THE BIG CALUSA. 

Save the Date:

Pinchers Restaurant

Membership Dinner

With Keynote Speaker Chauncey Goss

Saturday, April 28th | Pinchers Marina Restaurant

Ranger Corner:

Ranger training class
We'd like to welcome 13 new Ranger candidates to the Calusa Waterkeeper team. Graduation for these new recruits will be on March 16th. Learn more about our Rangers.
Ranger water testing

A big thanks to our volunteer Rangers for joining a bacteria sampling program in area waters. Here, water samples are being turned in to Waterkeeper, John Cassani, for laboratory bacteria testing. View test results from our local waterways.

New Calusa Waterkeeper Website Launched!

new website

Our new website has launched! It is a welcome upgrade and we will continue to improve it with more information on the issues facing the Caloosahatchee watershed. We hope you find it useful and would like to thank all the contributors that have made it possible!

Calusa Waterkeeper Awarded $20,000 Southwest Florida Community Foundation Grant

Calusa Waterkeeper will use the funds from the SWFL Community Foundation to engage with healthcare front-line workers and decision-makers about the public health effects of the harmful algae blooms that have ravaged the region’s fresh and saltwater since 2017. Continue Reading

Severus Foundation
ConRic PR

Calusa Waterkeeper received a grant from the Severus Foundation for improving strategic communications. ConRic PR of Fort Myers has partnered with us to lead promotions for The Big Calusa and to hone Calusa Waterkeeper's strategic communications all year.

SWFL Alliance of Chambers Releases HAB Statement

The Southwest Florida Alliance of Chambers is a coalition of Southwest Florida chambers of commerce committed to advocating at the local, state and federal levels to improve Southwest Florida's quality of life and to serve as a catalyst for positive change impacting business, environment and tourism. They support the strong commitments to water quality, Everglades restoration and significant funding levels in Governor Ron DeSantis' Executive Order (19-12) and ask for the support of state delegation to appropriate funds and take action to combat Florida's ongoing water quality crisis.

View Priorities for Water Quality

SWFL Alliance of Chambers

The vision and goals of The Southwest Florida Alliance of Chambers closely matches Calusa Waterkeeper's 10-point Call to Action to combat Harmful Algal Blooms. Learn More

Waterway Advocacy & Outreach

LOSOM input

Lake O Schedule Public Input Deadline Extended

Scoping meetings for the Lake Okeechobee System Operations Manual (LOSOM) conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) have experienced massive public turnout. In response, the ACOE has added additional scoping meetings to the schedule and also extended the deadline for public input through Monday, April 22nd. Take a moment to learn more about the scoping process and send your comments to the ACOE.

Chiquita Lock

Chiquita Lock Public Information Meeting 

The public is welcome to attend this free event on Monday, March 18th from 5-7 p.m. at The Pavilion located at Cape Harbour Marina in Cape Coral. The Matlacha Civic Association (MCA) is hosting clean water experts who will make presentations to the audience on the science which supports keeping and improving the Chiquita Lock. This location was chosen because The Pavilion is adjacent to the Chiquita Lock at Cape Harbour Marina.

Membership Updates

We'd like to say a special thanks to the 14 individuals who became Calusa Waterkeeper members in the month of February. Your pledge to help us on our mission of protecting and advocating for the Caloosahatchee Watershed is admirable and deeply appreciated. 

CWK Members

Not a member yet? Would you like to renew your membership?

Calusa Waterkeeper in the Press

Judge Dismisses Caloosahatchee Stakeholders’ Petition

“Once again, the Caloosahatchee estuary is going to get the short end of the stick. I mean, we’ve been at this for 18 years ... With the empirical evidence presented, it’s maddening that the administrative law judge would not see the shortfall in what the district had revised the rules to.”  - John Cassani, The Calusa Waterkeeper
Continue Reading

Florida Waterkeepers Summit

Regional entity Waterkeepers Florida came together for an in-person board meeting to set goals for the 2019 Florida legislative session. They educated attendees about the problems facing Florida’s waters and drafted a letter to Governor DeSantis.
Continue Reading

Yellow Fever Creek Preserve
Lee County approved an agreement with Cape Coral to help restore water flow to Matlacha Pass and the Caloosahatchee via an interconnect system between Cape Coral’s freshwater canal system in northeast Cape and the Yellow Fever Creek canal and preserve land.
Continue Reading
Lake Okeechobee spillway

Lake Okeechobee releases started again, and although the volume of water is not concerning to local environmental groups, they do question the quality of water coming from the big lake.

Continue Reading

Moody River Boat Ramp
“The city and the county really should work hard to have a replacement for the Centennial Park boat ramp. There is so little access now, losing one more boat ramp would really be difficult for boaters.” -John Cassani
Continue Reading

Around the Watershed

SWFL Veg Fest

We enjoyed meeting many folks during the SWFL Veg Fest.

Burrowing Owl Festival

Calusa Waterkeeper set up at the Annual Burrowing Owl Festival. 


Calusa Waterkeeper was set up on campus at Florida Gulf Coast University to engage young adults about our local waterways.


To Protect and Restore the Caloosahatchee River from Lake Okeechobee to the Coastal Waters.

Phone: (239) 784-0880
Pollution Hotline: (239) 444-8584
Email: [email protected]

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Calusa Waterkeeper
PO Box 1165
Fort Myers, FL 33902

Waterkeeper Alliance Member