Cassani and others wanted the state to build a series of wetlands or find a more natural way to help water quality in the reservoir. For years there has been a concern that algae could grow in the reservoir, which would make it unfit to release back into the Caloosahatchee River.
John Cassani is the Calusa Waterkeeper and says there were multiple factors leading to the green algae. These include rain, water movement and warm water temperature. But the dominant force is runoff.
“Corporate sugar isn’t the only bad actor here,” Cassani said. “The legislators do whatever they can to keep the status quo. You can hardly blame the corporate industry for taking advantage of these bought-out politicians. You pay to play and the sugar industry has paid.”
One recent August day, a wandering ecologist named John Cassani found himself bumping up onto Mound Key Archaeological State Park in the middle of the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve. There, the Calusa Indians once discarded their seashells in vast quantities, with intent.
FGCU’s Water School put a sample of water under a microscope from a local beach. They found multiple kinds of algae, meaning they were being fed by that same nutrients. “It’s just a question of extra nutrients that man would put in to keep it growing,” said Dr. Barry Rosen from FGCU.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Red Tide map shows different levels of red tide cells. Areas like Boca Grande Pass and Little Gasparilla Island are in the red, depicting they have high concentrations of red tide.
On the latest red tide map, you can see that in the area where the pictures were taken, there are medium to high concentrations of red tide. And one expert says that the longer that red tide sticks around, the more damage it can cause.
A red tide bloom is affecting Placida in Charlotte County. The area has lots of dead fish and the water is dark and murky. “We’re seeing an increase of incidence of red tide right now,” said John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper.
A former high-ranking Florida Department of Environmental Protection official says more wetlands are being targeted for development now than just nine months ago when the federal government had oversight of what’s known as Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.
The recent traveling PR campaign by Colonel Kelly of the Army Corps to field concerns about the LOSOM plan for regulating Lake Okeechobee was quite an interesting process on narrow points of view. The local government reps were lamenting sending more polluted water from Lake Okeechobee as part of the Colonel’s proposed Lake Schedule.
The current Florida Department of Health (FDOH) policy at the county level is inconsistent. The only waters routinely monitored are the coastal beaches. It’s rare when signage warning of fecal bacteria is implemented, often at the discretion of local politicians who have no training in public health.
Calusa Waterkeeper, John Cassani describes the effects of the cyanobacteria that is in the waters, causing harm to our waterways, the life within the water and the health effects to people who live and work on or around the water.