In the News

Foul Water Returns to Matlacha’s Shores

Foul Water Returns to Matlacha’s Shores

As it did a few months ago, foul water again surrounds Matlacha as the Fourth of July holiday looms, worrying residents and business owners. Starting this spring, conditions have fluctuated from intermittently icky to full-on dreadful. What the FDEP is doing to measure or help remains unclear.

Water Quality a Concern in Matlacha Pass as Eels Surface

Water Quality a Concern in Matlacha Pass as Eels Surface

Concerns are rising over the water quality of Matlacha Pass after cloudy-looking water was spotted, bringing eels and other sea life to the surface for air. “The water quality is very poor, there are suspended solids in the water and macroalgae that’s coating the bottom that may be the culprit behind a lot of this,” said John Cassani.

Looking to the Future – 25 Years of Calusa Waterkeeper

Looking to the Future – 25 Years of Calusa Waterkeeper

We are excited to release our Anniversary Commemorative publication recognizing our 25-year history, starting as CRCA – Riverwatch in 1995. This expanded souvenir newsletter is chock full of historical accounts from our founding and early years, along with a focus on key issues throughout our watershed.

Words from the Waterkeeper, Episode 14

Words from the Waterkeeper, Episode 14

An update from Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani regarding the cyanobacteria bloom on Lake Okeechobee and other local water quality issues. Thank you to pilots Ralph Arwood and Roy Plackis of LightHawk Conservation Flights.

SB 712: A Watered-Down Bill that Will Not Fix our Water Quality Issues

SB 712: A Watered-Down Bill that Will Not Fix our Water Quality Issues

Governor DeSantis just signed into law SB 712 – the self-proclaimed “Clean Waterways Act” – an ambitious misnomer for a bill that claims to be the solution to our mounting water quality issues, but falls far short of that mark. This bill has been praised by its supporters as one of the most environmentally progressive pieces of legislation in over a decade.

Saharan Dust may Impact Southwest Florida Coastal Waters

Saharan Dust may Impact Southwest Florida Coastal Waters

A gigantic dust column from Africa’s Sahara Desert has traveled thousands of miles and will eventually settle over the U.S. The dust is so thick it can be seen in satellite images, and once it reaches Southwest Florida, it may impact water quality.

Saharan Dust could Ramp Up Red Tide off our Coast

Saharan Dust could Ramp Up Red Tide off our Coast

The Saharan dust headed our way this week could help feed red tide. In a Facebook post, Calusa Waterkeeper recently tested reddish patches three miles off of Big Carlos Pass. The test confirmed marine cyanobacteria Trichodesmium, also known as sea sawdust.

Blue-Green Algae Bloom Covering more than Half of Lake Okeechobee

Blue-Green Algae Bloom Covering more than Half of Lake Okeechobee

A blue-green algae bloom has taken over more than half of Lake Okeechobee. Satellite photos show the 720-square-mile lake as being mostly covered with a green sheen. “Based on the satellite imagery it looks like more than half of the lake has a bloom evident, so I’d estimate a 400-square-mile bloom,” said Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani.

Calusa Waterkeeper Celebrating 25th Anniversary

Calusa Waterkeeper Celebrating 25th Anniversary

While Calusa Waterkeeper is celebrating its silver anniversary, the organization says it has a long way to go to fulfill its mission of protecting and restoring the Caloosahatchee River from Lake Okeechobee to the coastal waterways.

Current Administration may be Planning for Offshore Drilling After the Election

Current Administration may be Planning for Offshore Drilling After the Election

Multiple sources say the president’s interior staff is planning to allow offshore drilling on the east side of the gulf again. John Cassani with the Calusa Waterkeeper says Southwest Florida wildlife is still suffering and says the potential plan would be like that a step backward.

“The chemicals used to disperse the oil are affecting wildlife,” he said.

Start of Summer Challenges Area Waterways

Start of Summer Challenges Area Waterways

This first flush, as Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani calls it, carries all the crud that’s built up during the dry season. Accumulated lawn chemicals, vacant lot litter, roadway oil and pet poop all wash off the landscape, sometimes in fish-killing or flow-blocking volume, as several recent examples in both counties, illustrate.

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