Pictured from left to right: Calusa Waterkeeper Codty Pierce, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper Justin Tramble, and Waterkeeper Alliance representative Patience Burke
The Calusa Waterkeeper organization wishes to thank our friends and partners at Tampa Bay Waterkeeper for blessing us with a contribution to support our testing operations and recovery from Hurricane Ian impacts.
Major Hurricane Ian struck Lee County on September 28, 2022, and profoundly impacted water quality via storm surge, stormwater runoff, habitat destruction, widespread debris and infrastructure damage.

In October of 2022, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper and partners Smith Boatworks, Power Pole, Skinny Water Culture, Danco and Turtlebox initiated a fundraising drive for those impacted by Hurricane Ian. Thanks to the Tampa Bay community, the initiative raised $4,830, and the Tampa Bay Waterkeeper board of directors chose to bestow all proceeds to Calusa Waterkeeper.

SWFL water quality issues after Hurricane Ian
In a recent letter, Tampa Bay Waterkeeper Executive Director Justin Tramble states, “The funds will be used to support your water quality testing, which is crucial to hurricane recovery efforts and aligns with the Waterkeeper mission to protect the community’s right to clean water. We believe that donating these funds to your organization is the best way to support as many people as possible.”

Immediately following Hurricane Ian, the Calusa Waterkeeper team began a priority initiative to distribute free drinking water test kits throughout the community. This allowed countless residents to ensure their drinking water supply was safe to use after the storm impacted the area’s utility infrastructure.

As things normalized in 2023, and new Calusa Waterkeeper, Captain Codty Pierce came aboard, the organization returned to performing independent sampling and analysis of ~ 30 Southwest Florida sites for Fecal Indicator Bacteria (FIB) each month, as well as our ground-breaking aerosolized toxin (ADAM) research.

“As we continue these efforts, we are grateful for the support and thoughtfulness from our fellow waterkeeper family,” says Calusa Waterkeeper, Capt. Codty Pierce. “Rest assured these funds will be used to continue our mission of protecting the waters of Southwest Florida and our waterways’ impact on human health and quality of life.”