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25th Anniversary Report

Help Celebrate our 25th year serving the Caloosahatachee River by learning about our history, accomplishments and objectives in our 25th issue of the CWK annual report.
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2020 Policy Plan

Read and share Calusa Waterkeeper’s 2020 policy goals for state and federal water quality improvements in Southwest Florida.
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Exclusive HAB Documentary

Discover the public health risks associated with harmful algal blooms in our compelling, informative and entertaining 40-minute documentary.

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Fighting for Drinkable, Fishable, Swimmable Water

Since 1995

Calusa Waterkeeper is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the Caloosahatchee River & Estuary in Southwest Florida. This includes Lake Okeechobee & Estero Bay, plus the near-shore waterways of Lee County. We strive to achieve this mission through education and promotion of responsible use and enjoyment by all people.

Thank you for all that you’re doing to improve our water quality and to educate us on changes we ourselves can make to help.

Vicky C.
Cape Coral

I have come to value the work of the Calusa Waterkeeper and its important voice in our community advocating for cleaner water. Keep up with the good work!

Stephen B.
Clewiston

We appreciate all that you do for our community and water quality. Great Job! Thank you, The Jensens.

Jensen’s Marina
Captiva

Thank you Calusa Waterkeeper and John Cassani for all you do to educate the public about the water quality crisis we are facing in SWFL.

Denny S.
Fort Myers

Thanks to CWK for relentlessly using science and public outreach to fight for clean water in SW Florida! We all benefit.

Gerri R.
Fort Myers

I have learned so much as a volunteer Ranger with Calusa Waterkeeper. Excited to continue!

Mark D.
North Fort Myers

Happy to renew our membership and keep you on the front lines. Thank you for all you do.

Scott & Christine M.
Cape Coral

Explore the Issues

Waterways around the world are under attack by pollution and mismanagement. Southwest Florida is no different.
Calusa Waterkeeper is focused on several local action items as well as regional and national issues affecting our water policy and quality of lives.
We think you’ll agree, these are causes worth fighting for.

Learn the Issues

Taking Action

Calusa Waterkeeper is directly involved in two pieces of litigation seeking to compel federal and state agencies to take more responsibility in limiting harmful discharges and algal blooms to Florida’s coasts.

 

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Lawsuit Launched Challenging Feds’ Failure to Fully Assess Harms of Lake Okeechobee Toxic Releases to Protected Sea Turtles, Sawfish

Conservation groups filed a notice today of their intent to sue the Trump administration for failing to acknowledge the harms that toxic releases from Lake Okeechobee pose to protected wildlife like sea turtles and smalltooth sawfish. The Center for Biological Diversity, Calusa Waterkeeper and Waterkeeper Alliance say the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers failed to fully consider how the toxic algae and other pollutants from the Corps’ lake discharge harm wildlife, especially when they occur at the same time as red tide.

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Florida Department of Environmental Protection Petitioned to Protect People From Harmful Algae Blooms

The Center for Biological Diversity, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation and Calusa Waterkeeper petitioned the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to protect the public from toxins in the harmful algal blooms that keep reoccurring in the state. This petition requires the department to consider adopting pollution limits for algae cyanotoxins, which are linked to liver disease and neurodegenerative risks in people. The state could be the first to establish water-quality criteria to protect swimmers, boaters and fishermen from recreational exposure to the dangerous cyanotoxins.

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Recent News

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.

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.

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