October 07, 2015

River news

CRCA BOD Meeting

October 7, 2015 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm at the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium in Ft. Myers.

See the details...
* * *

Riverwatch on WGCU-FM

October 19, 2015 at 1:00 pm.

See the details...
* * *

Environmental Edu Workshop

October 23, 2015 from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm at the Archbold Biological Center in Venus.

See the details...
* * *

Environmental Breakfast

October 22, 2015 at 7:30 am at the Riverside Community Center in Fort Myers.

See the details...
* * *

First Fracking Summit

October 27-28 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport - Town Center.

See the details...
* * *

CRCA - Riverwatch
Join Us!
Renew Membership

To view or download the diverse material from CRCA archive click here.
Click to enlarge Click to see the Map

"Views or opinions expressed in the web site & newsletter are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of “Riverwatch.” Comments & questions about editorial content & facts can be directed to John Capece, CRCA Secretary.
[Email to CRCA Secretary]


Click on news box title and email it to others! 

How Do You Spell That? (2015-10-07)

For years Watershed Council & Riverwatch director John Cassani has been sounding the alarm bell regarding nitrogen levels in the Caloosahatchee Estuary. Despite this, state agencies are doing everything they can to avoid truly addressing the issue. Cape Coral too is sticking its head in the muck. [Florida Weekly]

September CRCA Newsletter (2015-09-30)

The September 2015 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [September Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]

Harborside Construction Delayed (2015-09-30)

Construction of the long-awaited Fort Myers Harborside hotel is delayed due to change in management. Developer Chris Freeman took over the Sheraton Harborside Hotel and Convention Center and made minor changes to the original deal the city had with developer Steve Goodman. [The News Press]

Seagrass at Caloosahatchee (2015-09-30)

SCCF Marine Laboratory researchers assessed shoal grass density in a reddish brown, meter-deep Caloosahatchee River in Iona. The study will determine the impact of freshwater discharges on seagrass habitat. Seagrass data could help water managers make decisions about discharges from lake O. [The News Press]

Cyanobacteria Field Guide (2015-09-30)

A new Cyanobacteria guide, funded by U.S. Geological survey, has been published by the Office of Tribal Relations. It is titled Field and Laboratory Guide to Freshwater Cyanobacteria Harmful Algal Blooms for Native American and Alaska Native Communities. Welcome to the world of blue-green algae! [Book] [USGS]

Environmental Ed Workshop (2015-09-30)

CHNEP is holding its 2015 Environmental Education Workshop on Oct 23 at Archbold Biological Center in Venus, south of Lake Placid. Please register by Oct. 6 if possible. [Announcement] [Registration]

Caloosahatchee Sep 22-28 (2015-09-30)

From Sep 21 to 28 flow at S-79 to the estuary averaged 2,600 cfs. This is down from 5000 cfs the previous week and pushed salinity out of the oyster mortality range. Still there's no discharges from Lake O with all the water coming from watershed runoff west of S-77. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Conditions] [Salinity] [Lake O] [SCCF Website]

Cold Front Blows Through SFWMD (2015-09-30)

An early cold front blew through SFWMD from the Tallahassee direction when Exective Director Blake Guillory and Chief of Staff Dan Delisi resigned. In July they advised the Governing Board to not cut taxes this year so as to preserve $21 million for environmental projects. [Palm Beach Post] [Delisi] [Sunshine State News]

Manatees Fate (2015-09-29)

Increasing manatee population is a product of Florida's success in conservation. However, Pacific Legal Foundation, representing Save Crystal River, sued US Fish and Wildlife Service demanding manatees be removed from endangered list and reclassify them as threatened. Will the state do it? [Miami New Times 1] [Cartoon] [Miami New Times 2]

All Hands On Deck! (2015-09-29)

The Ft Myers Planning Board meets on Wed, Oct 7 at 1pm to potentially allow grossly improper waterfront development next to Centennial Park on the former Vue property. Please plan to attend this meeting to express opposition. [Details]

Water Quality Issues Everywhere (2015-09-29)

The Florida Capital just like Lee County, faces many water quality issues that impact communities across the US. These are associated with nonpoint source pollution and changes in watershed hydrology, including excess nutrients and bacteria, which could lead to fish kills and public health concern. [Leon County] [Photo]

Global Warming Is It? (2015-09-29)

A Miami Beach road closed due to flooding induced by high astronomical tides brought about by lunar cycle and rain from thunderstorms, former Vice Pres Al Gore and U.S. Senator Bill Nelson pointed the coastal floods as an effect of climate change. Mayor called the world to learn from this flooding. [CBS Miami] [Miami Herald]

SFWMD 2016 Budget (2015-09-28)

The South Florida Water Management District has adopted a $749.6 M budget for FY 2016. The annual budget will fund core flood control and water supply missions and protection of the ecosystem as well. About 84% of this budget is dedicated to enhancing operations and maintaining lands. [SFWMD News]

First Fracking Summit (2015-09-28)

Florida’s first Fracking Summit is on 27-28 Oct in Fort Myers. Experts will address the potential risks to air, land, water, and human health and what can be done to unconventional oil drilling, including fracking that is being secretly allowed in Florida sans regulatory oversight. Space is limited, register now! [Program] [Photo] [Ray Judah Editorial]

Wetter Cooler Winter (2015-09-28)

SW FL is all wet, and conditions may not change soon as the El Nino is expected to bring a wetter, cooler winter. Areas prone to flooding, like North Fort Myers, has standing water on the landscape. El Nino occurs when Pacific Ocean surface temperatures rise and stay high for an extended period. [The News Press] [Photo]

EPA webinars on Water Quality (2015-09-28)

EPA is announcing a series of free webinars on the Water Quality Standards Regulatory Revisions Final Rule. Each webinar will feature a one hour presentation to be followed two days later by a one hour question and answer session. Interested? Check EPA's website. [EPA]

USGS Pesticide Model (2015-09-28)

Citizens and water managers can create maps showing where pesticides are likely to occur in local streams and rivers and evaluate the likelihood of concentrations exceeding water-quality guidelines. It is a new USGS interactive mapping tool that provides predicted concentrations for 108 pesticides. [USGS]

Annual Environment Breakfast (2015-09-28)

The Audubon of Southwest Florida will host the 18th Annual Environmental Breakfast on 22 Oct at the Riverside Community Center in Fort Myers. The speaker will be Jason Lauritsen, Director of Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. The event is open for public and event sponsors are invited. [Sponsorship]

Hawk Watch at Sanibel (2015-09-28)

Audubon of Southwest Florida invites everyone to join the 12th Annual Sanibel Lighthouse Hawk Watch with Vince McGarth on Oct 11 at 8AM at the Sanibel Lighthouse parking Lot, 112 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel. This is a free event. Bring bird watching tools. [Invitation]

River Rally 2016 (2015-09-28)

Do you have proven river innovation and approaches that could help achieve healthy rivers and other waters that sustain life? Submit proposals via online and meet hundred of river and watershed protection enthusiasts and experts. Proposal deadline is on Oct 15. [River Network]

Swamp Cabbage River Tours (2015-09-28)

Four boat tours of the Caloosahatchee River are scheduled on the Saturday of the 50th Anniversary of Swamp Cabbage Festival. Each eco-tour boat will accommodate 40 passengers per boat trip. Boat tour ticket is at $25 each. Paid members of the museum has 20% discount on advance purchase. [Announcement]

CRCA October Meeting (2015-09-28)

The Riverwatch Board meeting is Oct 7, 6:30 to 8:00 PM in the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium located at 2450 Ortiz Avenue, Fort Myers. Members are encouraged and welcome to attend. [Location Map]

Reauthorize Conservation Fund (2015-09-28)

Rep. Alcee L. Hastings calls for the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is set to expire on September 30. Cost-free to the taxpayer, the Fund uses royalties from offshore oil and gas leases to protect national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and recreation areas – preventing them from being lost to development. [The Hill]

Red Tide Status Sep 17-24 (2015-09-28)

Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, was detected from background to low to very low concentrations alongshore of Sarasota County, offshore of Manatee County, offshore of Charlotte County in Southwest Florida and alongshore of Gulf County in Northwest Florida. [Map] [FWRI]

Hendry Tops Polk (2015-09-28)

Hendry County has dethroned Polk County as top producer of oranges. Data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service has it that for the 2014-15 growing season, Hendry ranked No. 1 in all-orange production, with 15,266,000 boxes. Polk produced 19,000 fewer boxes of oranges, consigning it to the No. 2 position. [The News Press]

EPA Calls for Proposals (2015-09-28)

EPA now opens the 2015/2016 cycle of the Urban Waters Small Grants competition. Proposed project activities must take place entirely within one of the Eligible Geographic Areas based on the U.S. Census-defined Urbanized Areas and the 12-digit hydrologic unit code system (HUC-12) that defines the watershed. For details contact EPA. [Geographic Area] [EPA Website]

River Conditions Worsen (2015-09-28)

This year's highest flows (4,985 cfs) were recorded last week, almost twice the harm threshold. Still there were no discharges from Lake O. The water was mostly from inland watershed runoff to the estuary at S79. Salinity was in lethal range for oysters and shoal grass at Iona. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Conditions] [Graphic] [SCCF Website]

River Orientation (2015-09-27)

Riverwatch Director Phil Schwartz gave a river & oxbows orientation tour to IREX Fellow Carilyn Martin and others on Sep 26. Carilyn is helping with the Riverwatch website. This was her first on-water experience with our river. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]

Water Quality Warning (2015-09-18)

On Sep 25 water tests in the North Shore Park of North Fort Myers revealed high levels of bacteria. The public was advised not to come in contact with the water. Such warnings, once infrequent, are now a regular occurrence. Officials are betting that public apathy will allow continued inaction. [Daily Breeze] [NBC 2]

Wharf Walk 2015 (2015-09-17)

LDRC, the City of LaBelle and Arts of the Island are back for the Wharf Walk. Dock Master Sponsor for the year is Forrey Grill. Deadline for sponsorship and the restaurant & fine artist vendor is Oct 1 and Nov 2, respectively. An adult evening along the river is on Nov 14, 5 to 9 pm. [LaBelle Downtown Redevelopment]

Caloosahatchee (Sep 8-14) (2015-09-17)

Watershed run-off delivered average 2,152 cfs to the estuary at S79. There is still no discharges from Lake O. Salinity is below optimal range for oysters at Iona and light levels were too low for seagrass. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition] [Graphic] [SCCF Website]

Watershed Council (2015-09-16)

Meeting will be on Oct 14 3pm at FGCU Cohen Center Room 162. Dr. Gregg Poulakis of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will speak about smalltooth sawfish research in Caloosahatchee Estuary and Greater Charlotte Harbor System. Catch the latest research on this endangered species [Photo] [SWFWC]

Honk for Clean Water (2015-09-16)

Each day, for one straight month, SWFL CLEAN WATER MOVEMENT members will stand on top of Fort Myers Bridge as citizens of the community to show an act of awareness demon against harmful and unnatural releases of toxic and contaminated water from Lake O. [Letter to the Editor] [Bridge Signs] [Beach Sign] [FOX 4 News] [Donations]

Manatees So Near Yet So Far (2015-09-15)

Stricter new rules to limit the number of people who can swim with manatees is put into effect by the uS Dept of Fish and Wildlife at Crystal River. Swim-with-the-Manatee program is not banned since it raises awareness to conserve but swimmers are not to initiate contact and should stay 6 ft away. [Public News Service] [Photo] [Photo] [Audio Report]

320 Bears for Hunt (2015-09-15)

October bear hunting season is scheduled to kill 320 black bears. Despite opposition from ecologists, the bear hunting is set to continue to control the growing population of black bears, mostly in central and north-central Florida and parts of the Panhandle. [Miami Herald] [Cartoon] [Photo]

Heat is the Culprit (2015-09-15)

A new study from university of South Florida confirmed that temperature, more than the habitat, determines reptilian invasion. Still, South Florida will remain the hottest spot for all things invasive. And if Florida wants to rid the slithery reptilian invaders, pray for cold weather and climate. [Miami Herald]

Ceitus Litigation Continues (2015-09-15)

Judge Alane Laboda is adjudicating the litigation involving Riverwatch, CLT, GPIC, RGMC, SCCF and SWF Watershed Council vs City of Cape Coral to restore Ceitus Barrier. Mediation with all parties was conducted Sep 10 but it did not result in an agreement amidst damages in the coastal ecosystems. [Phil Buchanan Update] [Court] [Judge Alane Laboda]

Panthers Whereabouts (2015-09-15)

Scientists are seeking public's help in keeping information of the panther's movement in Florida. Verified reports will supplement data obtained obtained from 34 cameras installed along wildlife corridor in Polk and 13 counties north of Caloosahatchee River. [The Ledger]

C-44 Assuage Lake O (2015-09-15)

The C-44 reservoir project will ease fertilizer laden Lake O & urban runoff into the St. Lucie Estuary. The Corps of Engineers awarded the construction project to a Montana company. C-44 aims to cut excess nitrogen & phosphorus and salt levels in the St. Lucie Estuary & southern Indian River. [Announcement] [Florida Daily] [Factsheet]

CRCA Secretary at Rotary (2015-09-11)

Dr. John Capece, CRCA Secretary, was invited by Riverwatch Director & Rotarian Mel Karau to speak at the Rotary Club of Labelle on Sep 8. John described CRCA activities in Labelle Nature Park and Intelligentsia International programs. [Presenting] [John Capece, Carilyn Martin, & Michael Jordan ]

Florida Water Use (2015-09-11)

USGS 2010 report showed that Florida relies on groundwater for almost 90% of public water supply. It withdrew 791 gallons per capita per day. Most of this groundwater is used for irrigation. Are we addressing Florida's strained water resources properly? [Publication] [USGS]

Riverwatch on WGCU-FM (2015-09-10)

On Monday, Oct 19 at 1pm, Riverwatch President John Paul and Riverwatch Director Ray Judah will be on the radio live at WGCU to help with a pledge drive. Each $35 you donate provides Riverwatch with a future public information announcement (spot) on WGCU. 2 for $70, 3 for $105, 4 for $140, etc. [WGCU Donation Link (select Riverwatch)]

Know the Flow (2015-09-10)

SFWMD maintains a system of primary canals and natural waterways that connect to community drainage districts and smaller systems to manage floodwater during heavy rains. But heavy rainfall in a short period of time may result in flooding even with well engineered and maintained systems. [SFWMD Infographic]

Water Use and Reuse (2015-09-10)

Freshwater demand is increasing and depleting in other states as well. A new case study assess the water use and reuse status in the US. Study results that all of the water entering Wabash River in Indiana is withdrawn and returned to waterway. [Science Direct] [Science Daily]

Water Splitting Technology (2015-09-10)

Researches have made a long awaited break-through in fuel cell technology. They have developed new methods using gold nanoparticles to more cheaply produce hydrogen from water and the electricity generated by sunlight falling on solar panels. Maybe now fuel cells can become practical for all. [Science Daily] [Phys.org] [ACS Publication]

Riverkillers (2015-09-10)

Authored by Martin Heuvelmans, it observes how the Army Corps of Engineers had not resolved America's natural disasters involving the country's lakes & rivers but had accomplished destruction of environment in the process. It showed the misrepresentations and arrogant deception of destructive goals. [Book]

Caloosahatchee Sep 1-7 (2015-09-09)

Caloosahatchee river estuary flow averaged 2,945 cfs at S79. USACE continued the closure of S77 structure except to maintain optimum canal levels for water supply and navigation. Salinity was below the optimal range for oysters at Iona while suitable for tapegrass in upper estuary. [Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [SCCF Website]

Be Prepared (2015-09-09)

SFWMD recognizes national Preparedness Month and highlights the importance of families and communities to have a plan to communicate and stay safe in emergency. As Florida experience extreme weather, dramatic changes may result in emergency situations of which call for expert emergency readiness. [Details]

Apply Now (2015-09-09)

DEP's Florida Management Program is accepting application for Coastal Partnership Initiative (CPI) Grant program. CPI promotes the protection and effective management of Florida's coastal resources. [DEP]

Goodbye Wetlands (2015-09-09)

SWFWMD's approval to build 4 McMansions on Perico Island despite a judge's request to deny the permit manifests that science does not matter to the Board. It shows flawed process-the one who decides the fate of our most precious resources are the ones who have least appreciation for it. [The Bradenton Times]

Pro and Con (2015-09-09)

Heavy rain affect the Caloosahatchee river. Large volumes of freshwater runoff carry excess nutrients downstream, trigger algal bloom that smother seagrass, and cause fish kills. But freshwater is also good for tapegrass growth as food for manatee, birds, turtles and as habitat for fish. [News Press]

Invasive Species Clean Up (2015-09-09)

CRCA BOD Marti Daltry joined the invasive species clean up at Labelle Nature Park on Sep 5. Dioscorea bulbifera, known as air potato vine, is a non-native, invasive plant spread without human intervention. Natural area managers constantly remove invasive plants to maintain our natural public lands. [Photo]

Labor Day (2015-09-09)

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is the creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of America. [US Department of Labor]

Zombie Boat End (2015-09-09)

Zombie boats in Cape Coral are gathering mold and grime. Zombie boats leak oil and sludge and becoming an eyesore to the residents. In cases where the landlords fail to respond to the ultimatum the government will either fine the owner or move the boat and fine the owners later. [NBC2 News] [Cartoon] [Video]

Phil Schwartz Joins Board (2015-09-08)

At the Sep 2 meeting in LaBelle, Alva resident and river enthusiast Phil Schwartz was elected to fill the one remaining vacancy on the CRCA Board of Directors. Phil brings more experience, ideas and energy to the board. Welcome, Phil!

FWC Wordplay (2015-09-04)

Florida Fish & Wildlife Consumption Commission has decided to focus on manufacturing conflict between humans and panthers south of the Caloosahatchee River in Southwest Florida rather than establishing new panther population (habitat & conservation easements). [Naples Daily News] [Cartoon]

Florida Forever...after (2015-09-04)

Florida Forever is the state's land conservation program. After colluding with the FL Legislature in gutting the Florida Forever budget, Gov Scott says he's optimistic on the budget to support land acquisition & management. [Yeah, later...when Hialeah freezes over.] [WJCT Public Broadcasting]

Obama on Climate Change (2015-09-04)

Obama's visit to Alaska opened more eyes and hopes in combating climate change. As 75 gigatons of ice lose per year, the pace of melting is getting faster. The visit also delivers message to the countries to pledge greenhouse gas cuts in Paris conference in December. [The Washington Post]

Charlotte Flatwoods Map (2015-09-04)

SFWMD has produced a map of tidal creeks as part of the Charlotte Flatwoods project. It shows the entire system that feeds into the Cape Coral Spreader Canal system that was managed by the Chiquita Lock and the former Ceitus Boat Lift. [Map by Timothy Liebermann]

CRCA Sep 2 Meeting (2015-09-03)

CRCA BOD Meeting on Sep 2 tackled the tapegrass restoration, Ceitus litigation, Vue update, Watershed Council sign on letter, City boat ramp update, Waterkeeper Alliance application and public affairs protocol. Monofilament Madness and Billy's Creek clean-up will be held Nov 7. [Agenda] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]

Ceitus Assessment Report (2015-09-03)

A 736-page Full Report on the NW Cape Coral/Lee County Watershed Initiative Phase 1 strongly supports restoration of Ceitus Barrier. The report was commissioned as a way of deciding the Ceitus issue and everybody promised to follow science. The report is already done, what's next? [Executive Summary] [Summary Report] [Lee County Southwest Florida]

Caloosahatchee (Aug 25-31) (2015-09-02)

Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 2,902 cfs over the past week. For the past 14 days, 68% of total Lake O outflows were delivered to the L8 basin and 32% was directed to the Caloosahatchee at S77. Salinity at Iona lower estuary is in the harmful range of oysters. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Map] [SCCF Website]

Impact of Climate Change (2015-09-02)

Climate change happens fast in Kivalina, Alaska, a town of 403 residents 83 miles above the Arctic Circle. Beaches are disappearing, ice is melting, temperatures are rising, and the barrier reef Kivalina calls home gets smaller and smaller with every storm. Most here agree that the town should be relocated; where, when and who will pay for it, no one knows. [Los Angeles Times]

Cascading Effects (2015-09-01)

Citrus Greening bacteria has dramatically impacted SW FL citrus. Now, desperate solutions have the potential to yield additional impacts. GMOs are being attempted as are greater use of irrigation water, fertilizers and pesticides. [New York Times]

Soon to Rise (2015-09-01)

Thomas Edison’s pavilion along the Caloosahatchee will soon be recreated into entertainment and recreation center. Edison & Ford Winter Estates President & CEO Chris Pendleton calls it “the most exciting thing we’ve done since the restoration of the Edison and Ford homes”. Groundbreaking is in Nov., to be ready in time for Edison’s Feb. 11 birthday. [The News Press]

ASR Science Incorrect (2015-09-01)

Sydney Bacchus in her new peer-reviewed study published in the Journal of Geography and Geology exposed the incorrect assumptions on ASR for water management in Florida. According to the study, ASR sounds to good to be true. [Journal of Geography] [Eye on Miami]

Seismic Blasting Opposed (2015-09-01)

Florida counties are against seismic blasting, oil and gas exploration in general, because of negative environmental impacts. Gov. Rick Scott has asked President Barack Obama to delay approval of seismic testing off the coast. [Fort Myers Beach Bulletin] [Graphic]

Colonel Kirk in Charge (2015-09-01)

Colonel Jason A. Kirk is current Commander and District Engineer of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District. He assumed command on July 17, 2015. Kirk joined the Jacksonville District after graduating with a Master of Strategic Studies degree from the US Army War College. [US Army Corps of Engineers]

August CRCA Newsletter (2015-08-31)

The August 2015 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [August Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]

Roger Clark, Cornerstone (2015-08-31)

Roger Clark's sudden passing fell heavily on the hearts of those in Riverwatch who had the privilege to know and work with him over the decades. Roger influenced the region’s conservation policies as well as young minds. [News Press Tribute] [Photo]

Cape Coral Plans Development (2015-08-31)

Cape Coral is planning for development of 7 islands of the Cape Coral North Spreader Canal System. What will be proposed use and will it be compatible next to Aquatic Preserve with FIVE state and federal designations of protection? [Islands Map] [Meeting Announcement] [Caution Presentation]

LaBelle Heritage Museum Speaker (2015-08-31)

LaBelle Heritage Museum Vice-President Keitha Daniels will open the museum's program year on Thursday, Sep 3 with a program on LaBelle's Downtown Historic District and some of the people who made it important over the years. [Details]

Cruising the Caloosahatchee (2015-08-30)

Joe Pledger has steered thousands of cruises since the Capt. J.P. riverboat first shoved off in 1987 onto the Caloosahatchee. Long before that, he was at the helm of the Jungle Cruise boat in the Orange River as a teenager. [News Press] [Capt. J.P. Picture] [Link to Cruises]

Doubling Down on Destruction (2015-08-30)

Even while they are being sued for removing the Ceitus Boat lift in 2007, Cape Coral is today moving ahead with plans to remove the Chiquita Boat Lock that controls the southern part of the Cape Coral spreader canal system designed to protect our water quality and wildlife habitat. [Cape Coral Breeze] [System Map] [Report by Roger Wood]

Olga Oak Has Seen 210 Years (2015-08-30)

Win Everham and John Cassani tell the story of the Olga Oak, a tree that has survived more than two centuries after it fell as an acorn between 1715 and 1735. It has seen much of our region's development history from its perch. [News Press]

Telling It Like It Is (2015-08-30)

In a speech to the Tiger Bay Club and in a guest editorial in the Pine Island Eagle, Ray Judah talks about state environmental priorities and about more local green politics on the current Lee County Commission. [Tiger Bay Club] [Pine Island Eagle]

Deja VUE, All Over Again? (2015-08-30)

Who among you remembers our 2007-8 battle over "The Vue" high-rise development next to Centennial Park? Well, it’s back. This time Riverwatch VP (and retired attorney), Gene Gibson, is on the case for CRCA, expressing riverfront access & park impact concerns to City officials. [Update] [May Letter By Gibson] [2007 Action]

Tropical Storm Locks Overtime (2015-08-28)

As Tropical Storm Erika approaches Florida, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will extend operating hours at the five lock and dam structure on the Okeechobee waterway. Temporary operating hours takes effect today until Aug 30. [News Release] [Army Corps of Engineers]

SWFWMD Approve Wetland Permit (2015-08-28)

Judge Bran Carter denied an environmental permit for the proposed Harbor Sound development. SWFWMD governing board approve the permit to allow Pat Neal's four-home subdivision's built in shoreline wetlands. Neal plans to buy credits from Tampa Mitigation Bank to offset damages. [Tampa Bay Times] [Bradenton Herald]

Guilty as Charged! (2015-08-28)

Former Freedom Industries President Gary Southern of West Virginia pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of environmental crimes for contaminating with a toxic chemical spill the drinking water of more than 300,000 people in West Virginia last year. He faces 3 years in prison and a $300,000 fine. [The New York Times]

Exxon Mobil Cleared? (2015-08-28)

Amidst criticisms, a judge approved on Tuesday a $225M settlement of a pollution lawsuit with Exxon Mobil in New Jersey. The ruling covers a longstanding legal battle in which NJ demanded $8.9B in compensation for natural resource damage to around 1,500 acres of wetlands, marshes and waters. [The New York Times]

Solar Desalination (2015-08-28)

Solar power turns the sun's energy into electricity. Desalination removes unwanted minerals from saltwater so it can be used for drinking and agriculture. HydroFx has found a way to merge the two technologies with the aim of providing long term relief to farmers suffering 4 year drought. [Climate Progress]

Obama Water Rule Blocked (2015-08-28)

Judge Ralph Erickson on Thursday upheld the lawsuit opposing a federal waters rule. The decision is a roadblock for the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers plan to enforce the waters of the US rule, expanding federal jurisdiction over small waterways, like streams and wetlands. It will be appealed. [Decision] [EEnews.com] [The Hill]

SWFWMD Board Resigns (2015-08-28)

SWFWMD Governing Board Member Carlos Beruff resigned from his position after approving a controversial four-home subdivision on Perico Island wetlands for Pat Neal. USEPA, National Marine Fisheries Service, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Army Corps of Engineers recommended the permit be denied. [Bradenton Herald] [Resignation Letter] [You Tube]

Throwback (2015-08-28)

On 4th Nov 2014 ballot, voters approved the Amendment 1. It dedicates 33% of net revenue from the existing excise tax on documents to the Land Acquisition Trust Fund, designed to manage and restore natural systems and enhance public access and recreational use of conservation lands. [Ballotpedia]

Expedition (2015-08-28)

Mark Renz had been operating Fossil Expedition for 20 years and with previous experience in Everglades Eco-Tours. Depending on your interest, he'll be glad to take you and enjoy Florida wildlife and adventures! [Paleo Press]

Red Tide Status (Aug 13-20) (2015-08-28)

Karenia brevis, the Florida red tide organism, was not detected in water samples in the entire coast of Florida. Regional water monitoring give advance warnings to the community for planning and dealing adverse health and environmental effects if K. brevis is detected. [Map] [FWRI]

Getting Ready (2015-08-28)

SFWMD mobilized staffs and secured equipment responsible for flood control in 16 county region. The district is responsible for more than 2000 miles of canals, 70 pump stations, 607 water control structures and 625 culverts. Army Corps of Engineers will close water control structures at Lake O. [Palm Beach Post]

Rising Sea Could Engulf Florida (2015-08-27)

As sea level rise is unavoidable in the next 100-200 years, it will have profound impact around the world. US low-lying US states such as Florida are at risk of disappearing as are some major cities in the world like Singapore and Tokyo. Coastlines will look very different to future generations. [Radio New Zealand News] [News ] [Phys.Org]

Lake O Water Level (2015-08-27)

Lake Okeechobee water level remains in beneficial Base Flow Sub-band (low). The Corps of Engineers reported that there was small contribution from the lake to the 4,000 cfs Caloosahatchee estuary flow last week. The dropped in salinity in the Cape coral is due to high watershed run off. [Lake Condition] [Lake O Low Stage] [SFWMD]

Estuarine Restoration Summit (2015-08-27)

Be part of the largest national gathering of coastal and estuarine restoration on Dec 10-15, 2016 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, New Orleans, Louisiana. Caloosahatchee estuary management efforts are worth presenting, what you think? [Restore Estuaries]

Ugly Reality of India (2015-08-27)

Environmental problems in India are among the grimmest in the world. Waste, open defecation and raw sewage worsen childhood malnourishment and cause diseases like hepatitis, cholera and typhoid fever. Parents check the levels of airborne particulate matter before letting children go out to play. [The New York Times]

Mercury in the Mist (2015-08-27)

"Fog drips" deliver unsafe levels of monomethyl mercury to upland and near-shore ecosystems along the Pacific Coast. Average monomethyl mercury concentration in the fog water samples in 2011 was five-fold greater than the highest reported concentration in rainwater, researchers from UCSC reported. [National Science Foundation]

Response to MS4 and BMAP (2015-08-27)

Rep State Matt Caldwell organized multi-agency meeting in eastern Lee County this Aug to address water storage, water quality, wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities for countywide projects. The meeting created regional benefit to improve the Lee County environment. [Lehigh Acres Citizen]

IREX Fellow Assists Riverwatch (2015-08-27)

Meet Carilyn Salanio-Martin, from the Philippines. She is a 2015 Community Solutions Program Fellow of US State Dept's Bureau of Educational & Cultural Affairs as implemented by IREX. For the next 4 months she will be in our area helping Riverwatch and learning about US environmental issues. [IREX] [ECPC] [Facebook]

Together We Stand (2015-08-27)

John Cassani, Chairman of Southwest Florida Watershed Council, comments on the Lee County compliance report for its MS4 permit raising the issue of TN loading protocol and the Caloosahatchee BMAP. Also signing the letter were many groups: SFWC, ICWN, CSF, CBD, CRCA and SCCF. [Letter] [Assessment]

CRCA September Meeting (2015-08-27)

The Riverwatch Board meeting is on Sep 2, 6:30 to 8:00 PM in LaBelle at Bridge Street Coffee House, 23 Fort Thompson Ave. Members are encouraged and welcome to attend. During your visit you can see the new streetscape in front of Charlie's and adjacent merchants. [Location Map]

Store or Release? (2015-08-26)

With a hurricane approaching south Florida, SFWMD and Corps of Engineers officials really earn their pay. It is they who must decide whether to release water from Lake O to create room for storm runoff. If they choose wrong they could dump all our dry season water to the Gulf.

Call to Action (2015-08-26)

A pulp mill owned by the Koch Brothers is planning a 60 million gallon/day (mgd) pollution pipeline from the mill to the mouth of Fenholloway River in Perry, Fl. Koch Brothers believe that the Gulf can absorb 40-60 mgd of dioxin contaminated water. Stop dumping toxic waste into the Gulf of Mexico! [Clean Water Network]

Oil Drill Block (2015-08-26)

Senator Bill Nelson vows to use all procedural options to block the repeal on the ban of Gulf Coast Oil drilling. Lifting of the ban will allow oil and gas rigs to operate 50 miles closer to Florida's Gulf Coast, clashing with state's Gulf Coast protection efforts for four decades. Kudos Senator! [Tampa Bay Times]

DEP Water Reuse Study (2015-08-26)

DEP conducted a comprehensive study on the expansion of the use of reclaimed water, stormwater and excess surface water in Florida. DEP reports 719 mgd being reused. Stakeholders are encouraged to submit comments on draft report until Sep 15, 2015. [Draft] [Presentation] [Reuse Pie Chart] [Details]

Storm Erika Tracker (2015-08-26)

Tropical storm Erika is forecasted to near the Florida coast as Category 1 hurricane by Monday. It is expected to produce average 3 to 5 inches rain in Leeward Island, Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Watershed runoff will lower salinity levels in Caloosahatchee estuary once again! [News 13]

8th Most Populated (2015-08-26)

Lee County ranks 8th most dense populated counties in Florida for 2010. Pinellas and liberty Counties are most and least dense with 3,348 and 10 persons per square mile, respectively. This interrelates spatial distribution of population in Florida with environmental issues and resource use. [BEBR]

River Salinity (Aug 18-24) (2015-08-26)

Very high watershed runoff during August more than doubled Caloosahatchee flow to the estuary to an average of 4,022 cfs. The salinity at Iona lower estuary is in the harmful range for oysters. Majority of inflow originated from the central watershed basin west of S78. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [SCCF Website]

Try, Try Again (2015-08-26)

DEP will hold five meetings to receive input on Water Quality Assessment determination and restoration. Workshop schedules are as follows: Aug 26 in Stuart, Florida; Aug 27 in Fort Myers; Sep 2 in Temple Terrace; Sep 3 in Daytona Beach and Sep 10 in Tallahasee. [Details]

Riverkeeper Catches Bad Guys! (2015-08-26)

In Georgia, American Sealcoat Manufacturing Company has been fined $10 million for polluting the Chattahoochee River with toxic chemicals. Riverkeeper filed a lawsuit in 2014 as the company operated with no industrial stormwater permit & dumped toxic chemicals into the stream that flows to Florida. [WBS TV]

Snook Season Opens (2015-08-26)

Snook recreational harvest season will open on September 1. Snooks are premiere Florida fish and unique to the region. Season closures help protect the species during cold weather and spawning. Lake Okeechobee, snook season is closed December 15 through January 31 and June 1 through August 31. [Space Coast Daily] [Image]

Caloosahatchee (Aug 11-17) (2015-08-26)

Caloosahatchee flow to the estuary averaged 1,991 cfs, more than double than weeks flow. The salinity at Iona remains below the optimal range of oysters.There was no discharged from Lake Okeechobee during the period. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [SCCF Website]

Fastest Ever Calving Glacier (2015-08-25)

Largest ever observed chunk of ice broke away from glacier's face between August 14 to August 16. Estimated total area of ice lost was around 12.5 square kilometers. Experts data shows that the ice that broke off would be sufficient to cover Manhattan in nearly 1,000 feet of ice! [Animation] [The Washington Post] [Location Map] [Website]

Mangrove Eco Tour (2015-08-25)

Mangroves along Caloosahatchee River is a rare find in Cape Coral. Explore the Four Mile Cove Eco Preserve where kayak rentals are available for exploring mangrove tunnels by water. Go fishing along the Caloosahatchee River and hike your day in mangrove shade. [Google Map] [Direction] [Details]

Microorganisms Abate Methane (2015-08-25)

Some microorganisms eat methane and reduces atmospheric emissions from freshwater wetlands. Without this process, methane emissions from freshwater wetlands could be 30 to 50 percent greater, researchers from University of Georgia reported. [National Science Foundation]

Charlotte Flatwoods Meeting (2015-08-25)

Quarterly meeting for the Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods Initiative is scheduled on September 2, 2015 at the Cecil Webb Management Area, Florida, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Office, Tuckers Grade, Punta Gorda, Florida. [Agenda]

Urban Communities Symposium (2015-08-25)

Do you want to learn how to create successful urban form and mixed use developments to meet market demands? Register and participate in Walkable Urban Communities Symposium on October 15, 2015 at Harborside Event Center, Downtown, Fort Myers. [Urban Planning Cartoon] [Details]

Look, But Do Not Touch...Water (2015-08-25)

In what has become at least an annual event, the beaches at the Franklin Lock Recreation Area were closed by the Corps of Engineers after routine water test results returned with elevated levels of enterococcus bacteria. It remains open for sunbathing and recreational activities other than swimming. [Corps of Engineers]

Another Beach Warning (2015-08-25)

August 20, 2015 water quality results showed that the North Shore Park did not meet the safety criteria for Enterococcus bacteria. No wading at North Shore Park 13001 N. Cleveland Ave. North Fort Myers is recommended until bacteria level are at or below acceptable level. [FDOH]

Florida 2014 WQA Report (2015-08-25)

DEP published the 2014 status and condition of Florida's surface and groundwater quality. EPA will use this information to provide Congress with national inventory of water quality conditions and develop priorities for future federal actions to protect and conserve aquatic resources. [FDEP] [News Press]

Gator Hunting (2015-08-25)

Lenny Schelin of Fort Pierce and his family hunted an 11-foot-4-incher from the Lake Okeechobee north quadrant over the weekend. [TCPalm]

Finally, C-43 project is on its way! (2015-08-24)

On August 13, 2015, SFWMD approved a $10.8 million contract to start construction of C-43 West Basin storage reservoir project. C-43 aims to hold 170, 000 acre-feet of water during dry period and store excess stormwater and regulatory releases from Lake Okeechobee during rainy season. [SFWMD]

July Hottest Ever (2015-08-24)

July 2015 is officially the hottest month ever recorded since global record-keeping began. While land temp was slightly higher, ocean surface temperature was a full 1.35F higher than the 20th century average and the highest sea temperature ever recorded. [Washington Post] [Ice Volume Tracker] [Website]

River Clean Up (2015-08-24)

Volunteers are needed on September 26, 2015 river clean up at Caloosahatchee Creek Preserve-East. Sign up to help in removing trash and debris and learn about Conservation 20/20 program and its value to wildlife and water quality [Details] [Web site]

Florida Bear Hunts (2015-06-30)

In statements released June 25 the Sierra Club issued open letter regarding Florida Wildlife Commission proposals to modify rules on Florida's black bears. The letter stated that FWC at least delay the decision on opening bear hunting they present a full set of alternative options to the public. [Southwest Florida Online]

No Mention about Amendment 1 (2015-06-30)

Gov. Rick Scott recapped on February 9 his proposed budget's big-ticket fixes for everything from Everglades pollution to Wekiwa Springs flows. But not mentioned in his prepared address at the Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland was Amendment 1. [Orlando Sentinel]

Easements on Private Land (2015-06-30)

A wildlife easement on the Black Boar Ranch means there would never be future development. An easement was recently created on the ranch to allow Florida Panthers to migrate north from near the Everglades in an effort to increase their numbers. [TBO]

Newspaper Ads by Sugar (2015-06-30)

Can you spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e? Here's a closer look at one: The Treasure Coast newspaper group that spent more than a year dogging lobbyist Ken Pruitt like a bloodhound at a crime scene for taking a sugar company's money ... well, how can I put this? ... climbed into bed with a sugar company. [Sunshine State News]

Sawfish (2015-06-30)

Smalltooth sawfish are on the verge of extinction. But scientists have discovered that some of the fish — perhaps in an effort to survive — have resorted to "virgin births" in the wild. [The Washington Post]

Air Potato Meets Its Match (2015-06-30)

The USDA, FDACS & UF are working together to rear and release air potato beetles. Releases are made between May & Oct when air potato plants are actively growing. Instructions and forms for obtaining beetles are available. After a year or two their impact on the plants is dramatic! [Eaten Leaves] [Air Potato Nemesis] [Release Forms for Florida]

Sugar Land for Everglades (2015-06-30)

For months, environmental groups and concerned residents have advocated for the SFWMD to exercise a 46,800-acre land-purchase option with U.S. Sugar Corporation before an October deadline. SFWMD Governing Board voted unanimously not to exercise the option. [Miami Herald]

Poor Idiots (2015-06-30)

Too many Florida legislators think of voters as annoying intruders on their very conservative bubble. To them, the 75% of voters who favored Amendment 1 are like fictional town idiots. If Floridians continue to accept this state of affairs, then they truly will be the idiots. [Graph] [Watery Foundation]

ASR Study (2015-06-30)

As part of the CERP, it was estimated that up to 333 wells could store water underground for the Everglades and natural systems. These wells, known as Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells, are part of a system to take surplus fresh surface water, treat it as required for permit compliance. [Facts and Infromation] [Web Site]

Tape Grass Growth (2015-06-30)

SFWMD and Lee County are financing a three-year $130,000 project to restore tape grass, often known, as Val, in the Caloosahatchee River. Val from its scientific name Vallisneria americana, is a Valued Ecosystem Component that has virtually disappeared from the river. [News Press]

Lake Mead Record Low (2015-06-30)

Lake Mead sunk to a record low Tuesday night, June 23 falling below the point that would trigger a water-supply shortage if the reservoir doesn't recover soon. The reservoir stores water for parts of Arizona, Southern California, southern Nevada and northern Mexico. [US Today]

Lawsuit Filed Over Amendment 1 (2015-06-30)

On June 22 the Florida Wildlife Federation, St. Johns Riverkeeper and Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida filed suit over the budget for money accumulated under the new land-buying amendment to the Florida Constitution called Amendment 1. [Sun Sentinel] [SCCF] [Florida Today]

Big Sugar Summit Video (2015-06-30)

Full video of Sierra Club's Big Sugar Summit held on June 20th, 2015 at Embassy Suites in West Palm Beach, FL. Riverwatch and other groups sent many members and officers to this teach-in about the range of issues associated with sugar production in the EAA. [Part 1] [Part 2]

Ceitus Report (2015-06-30)

The results are available for the joint project called the Northwest Cape Coral/Lee County Watershed Initiative that deals with water flow, water quality, hydrodynamics and ecological indicators. The report documents are posted on a landing page at Lee County Natural Resources web site. [Executive Summary] [Summary Report] [Full Report] [Web Site]

Action Alert: Win for Water (2015-06-05)

On May 27th, the US EPA and USACE jointly finalized the Clean Water Rule. However, many polluting industries have joined forces to fight this rulemaking, gaining the support of numerous congressional representatives in their opposition. We need your help to fight legislative attacks on the rule! [Details] [Articles] [Web Site] [Take Action]

Big Sugar Summit (2015-06-04)

You are invited to attend The Big Sugar Summit on June 20 from 9am to 5pm in West Palm. You'll get the facts regarding the sugar industry's influence and impact on Florida and its citizens and much more. Advance registration is required. $10 fee includes lunch and coffee/tea service. See you there! [Agenda] [Details] [Registration] [Facebook]

May CRCA Newsletter (2015-05-31)

The May 2015 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [May Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]

Former Governor Shocked (2015-05-31)

Bob Graham published his opinion about the future of Everglades and Florida. The former Senator (1987-2005) and Florida's Governor (1979-1987) is shocked that despite scientific facts and Amendment 1 votes, the SFWMD tore up the land purchase contract with no alternate plan even in sight. [Miami Herald]

Sea Level Rise Symposium (2015-05-31)

The 3rd Annual Sea Level Rise Symposium will take place on Aug 1 in West Palm. Given the enormity of the impacts the symposium will initiate the discussion of visionary ideas and solutions to encourage action now. Registration is free for students and teachers, and it is $30 for general public. [Flier] [Web Site & Registration]

FLMS Symposium (2015-05-31)

The Florida Lake Management Society 26th Annual Technical Symposium will take place from June 8 to 11 at Naples Beach Hotel and Golf Club in Naples. Registration is now open! Free Programs for Approved Volunteers and Community Association Managers! Email flmshome@aol.com for more information. [Draft Agenda] [Web Site & Registration]

Soil Carbon and Climate Change (2015-05-31)

In April 650 people from 80 countries gathered in Germany for a week-long discussion about an increasingly important topic in climate change: soil. 2015 is shaping up to be a big year for soil - United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has declared it the International Year of Soil. [Think Progress]

Sea Level Rise Summit (2015-05-31)

On May 7 SWFL leaders gathered to discuss sea level rise response in Estero. “Sea level rise is real,” said Ray Judah, coordinator for the FCOC, which hosted the summit with the LWV of Lee County. "We can no longer ignore the sea level rise impacts to our environment and our economy." [Naples News] [David Trecker Opinion]

Riverwatch on The Vue Development (2015-05-31)

CRCA-Riverwatch Vice President Gene Gibson wrote a letter to Ft. Myers City Council Members concerning the proposed amendments to The Vue planned unit development (PUD) and its development agreement. CRCA continues to oppose development that would degrade the adjacent Centennial Park. [Letter] [News Press] [Photo]

Cowbone Marsh & Fisheating Creek Litigation (2015-05-31)

ECOSWF and Save Our Creeks legal action against FDEP and FWCC over Cowbone Marsh/Fisheating Creek continues with the filing of a revised petition. It challenges a proposed sovereignty lands environmental resource permit to fill in a portion of Fisheating Creek. [Petition]

Rubio Helping Invasives Reach Florida (2015-05-31)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio is the sponsor of a bill on behalf of the shipping industry that would remove ballast water discharges from the Clean Water Act and pre-empt all state regulation of ballast water. Ballast water taken on in one port and discharged in another brings invasives. [Florida Clean Water Network] [Comment Letter] [Ballast Water Invasive Species]

Riverwatch Donor Sails I-75 (2015-05-31)

Henry Mox, regular major donor to CRCA, weighed anchor and rode the winds of I-75 back to Michigan, but not before leaving another generous donation of $2500 to Riverwatch. Intelligentsia students helped Henry prepare his boat and enjoy a Caloosahatchee shake-down cruise before his departure. [Farewell Photo] [Shakedown Cruise]

Caloosahatchee Conditions (2015-05-31)

SCCF recommends SFWMD reduce discharges to the Caloosahatchee with average flows ranging 1,200-1,400 cfs at S-79 to improve salinity and spawning conditions in the estuary. Thus, the flows from Nicodemus seems not intended to help the river but rather to lower Lake O. [Conditions Report]

Good Uses for Surplus Land (2015-05-31)

UF-IFAS & FWS have proposed uses for BOMA land being surplused by SFWMD. IFAS wants it for agricultural and agro-ecology research while FWS seeks a panther easement on parts. Glades County is inclined to let Lee County decide what to do with it since they paid $10,000,000 for the SFWMD purchase. [UF-IFAS Proposal] [Glades Feb BOCC Minutes] [Glades May BOCC Item] [Location]

CERP and Water Budgets (2015-05-31)

Wayne Daltry explains why failing to act on the EAA land acquisition and instead simply moving ahead with currently-planned projects will not lead to a solution to our water problems and is therefore the unwise path. [Why the Purchase?]

Land Acquisition Trust Fund (2015-05-30)

LWVF reminds Florida Legislators headed for a special budget session in June, that Acquisition of Florida’s special lands and resources is no longer a matter of political ideology, but a matter of Constitutional law. Both the House and Senate severely underfund the Florida Forever program. [Letter] [Web Site]

Another Year, Same Story (2015-05-30)

With the summer storm season officially beginning on June 1, the Army Corps is racing to lower the Lake O in time. However, dumping water west into the Caloosahatchee River and local runoff brings algal bloom and human health risks consequences. Another year, yet the same story. [Sun Sentinel]

SFWMD Governing Board Meeting (2015-05-30)

On May 14, 2015 the Governing Board meeting of the South Florida Water Management District took place. The public comments period got quite heated when the board received critiques of their Everglades and estuaries stewardship from the environmental advocates in the audience. [SFWMD Meeting] [Marion Gommenne] [Discussion Video (begins 47:20)] [Public Comment: 1:23:45]

Advice from Experienced Leaders (2015-05-30)

A formidable group of current and former regional water managers published their opinion about the U.S. Sugar land purchase, describing scientific and engineering justification, economic benefits as well as possible funding options for the land acquisition. What they see missing is the leadership. [Palm Beach Post]

Beach Swimming Suspended (2015-05-30)

The Corps of Engineers has temporarily suspended swimming and other water activities at the W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area located near Ft. Myers due to algae bloom. The beach itself will remain open to visitors who wish to sunbathe or play in the sand. They will be prohibited from swimming. [Southwest Florida Online] [NBC-2]

Archaeology in an Hour (2015-05-30)

All southwest Florida educators are invited to join Florida Public Archaeology Network at FAU for a FREE Archaeology in an Hour workshop on Saturday, June 13 at Koreshan State Historic Site from 9am – noon. Space is limited so please contact Melissa Timo at 239-223-6865 to reserve your spot today! [Details] [Flier] [Web Site]

Caldwell Perspective on Amend 1 (2015-05-30)

Rep. Matt Caldwell blames Amendment 1 advocates for deceiving the public that it would bring new funds to land purchases. He seems to blame them for not anticipating that legislators like him would thwart Constitutional intent by allocating the land funds set-aside to unrelated budget items. [Email Correspondence] [Cartoon]

Nicodemus to C-19 to C-43 (2015-05-30)

For the first time, SFWMD has begun sending water it pays Lykes to store in Nicodemus Slough ($28 million total cost) to the Caloosahatchee. While bringing some benefits, the highly-controversial project carries with it some further risks of abuse. [SFWMD News Release] [Water Storage Strategies] [Dispersed Water Storage Audit] [Controversy History]

Florida Panther a Myth? (2015-05-30)

In trashing panther protection, Sunshine State News again shows its wrong-headedness when it described as "noise" the citizen assertion of the 75%-voter-approved constitutional amendment for land purchases in the EAA. [Sunshine State News]

Algal Bloom Advisory (2015-05-30)

Alas, our waters are again greener than our grass. So yet again, Lee County Dept of Health has issued an advisory recommending people not expose themselves, pets or livestock to Caloosahatchee River water after an algal bloom was detected. [News Press] [NBC-2 with James Evans] [NBC-2 Sky Cam] [Corps of Engineers Beach Closure]

Wild & Scenic Film Festival (2015-05-30)

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, in collaboration with Brenau University and the University of North Georgia, is thrilled to bring the Wild and Scenic Film Festival to Gainesville GA on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Tickets are $10 per person/$5 students. Tickets will be available at the door. Don't miss it! [Poster] [Web Site]

Sea Level Rise Conclusions (2015-05-30)

Following up to the SLR symposium, David Trecker of Naples says a few local governments are beginning to think about the problems – effects on water supply, roadways, & beach erosion. But it’s not a high priority for them because it’s not imminent and thus ill-suited for our institutions to address. [News Press]

Dampening Property Values (2015-05-29)

Florida Realtors say that poor water quality limits property values and forces to sell them at a loss. These are quantified now, nearly $1 billion/year just in Lee and Martin Counties. While overall property values are rising in both counties, they’re being "severely dampened" by poor water quality. [News Press]

Fitzenhagen & Benacquisto Statements (2015-05-29)

The next legislative session starts in a week, so several rallies throughout the next month are being organized. This time the demonstrators showed up at Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto's office. Although Sen. Benacquisto does not support the purchase, Rep. Heather Fitzenhagen does. [NBC2] [Fitzenhagen & Benacquisto Statements] [Aljazeera America] [Cartoon] [Tallahassee Meeting]

Progress at National Level (2015-05-28)

On May 27 the US EPA finalized their Clean Water Rule, closing some loopholes regarding which water bodies fall under Federal oversight. While representing real progress, efforts are underway in Congress to weaken, undermine, or stop the rule completely. [Details] [Earth Justice] [NRDC Analysis] [CBS News] [Counties Opposed] [EPA Rule Web Site]

Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (2015-05-01)

Celebrate Florida's version of autumn on its most famous river from Oct 22-27, 2015. The trip spans 57miles of the scenic Suwannee River Wilderness Trail, as well as 12 miles of the northern Withlacoochee River. Both rivers feature dozens of clear blue springs perfect for swimming or snorkeling. [Register by Oct 8] [Web Site]

April CRCA Newsletter (2015-04-30)

The April 2015 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [April Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]

Water Legislation (2015-04-30)

Language from a comprehensive House water bill was added on Apr23 to other environmental legislation in the House over objections from Democrats. Environmentalists say they’d prefer to see the bills die, effectively ending what some observers predicted would be the "year of water" in the Legislature [SPB]

Sen. Negron on Lake O Discharges (2015-04-30)

In his statement released on April 24, Senator Joe Negron said he spoke with Col. Dodd of the Army Corps of Engineers and he ordered the immediate suspension of discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Lagoon and Estuary until testing of the recent toxic blue-green algae bloom can be completed. [Statement] [Web Site]

HGAS Newsletter Apr-Jun 2015 (2015-04-30)

Hendry-Glades Audubon Society's President Margaret England thanks HGAS secretary, Kim Willis, who has produced and edited the quarterly “Crested Caracara” since Sep 2009. Please continue to submit photos and articles about birds, local history, poems, or antidotes to Kim at kimwillis@centurylink.net [HGAS Apr-Jun 2015 Newsletter]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-04-30)

Lake O level was 13.76ft on Apr 27. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,961 cfs from Apr 21 to 27. The salinity is in an optimal range at Shell point for oysters but still below at Cape Coral. In general, it's still low for both fauna and flora. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Salinity Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Website]

What Would Skink Do? (2015-04-30)

Skink - Clinton Tyree, known as Skink throughout several novels by Carl Hiaasen was governor of Florida in the 1970s. Vehemently opposed to unregulated growth in his home state, he becomes so discouraged by bribery and corruption that he becomes a wild hermit and adopts the name Skink. [Cartoon by Cathy Cochrane]

Everglades Action Day (2015-04-30)

CRCA directors Rae Ann Wessel and Nargiza Abduvohidova along with 12 student members traveled to Tallahassee to join the Everglades Action Day on Apr 6-7. Our group met with decision-makers and joined the rally. Special thanks to Everglades Foundation, EvCo and David & Cheryl Copham for sponsorship. [w/Rep. Fitzenhagen] [w/Rep. Caldwell Asst.] [w/Rep. Passidomo] [Group] [Rally] [SCCF]

Saved By The Bell (2015-04-30)

Bad water policy and fracking bills failed due to a dispute among Republicans over Medicaid funding. The chambers will have to return to pass a budget before July. EAA land purchase funding progress might be possible at that time, but its unlikely. [Tampa Bay Times] [Orlando Sentinel] [Friends of Florida] [Florida Clean Water Network] [Bill Day Cartoons]

No Secret for Fracking Companies (2015-04-30)

On Apr 27 the House passed a law regulating the already legal fracking methods. On the next day, an amendment allowing companies to keep the chemicals they use for fracking secret was postponed because the two Chambers did not reach an agreement. A small victory for environmentalists. [Florida Clean Water] [The Tallahasse Democrat]

Thanks To Our Rally Sponsors (2015-04-30)

CRCA-Riverwatch extends its gratitude and appreciation for the generous donation provided by our members David and Cheryl Copham of Ft. Myers. Your support made it possible for 7 Riverwatch student members stand prominent at the Floridians for Clean Water & Amendment 1 Rally on Feb 18. [David & Cheryl Copham] [Rally Photo 1] [Rally Photo 2]

New Riverwatch Officers (2015-04-30)

The April CRCA Board of Directors meeting elected new officers: President-John Paul; VP-Gene Gibson, VP for Development-Mary Rawl, Treasurer-Ron Zimmerly; Corresponding Secretary-Linda Mattos and Recording Secretary-John Capece. They serve until April 2016. [New Officers]

Everglades Restoration Progress (2015-04-30)

David Urich, a life member and past president of the Responsible Growth Management Coalition Inc. criticizes SFWMD's “Everglades restoration progress” graphic on Wednesday's, Apr 22 News Press. David says he was SHOCKED when he saw the graphic. It did NOT show ANY plan to move water South! [David Urich Commentary to SFWMD] [News Press] [Cartoon]

Gov Scott Orders Water Tests (2015-04-29)

CRCA-Riverwatch Directors Ray Judah and John Cassani comment on recent Corps scheduled water releases from Lake Okeechobee, months earlier than normally required. Gov. Scott ordered a halt to the planned releases pending water quality tests for potential harm from nutrients and toxic algae. [Fox 4] [Video]

Everglades ASR Regional Study (2015-04-29)

The National Research Council has completed its Everglades Aquifer Storage and Recovery Regional Study. NAS will be hosting a webinar on May 13 at 11am to discuss report findings. Register in advance if you are interested in participating. [NAS ASR Report] [Webinar Registration]

Veto Threat on Water & Energy (2015-04-29)

Saying it “drastically underfunds critical investments” in clean energy and climate resilience, the White House on Apr 28 issued a veto threat against a funding bill. Another reason is that the bill includes provisions that would block EPA efforts to assert water quality standards on more waterways. [Energy Guardian] [US News] [The Hill] [Statement]

Obama & Luther Are Angry (2015-04-29)

In his annual comedic address to the White House Correspondents Dinner, President Obama used humor to blast climate change deniers, saying "What kind of stupid, shortsighted, irresponsible bull-"... before Luther (his anger translator) had to interrupt. [Climate Progress] [Climate Change Comments] [Entire Luther Segment]

EPA & Gulf of Mexico (2015-04-29)

EPA avoids stricter water pollution standards for Gulf of Mexico by passing authority to the states. As a result, nitrogen & phosphorus from agricultural runoff and sewage continue to flow into the Gulf, creating a low-oxygen dead zone. [Circle of Blue]

Price of Water Rising (2015-04-29)

The price of water in the USA has risen 41% since 2010. The economics of water – particularly the cost of treatment, pumping, new infrastructure and retail price for consumers – has gained renewed prominence as states face historic drought & water managers seek to rein in water consumption. [Circle of Blue] [Infra Manage] [Water Pricing 2015 Map] [Water Pricing 2010-15 Graphs]

Ohio Regulates Pollution to Lake (2015-04-29)

To reduce algae blooms in Lake Erie, Ohio passed new regulations on wastewater discharges and other point-sources. However, like all other laws in the US, it relies on “voluntary” reductions in farm fertilizer runoff, the problem’s primary source. [Circle of Blue]

Green Slime in Lake O...AGAIN! (2015-04-29)

Wow! Check out this video produced by Capt. Mike Conner and Kenny Hinkle Jr. taken at the Port Mayaca Lock and Dam at Lake Okeechobee. Samples are still being tested to see if it's the same toxic blue-green algae that devastated the Indian River Lagoon and St Lucie Estuary in 2013. [TC Palm] [Photos] [Video] [Water Quality Reports]

Lee Commission Supports Purchase (2015-04-29)

Lee County commissioners added an important voice to the chorus urging the governor and Legislature to acquire U.S. Sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee. Voting in favor were Commissioners Kiker, Manning, and Mann. Voting against were Commissioners Pendergrass and Hamman. [Naples Daily News] [Skink Cartoon]

Urgent: VOTE NO on SB 918 (2015-04-29)

This was supposed to be the year of water – it wasn’t. Senate bill 918 has adopted bad policy language from House bill 7003 which weakened a previously good springs protection bill. SB 918 will not protect our waters. Please call or email the Senate and ask them to VOTE NO ON SB 918. [Action Alert] [WCTV] [Cartoon] [ACT NOW]

FL National Earth Day Focus (2015-04-29)

President Obama spent Apr 22 in the Florida Everglades. The choice of highlighting Earth Day in Florida, where sea levels are rising rapidly & state officials aren’t allowed to discuss climate change, brings Obama to the front lines of the debate over how to address the changing environment. [The Washington Post] [Huffington Post] [Time] [USA Today] [USA Today] [Earth Day Cartoon]

U.S. Warned by Insurance Groups (2015-04-21)

More than 30 different Insurance groups teamed up to warn the U.S. government about Climate Change. They declared that it must be prepared; otherwise they will have to pay for the damages, which can have a disastrous impact on these groups’ economy. [Think Progress]

Obama in the Everglades (2015-04-21)

On Apr 22, President Obama will speak at Everglades National Park for Earth Day. His visit may be a chance for the Everglades to finally obtain what Amendment 1’s money was meant for: a sustainable restoration plan with a relevant storage land. [News Press]

Deepwater Horizon Disaster (2015-04-20)

The event of Deepwater Horizon is still vivid. After the cleanup, the research is still going. In the area, people’s health seems to be harmed as well as the ocean. This tragedy pushed politics into new regulation projects but is it enough? [Think Progress]

Is Earth Day Still Relevant? (2015-04-20)

Is Earth Day still an event as useful as it’s pictured to us? Yes answered Mary Guttierez, because it’s a privileged moment for people to learn about current environmental issues and be implied, at least a bit, like Mary. [Pensacola News Journal]

Lake O Treatment (2015-04-17)

Certainly a good news for Lake O water. Ecosphere Technologies just announced that they received U.S. patent for treating water with one of their product. This may allow the lake to recover by using bacteria sand to annihilate algae blooms. [Power Engineering]

TV Campaign for Amendment 1 (2015-04-17)

With the legislative session intensified, both sides of Amendment 1 topic are now fighting with TV. Several ads, from land purchase supporters and land grab accusers are broadcasting their voice in order to rally everyone. [CBS 12 News]

Restoration and Economy (2015-04-17)

Will red tide attract tourists? Do they want to see dead fish or swim in brown water? Not only the environment but also our economy is in distress; said David Ulrich. Contact our legislators, especially those involved in the budget process committees. [News Press]

Coastal Squeeze (2015-04-17)

Many coastal areas in the U.S. are heavily developed, leading to coastal squeeze as ocean swallow beaches, a barrier of oceanfront hotels, houses and businesses cuts off access to habitat beyond those beaches. Species are trapped in the middle. [Coastal Squeeze] [Eugene Weekly]

Beer Management Rules Update (2015-04-16)

FWC continues its work on new bear management rules. On Apr 15 meeting several rules were approved and one big topic was the infamous feeding violation. Public education is a key factor in this problem, even if hunting is approved. [FWC]

Will Scott Fix the Estuaries? (2015-04-16)

During 15 years, Florida suffered from massive discharges from Lake O. With Amendment 1, Gov. Scott has the upper hand to resolve excess water problem, restore the flow and eliminate the discharges which are a threat for the estuaries and the land. [Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Paddling Trails News (2015-04-16)

The Florida Paddling Trails Association is interviewing for board position to continue its mission to promote & develop water trails. Their second annual Paddling Trail reunion is being held May 1-3. [Paddling Trails Newsletter]

Sea Level Rise Summit (2015-04-16)

CRCA is co-sponsoring a Sea Level Rise Summit on May 7 at FGCU. Similar meetings are held every year in our area, but none have yet achieved the goal of facilitating creation of a SW FL regional climate change "compact" like the one in SE FL. [Summit Program] [Sea Level Rise Summit] [SE FL Regional Climate Change Compact]

Do What I Say, Not What I Do (2015-04-16)

John Cassani points out the disconnect between Lee County Commissioners' positive statements of support for water quality restoration while at the same time they dismantle or generally thwart progressive land use and development planning. Actions consistent with the rhetoric are needed. [News Press]

Hiaasen Speech & Buffett Show (2015-04-15)

During the Everglades Day, we saw how much Floridians care about their environment. But if you missed this event and the show, follow the link and listen to Carl Hiaasen's inspired speech and Jimmy Buffett's joyful songs! [Hiaasen & Buffett] [FSU]

The Clean Water Rule (2015-04-15)

EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent the Clean Water Rule draft to the Office of Management & Budget for review. After they met stakeholders across the country, their Rule now matches public’s expectations about water issues. [EPA]

Volunteer Now for the Oysters (2015-04-15)

If you want to help SCCF restore the health and productivity of San Carlos Bay’s oyster reef, you can register online to help with oyster bed restoration. You need to be at least 18 yo. The campaign will continue through the summer. [Oyster Reef Restoration] [SCCF Contact] [Register Online]

Fracking Bills in the House (2015-04-14)

With the end of the legislative session near, some senate members are trying to push again several anti-environment bills. Special interests and corporations are once more behind this. So take to contact the legislators and stop this hideous process. [Linda Young] [Regulation Bill] [Well Stimulation Bill]

Corps Of Engineers Reducing Flow (2015-04-13)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers adjusted the flow from Lake O in order to average 1,800cfs for the Caloosahatchee Estuary and 0cfs for the St. Lucie Estuary. If the flows will be exceeded by runoff, they’ll be allowed to pass through the structure. [South West Florida Online]

Legacy Campaign Newsletter (2015-04-10)

There isn’t much time until the end of the legislative session and we need to make sure that our legislators will allocate funds to Florida Forever and land purchase than in existing projects. Continue to contact them, support Amendment 1 decisions! [Legacy Campaign Newsletter]

Coral Reef and Fish Biomass (2015-04-09)

A study published in Nature stated that coral reef health is linked to its fish population. So, reefs need to maintain a minimum of 220lbs of fish biomass per hectare. Better management in fishing methods may allow us to save our coral reefs. [Think Progress]

Regional Park Earth Day (2015-04-09)

Register now to attend Lee County’s Caloosahatchee Regional Park’s Earth Day! On Apr 18, you can participate in birdhouses painting and then find a spot for your piece of art! On Apr 21, park staff will guide you on a walk to a oak hammock. [News Press]

To Delay or Not? (2015-04-09)

Land purchases can cost more than planned, since expensive infrastructure will be needed to send the water south. This is a reason some lawmakers seek to delay any new purchases and focus on previous restoration projects. But later, the price won’t be cheaper. [Sun Sentinel]

Joe Negron Support (2015-04-09)

As he seeks his party’s selection as Senate president while also trying to maintain home voter support, Joe Negron gingerly endorsed the EAA land buy project. He says that he’s researching options for the $500 million land purchase. [Palm Beach Post] [TC Palm]

Business Owner Perspective (2015-04-09)

Everglades is a natural treasure, they allow us to have clean water and are the engine of our tourism business. Irene Gomes, a motel owner, share her experience and the loss she encountered, generated by environment deterioration. [Palm Beach Post]

Overpayed Storage (2015-04-09)

Currently, the state is overpaying big agricultural operators to store water on their property. A little help in order to filter the pollutants, but a waste of money when the US Sugar’s land option can bring larger and public storage for our water. [Tampa Bay Times]

Buffett Concluded the Action Day (2015-04-09)

For the Everglades Action Day, Jimmy Buffett delivered a pitch-perfect performance for both environmental activists and legislators in the Capitol. Carl Hiaasen introduced the show by reminding that we just need our leaders to respect Amendment 1. [FSU News] [Everglades Action Day]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-04-08)

Lake O level was 13.84ft on Apr 6. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 2,200 cfs from Mar 31 to Apr 6. Macroalgae invaded the bottom near shore between Old Birdge Park and Beautiful Island when salinity was in the lethal range for oysters. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Salinity Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Web Site]

Caloosahatchee Water Woes (2015-04-08)

A consortium of Southwest Florida interests put together a water quality priority list, that's expected to help secure funding for Everglades restoration and other projects aimed at improving conditions in the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary. The report is headed by the SFWMD. [News Press] [Final Report 17MB] [Web Site]

FGCU Environmental Survey (2015-04-08)

FGCU is conducting a survey to approach Floridian’s behavior, awareness and knowledge linked to environment. They centered it on communities and their culture in order to measure their impact on nature. Take some minutes of your time to help them! [FGCU Survey]

Next Legal Step for Ceitus (2015-04-08)

The City of Cape Coral has submitted to the court a motion for summary judgement on the action brought by Riverwatch and other groups. The action attempted to make Cape Coral and DEP replace the Ceitus Boat Lift structure they removed in 2008. [Boat Lift Motion]

State-approved Pollution Legal (2015-04-08)

A Federal court dismissed a lawsuit against Rayonier and its polluting discharges into Altamaha River near Jesup, GA. According to the judge, the company was in compliance with its state-issued water quality permit. A disappointment for the Riverkeeper which now seeks recourse [The Times Union]

SWFL Sustainability Summit (2015-04-08)

On Apr 30, the Southwest Florida Sustainability Summit will analyze the vision of our future, our way to grow and work together. This will allow community leaders and business owners to elaborate sustainable practices. Register now to participate. [Sustainability Summit Press Release]

Kayak Safety (2015-04-08)

Dana Kirk, a US Coast Guard auxiliarist made a presentation about kayak safety and use of VHF radio on Apr 15. A good lesson for large boat paddlers more than for kayakers. [Kayak Safety Invitation] [SWFL Adventure Group]

Senators Heard the Crowd (2015-04-08)

On Apr 1 FL State Senators acknowledged during a budget hearing that they received a huge number of calls from constituents. Thank you for your dedication, our voices are being heard! Sign the petition for EAA land purchase and thanks to our champions! [SCCF Senators Support] [Sign the Petition]

March Ripple Effect (2015-04-08)

The March 2014 SFWMD newsletter highlights some progress in Everglades restoration and communicates its approval for a pump station to connect the St Lucie River to a 6300-acre treatment wetland. [Ripple Effect Index] [Ripple Effect News]

FGCU Asks Your Opinion (2015-04-05)

You can help a research project of FGCU biology, sociology and psychology professors by completing a 20-minute survey about community culture, behavior, and knowledge of our environmental impacts. [FGCU Request] [Survey Cartoon] [Take the Survey]

Pollution Decreases Home Values (2015-04-03)

Discharges from Lake O have an environmental effect but not only. New research led by realtors highlights the negative impact on home sales and prices (as well as tourism) in the area. Environment and economy are threatened in this situation. [Capital Soup]

CRCA Land Purchase Resolution (2015-04-03)

CRCA-Riverwatch implores South Florida Water Management District and the Florida Legislature to purchase the land south of the lake O prior to the end of 2015 legislative session to stop the excessive releases of polluted water to the estuaries. [CRCA Resolution]

Hired Actors as Protesters (2015-04-03)

A new scandal made Big Sugar’s reputation even dirtier than their runoff. A protest organized on Apr 2 against Land Purchase was nothing but a scam since most of the people were actors hired with Big Sugar's money. What will be the next low blow? [The Palm Beach Post] [New Times Broward-Palm Beach] [Martha Musgrove Comments]
[Eye On Miami Memorandum]

More Caloosahatchee Visioning (2015-04-02)

The Caloosahatchee Visioning by UF-IFAS was a success. After a workshop between stakeholders everybody can now see some of the goals as the basis for developing better regional projects and a list of priorities for our future SW Florida. [Visioning Final Report]

Totten Glacier is Melting (2015-04-02)

An international team of scientists discovered that warmer water may flow underneath Totten Glacier’s ice shelf in East Antarctica and accelerate its melting. This tremendous amount of ice melting implies a large increase in sea level rise. [The Washington Post]

Slowing Gulf Stream (2015-04-02)

A recent study highlighted the weakening in the North Atlantic’s Gulf Stream system. In an intense climate change period, this place is cooling. This possible side effect of global warming can lead to Florida east coast sea level rise. [Real Climate] [Gulf Stream Slowing]

The Fracking Crusade (2015-04-02)

Linda Young says the FL legislative bills on fracking will now be sent to different committees and that we must continue our fight by contacting more people and warn them about the treats posed by those bills. [What the Frack Florida] [Tallahassee Democrat]

FORCE March Newsletter (2015-04-02)

Friends of the Rivers Coalition's newsletter is out. River Kidz went to in-service training related to our environment and spoke during the Water Management meeting for a brighter future. Various meetings are also announced by the association. [Force March Newsletter]

FEMA Pressures Deniers (2015-03-31)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency took a step to avoid anymore denying on man-made climate change by refusing to give disaster preparedness funds to states whose governors ignore human activities responsibility in this environmental threat. [Inside Climate News]

Dangerous Bills in the Senate (2015-03-31)

Linda Young informed us that the Senate will hear two bills on fracking and one bill about septage this Mar 31. Once again, contact committee members to protect Florida from these abusive projects and their terrible impact on our environment. [Contact the Committee]

League of Women Voters Events (2015-03-31)

Ray Judah will make a speech on water quality and its impact on the Everglades this Apr 4; register today! In addition, the League of Women Voters plan to visit the farm of the Future on May 1 and cosponsor a Sea Level Rising Summit on May 7. [League of Woman Voters Schedule]

March CRCA Newsletter (2015-03-30)

The March 2015 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [March Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletters Archives]

Sea Water Invasion (2015-03-27)

When it comes to sea level rise, Florida has to be concerned not only by the water on the shoreline, but also by the water which will flow through & within the lands. The Everglades & its balance between fresh and salt water will suffer. [Phys]

The End of Solar Monopoly (2015-03-26)

Floridians for Solar Choice’s petitions overcame a huge step with 72,000 signatures. A number which allows it to reach the state’s Supreme Court for a potential free market. The end of utilities’ monopoly on Floridian’s energy choice is near! [Think Progress] [Floridians for Solar Choice] [Facebook]

Black Bear Hunting Proposal (2015-03-26)

Black bear hunting proposal is on its way to FWC Commission on Apr. Bear population growth and people feeding them result in attacks & dangerous encounters. Doinmytoons asks (tongue in cheek) if manatees are next since their numbers are up too. [Wesh TV Bulletin] [Bear Hunting Draft Plan] [Bear Cartoon] [FWC About Black Bear] [Poll on Bear Hunting Permit]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-03-26)

Lake O level was 14.27ft on Mar 23. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 2,421 cfs from Mar 17 to 23. The salinity was in a lethal range for oysters at the downstream of the Colonial Bridge and below the optimal range at Iona (10 psu). [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Salinity Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Web Site]

Changes In Lock Schedules (2015-03-25)

The US Army Corps of Engineers will reduce operating hours for all 5 locks on the Okeechobee Waterway to 7am-5pm effective April 1.This will save the Corps money while only requiring only 5% of lock users to adjust their schedules. [Corps Of Engineers Email] [Okeechobee Waterway Locks Schedule] [Satisfaction Survey]

Surfrider In Tallahassee (2015-03-25)

The number of supporters for the Everglades Action Day continues to grow. The Surfrider Foundation joined the coalition and expressed their will of clean beach and ocean and to free them from their plastic shackles made of single-use bags. [Surfrider Foundation]

Fracking In Florida: The Movie (2015-03-25)

On Apr 12, the Calusa Nature Center will display Groundswell Rising, a film that pictures people involved in a campaign against fracking and its threats. After that, you’ll attend a Q&A with Craig Stevens whose community was devastated by fracking. [Announcement] [Movie Flyer]

Maze Of Legislative Session (2015-03-25)

The legislative session is a tortuous journey towards Everglades Restoration. A new bill arrived on the House table, removing water quality requirements for Lake O and ignoring water conservation plan. Urge the Senate to oppose HB 7003 for all of us! [Bill Explained] [HB 7003 Bill]

At Least 400 Years (2015-03-25)

On the verge of absolutely vanishing due to human activities and climate change, Florida’s coral needs dedication, money and time if we want it to grow again. If all plans of the recovery team go well, the total restoration will take 400 years. [Los Angeles Times]

Indian Riverkeeper Presentation (2015-01-08)

The Indian Riverkeeper, Marty Baum, delivers a presentation to Caloosahatchee Riverwatch at 7pm on Wednesday, April 15, at the Calusa Nature Center in Ft Myers. He will describe his experience as the local member of the national Waterkeeper Alliance. [Indian Riverkeeper] [Waterkeeper Alliance]

Jimmy Buffett For The Everglades (2015-03-24)

Everglades Coalition announced that Jimmy Buffett will join the Everglades Action Day on Apr 7 in Tallahassee. Buffett is a long-time Florida environmental supporter. Buffett will do a brief acoustic performance in addition to speaking on the issues. [Jimmy Buffett Performance] [Announcement]

Caloosahatchee Basin Visioning (2015-03-24)

Don’t forget to RSVP for the Caloosahatchee Basin Visioning Workshop on Mar 31. It’s at the UF/IFAS Hendry County Extension Office, 1085 Pratt Boulevard, LaBelle from 1-4pm. Stakeholders are encouraged to participate. [Details] [Flyer]

Sugar Land Rally Speakers (2015-03-24)

If you couldn't manage to go to the rally to buy Sugar Lands on Mar 12, you still can watch all speakers on Riverwatch Director John Scott's Youtube playlist. Follow the link below and take a moment to get informed about the rally's impact. [Youtube Playlist]

Young On Legislative Session (2015-03-24)

Advocate Linda Young describes the current Legislative session. Her analysis includes water bills, fracking bills, EPA rule about wetlands, polluted waters clean-ups, a lawsuit linked to Florida resources, and the Clean Water event. [Linda Letter] [Florida Clean Water Network]

SFWMD Land Surplus (2015-03-24)

On Mar 26, SFWMD will hold a public meeting at its headquarters in order to present a proposal to make a land approved for the District’s water management mission. If so, this property will be recommended for exchange or surplus. [SFWMD Announcement]

Amendment 1 Flouted (2015-03-24)

The FL Senate's Mar 19 spending proposal was particularly disappointing since it was less than the House’s and Rick Scott’s. Only 2 million to fund land purchase so about 84% cut from the budget. Amendment 1 yearning seems forgotten by the Senate. [Miami Herald] [Tallahassee Democrat] [Miami Herald Cartoon]

Scientists Support Land Purchase (2015-03-24)

Scientists from across the country are joining environmental activists in their struggle for water storage by purchasing the land. Their petition had been sent to several officials in order to push them into the project & counter US Sugar assertions. [WGCU] [Petition Letter] [Scientist Petition Signatories]

Thanks Nature Center Team (2015-03-21)

Nature Center team members William Faris, Kayla Koszela, Seth Carvell, Genai Santos, Diana Santos, and Louise Miller helped make the CRCA trip to Rock Lake Resort and Billy's Creek a great day of food and fun. [Genie Santos] [Seth Carvell] [Louise Miller] [William Faris takes to the creek] [Diana Santos] [Kayla Koszela Karries Kanoe & Kayak Kit]

Riverwatch at Billys Creek (2015-03-21)

Billy's Creek was the setting for CRCA's annual members meeting and picnic. 30 attended and elected the 2015-2016 board of directors then took to kayaks and canoes to explore the creek. [2015-2016 Board Of Directors] [Group Photo]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-03-19)

Lake O level was 14.53ft on Mar 16. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 2,546 cfs over the past week. The salinity at Iona (11 psu) this past week was below the optimal range for oysters and low for seagrass at McIntyre Creek & Tarpon Bay. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Salinity Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Web Site]

Everglades Action Day in Tally (2015-03-17)

Join us for the Everglades Action Day in Tallahassee on Apr 6&7 to send a strong message to elected leaders: Buy The Land! Send Water South! Save Our Everglades & Estuaries! Free charter bus is available. Students, call & get your scholarships today! [Student Scholarship Flyer] [Action Day Flyer] [Original Letter] [Application Form]

Pine Island Overcrowding (2015-03-16)

Pine Island Civic Assoc held a meeting on the effects of population density. Without actions from Lee County, inhabitants are concerned since further growth may threaten the environment and could endanger people in the event of a traffic jam. [Meeting Debriefing] [Pine Island Land Plan]

Jeb In The Wilderness (2015-03-16)

As Jeb Bush campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Politico.com explores his environmental record as FL governor from 1999 to 2007. In spite of tremendous efforts on Everglades resurrection, the River of Grass is still in great danger. [Politico.com]

Time Is Running Out (2015-03-16)

This is a crucial moment for Florida waters. Soon our legislator will vote on a budget so contact your representatives, and make their decisions reflect the peoples's desires by dedicate the money required for the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. [News Press]

Effects Of Nutrient Pollution (2015-03-13)

A recent study supported by NSF shows that nutrient pollution doesn't only leads to algal blooms but also to decomposition stimulation. Leaves and woods in the stream disappear quicker, eliminating a source of carbon essential to aquatic life. [National Science Foundation]

North Spreader Salinity Readings (2015-03-13)

The North Spreader is now in its dry season stage with moderate salinity. In June or July it will convert from saltwater to a fresh water habitat. This cycle occurs every year since the Cape destroyed the Ceitus Barrier. [Original Letter] [Salinity Readings Spreadsheet]

Control The Flow (2015-03-13)

Advocating state lands purchases, Manley Fuller, president of the Florida Wildlife Federation, says the key of Everglades restoration will be dealing with flow. Land purchases bring new storage possibilities and more flexibility in water management. [News Press]

The Purchase Choice (2015-03-12)

CRCA Director Ray Judah states the US Sugar land is the key to Everglades restoration. These 46,000 acres could control Lake O stage and manage harmful nutrients. The deadline is near; the approaching vote may decide the faith of the state. [Land Critical Situation] [Support Land Purchase]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-03-12)

Lake O level was 14,70ft on Mar 2. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,867 cfs from Feb 24 to Mar 2. FGCU sampling discovered that Perkinsus marinus disease is affecting oysters. In the mean time, birds are still affected by brevetoxicosis. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Salinity Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Web Site]

Florida Banning Words? (2015-03-11)

Florida Times Union investigative reporting uncovered evidence in several state agencies that Gov Rick Scott is making climate change denial state policy by banning the use of these words for all state employees. Absolutely shocking! [Tristram Korten Article] [Times Union] [Huffington Post] [Video of Bart Bibler Case] [Scott Denial]

Roadblock to Land Purchase (2015-03-11)

In a Mar 12 meeting Jim Moran, SFWMD governing board member and Palm Beach attorney at Reed, Griffith & Moran, asserted counter-arguments against land purchases. He cites current incapacity for moving large volumes of water and other issues [Palm Beach Post]

Carl Hiaasen on Sugar Puppets (2015-03-08)

In a Miami Herald commentary, famed author/humorist Carl Hiaasen calls out Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli for becoming a puppet of big sugar by quashing the EAA land purchase needed for a southern flow way. [Miami Herald] [Carl Hiaasen Commentary] [DoinMyToons Puppets]

Big O Birding Stargazing Night (2015-03-06)

There is more than birds to admire during the Big O Birding Festival. On Mar 13, you can join for free the Stargazing night and enjoy the majesty of Floridian nocturnal sky. Rendez-vous in Port LaBelle before the departure in the wild. [Flyer]

SFWMD Says Happier Days Ahead (2015-03-05)

The 2015 South Florida Environmental Report highlights progress in Everglades' Restoration such as improvements in water quality & water management practices. SFWMD says their strategies could bring a brighter future for the Florida environment. [SFWMD Press Release] [South Florida Environmental Report]

Historical Eco Tour (2015-03-05)

On Mar 9 you can join the Historical Eco Tour in LaBelle. It’s an occasion to learn more about Florida’s historical and natural legacy. And a reminder for everybody, don’t disturb turtles nesting. Protect this endangered reptile. [Southwest Florida Online]

Rally To Buy Sugar Lands (2015-03-05)

On Mar 12 more than 100 protesters rallied outside the SFWMD governing board meeting room while others made their voices heard to the SFWMD decision makers in the meeting. Citizens continue to march in the face of state intransigence. [WPEC CBS12] [WBBH NBC2] [CBS Miami]

AWRA March Technical Meeting (2015-03-05)

A technical meeting, organized by AWRA, will be held Mar 27 at Archbold Biological Station. This session will focus on recent progress in preservation programs and technologies used for water treatment. You have until Mar 25 to register online. [Details] [Website]

Tribute To The Shark Lady (2015-03-03)

A life of discovering, adventure, and dedication to marine life just came to its end Feb 25. Eugenie Clark quickly became a model for marine biologists, her tenacity and great mind left a legacy for generations in the understatement of our ocean. [National Geographic Article]

Fracking Champion (2015-03-03)

On March 2, Ray Rodrigues of Estero sponsored 3 bills in the Florida House of Representatives to encourage and protect fracking methods of oil & gas exploration in Florida. These are House Bill 1205 & 1207 (clean up funds) plus 1209 (chemical secrets). [Petition Letter] [Fracking in Florida] [Fracking Bills] [Share The Petition]

Land Buy Press Conference (2015-03-03)

Sierra Club & other environmental groups will hold a press conference at 1pm on Wed, Mar 4 in Centennial Park in Ft. Myers to urge SFWMD to buy the U.S. Sugar Land for water storage and flow to the south. [News Alert] [Send It South]

UF Says Buy the Land! (2015-03-03)

The UF report concludes, "Given the limited opportunity and the uncertainty of any future similar opportunities to purchase large acreages of lands in the EAA, the state should consider this time-limited option." This is academic-speak for "DO IT!" [Full UF Report] [Key Excerpts]

Ships Over Coral Reef? (2015-03-02)

A dredging operation, conducted in the name of port, heavily damaged Miami’s Biscayne Bay Coral reef. The reef is now gray and dead due to sediments and will avoid destruction only if serious measures will be taken soon. [National Geographic Article]

Warn The Governing Board (2015-03-02)

SFWMD Governing Board meeting will be held on Mar 12. It’s time to contact Blake Guillory to ask him to add a discussion of the EAA land purchases to the Agenda. Send him an email by Mar 4 to make the voice of Everglades restoration heard. [Original Letter] [Governing Board Meeting Dates]

Big O Birding Festival 2015 (2015-03-02)

You have less than 2 weeks until the Big O Birding Festival so don’t miss the chance to admire the migratory and resident birds of South Centre Florida in their habitat. Professional or not, participate to the photo contests all along the festival. [Schedule & Registration] [Photo Contest] [Map] [Past Winner] [Website] [Facebook Page]

February CRCA Newsletter (2015-02-27)

The February 2015 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [February Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

Debating Land Buy Merits (2015-02-27)

Environmental advocates made their case for the EAA lands purchase to SFWMD Governing Members at a Feb 12 meeting. The Board politely acknowledged their input but basically told them not to hold their breathes waiting for a vote of support. [SFWMD Meeting Video] [Photo]

SCCF River Restoration Project (2015-02-26)

SCCF has received a $500,000 grant to replace and restore damaged habitats to a pre-2013 level. SCCF will provide substrate to promote healthy oyster reef development and will also grow and replant submerged aquatic vegetation. [DEP News] [Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation]

Save Everglades With Images (2015-02-26)

Everglades supporters recently broke the fragile peace between them and the sugar industry. The everglades restoration seeks to obtain EAA lands and the industry doesn't seem to understand or care about the risks despite many years of discussion. [News Press]

TV Campaign for Land Purchase (2015-02-26)

Everglades advocates launched a six-figure TV, radio and online campaign to push state leaders to use Amendment 1 water and land conservation money to buy U.S. Sugar land south of Lake O so more water flows to the Everglades. [Tampa Bay] [TV Campaign] [Save Everglades With Images]

CRCA March Board Meeting (2015-02-26)

The Riverwatch board of directors meets on Wednesday, March 4 at 6:30pm at the Calusa Nature Center's Iona House in Ft. Myers. [Location]

No Red Tide (2015-02-26)

According to the recent report, Karenia brevis, the FL red tide organism, was not detected in samples analyzed this week throughout Fla. Visit FL HAB's Facebook page to learn interesting facts concerning red tide & other harmful algae blooms in FL. [FL HABs Facebook]

Senate Public Suggestion (2015-02-26)

Let’s your voice be heard by participating by a suggestion on how you want the funding from the Amendment to be spent. By this kind of action and in all others we participate in each day, we’ll soon make a difference. [Senate Website]

Ayala Family Wins 2nd Place (2015-02-26)

The Ayala family of Immokalee won the Canoe Contest 2nd Place prize - a free canoe/kayak rental for 4 at Estero River Outfitters. Estero Outfitters has been a CRCA sponsor since the canoe contest was started 10 years ago. [Estero River Outfitters]

State of Everglades Report (2015-02-26)

The State of the Everglades Report is published twice a year to provide updates on recent progress and new challenges. The publication is full of news and information and is a great way to catch up on all of Audubon's Everglades efforts. [State of Everglades Fall/Winter 2014] [Web Site]

2015 Legislative Platform (2015-02-26)

Sierra Club encourages members to promote a list of key policies in dialog with legislators (call 'em up and schedule a visit on a matter in which you are interested); support this platform in conversation with your neighbors, workmates and friends. [Sierra Club Florida News]

Legislature Tackles Water Woes (2015-02-26)

The five key aspects to be discussed during the legislative session that begins March 3 are: 1)water quantity; 2)water quality; 3)springs; 4)everglades; and 5)funding. Florida lawmakers plan to overhaul (some say keelhaul) the state’s water policy. [Herald Tribune]

Thanks To Our Rally Sponsors! (2015-02-26)

We would like to extend a special thanks to a group of members who each stepped forward to donate $50 each to sponsor student participation in the Floridian's for Clean Water & Amendment 1 Rally in Tallahassee on Feb 18. [List of Donors]

Annual CRCA Members Meeting (2015-02-26)

Riverwatch will hold its annual members meeting & picnic on Saturday, March 21 starting at 10am in the Rock Lake Resort on Billy's Creek in Ft. Myers. Bring a covered dish & CRCA will provide the meat, kayaks & canoes. [Location (2937 Palm Bch Blvd)]

EAA Land Purchases (2015-02-26)

Florida State Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) opposes the EAA Land Purchases which many advocacy groups support. She does not think it is a responsible way to spend the majority of Amendment 1 funds. [Palm Beach Post] [Rep. Edwards Web Site]

Sequel to Amendment 1 (2015-02-26)

The legislative session started Feb 3 and will last 60 days. During these 2 months voters will learn whether the politicians will honor the intent of Amendment 1, approved by 75% of Florida voters in November. [News Press]

Pollution Scandal of Scott & Koch (2015-02-26)

FCWN's attorney Steve Medina wrote an exclusive story about how Rick Scott ignored the Florida Constitution again when he gave the Koch brothers permission to dump tons of toxic waste into the St Johns River every single day from their GP papermill. [Linda Young's Comment] [Daily Kos] [HTML Version]

Abstract & Session Proposals (2015-02-26)

You have until April 15 to submit an abstract or session proposal for inclusion in the National Working Waterfronts & Waterways Symposium scheduled for November 2015 in Tampa. Minds from all over the US will gather to ponder & plan our waterfronts. [Announcement] [Prospectus] [NWWWS Website]

The Cost of Growth (2015-02-26)

Deeply concerned about the future of Lee Co. where the population is approaching 700,000, Roger Williams questions the County Commissioners. As the population grows so will the needs for good roads, parks, schools & EMTs. Who & how will pay for that? [Roger William Opinion] [About Roger in 2007] [Florida Weekly]

Caloosahatchee Basin Visioning (2015-02-26)

UF/IFAS invites interested stakeholders to participate in a 3-hour Caloosahatchee Basin Visioning workshop on Mar 31 at the UF/IFAS Hendry County Extension Office, 1085 Pratt Boulevard, LaBelle from 1-4pm. RSVP requested. [Details] [Flier]

Follow The Stream (2015-02-26)

You may be aware that South Florida Water Management District is moving water from Lake O. There is an interactive website where you can follow the activity and see the progress of this task with aerial views and photos. [Interactive Lake]

Student Poster Contest Winners (2015-02-26)

This year's SWFL Water Resources Conference was, for the first time, AWRA's statewide student research poster contest. Cash prizes were offered for the best research posters, with 1, 2, & 3-place awards to graduate and undergraduate students. [Winners!] [Amy & Poster] [Conference Web Site]

Water Reform Troubles (2015-02-26)

Despite the promises of the Amendment 1 and its 75% approval, politicians don’t seem to identify the roots of the Florida water issues. Instead, expansive projects are created, more to preserve special interests than to restore degraded waters. [Tallahassee Democrat Guest Opinion]

Fish Kill Hotline (2015-02-26)

Through the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission web site, concerned citizens can submit fish kill reports. The toll-free hotline offers information about how and where to report fish kills, fish with parasites, & other fish abnormalities. [Fish Kill Hotline Report] [Submit a Fish Kill Report]

Land Purchase Resolution (2015-02-26)

On Feb 9, 2015 the City of Stuart adopted a new resolution urging the SFWMD to purchase 46,000 acres of land south of Lake O from US Sugar for water storage to insure proper protection of the St. Lucie and Indian River Estuaries. [Resolution 08-2015]

Riverkeeper Action in Georgia (2015-02-26)

The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper in Georgia discovered that a local business discharged huge amount of pollutants near the river before it left town. Taxpayers may face the expense of the cleaning since the company hasn't been forced to yet. [TV Posting] [WSBTV Video]

Pine Island Plan in Trouble (2015-02-26)

On Feb 17, a local law firm provided commissioners with a presentation on Pine Island Plan claiming that community plans that restrict development cannot be defended in court. Comm. Frank Mann said the county should continue to enforce the Plan. [Letter to the Editor]

Glaring Omission in DEP Report (2015-02-26)

John Cassani wrote to DEP asking why critical information was omitted from the BMAP Progress Report, despite a prior request for its inclusion. DEP appears to be trying to paint a deceptive picture of progress on water quality in the Caloosahatchee. [Details] [Graph]

2015 BBQ and Blues Festival (2015-02-26)

Rivers Coalition will be a beneficiary of the 3rd annual Jensen Beach BBQ & Blues Festival from Feb 27 through Mar 1 at Indian Riverside Park. Plan on attending and supporting the cause of clean water (& music & BBQ). [FORCE Feb Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Sign-up to Volunteer] [Festival Web Site]

Sign the Solar Petition (2015-02-26)

Part of CRCA's Swamp Cabbage Festival exhibit space was used to gather petition signatures for the Solar Choice constitutional amendment, which would nullify the FL law preventing companies from financing the installation of solar panels on homes. [Sign the Petition] [Photo] [Facebook]

New DEP Special Counsel (2015-02-26)

Craig Varn is now a Special Counsel on Water Policy for Florida Department of Environmental Protection. With his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, he brings a helpful expertise for the DEP as well as his experience in stormwater management. [DEP Bulletin] [Craig Varn's Profile] [DEP Website]

March For Ocean Justice (2015-02-26)

The Obama administration has made available the Atlantic territory to petroleum companies for sonic mapping. This is a first step towards offshore drilling in Florida. On Mar 7, join Environmental Youth Council for a rally to reversal this decision. [Announcement] [Obama Cartoon 2] [Obama Cartoon 3] [Article] [Facebook Event] [Flyer]

Florida Treading Water - Nat. Geo. (2015-02-26)

The feature story in the February issue of National Geographic says Florida’s bill is coming due, as the costs of climate change add up around the globe. By 2100 it will cost Cape Coral $4.2 billion, affecting 10,000 homes - $420,000/home. [Feature Article] [Costs to Cities] [Florida in 2100] [National Geographic]

Moonlight On The Marsh Lectures (2015-02-25)

There are still 2 lectures to attend at the FGCU Kapnick Center in Naples. On Feb 26 you can learn about ecohydrology and the way we can choose to restore our rivers and watersheds. On Mar 12, the topic will be coastal dead zones prevention. [Lecture Schedule]

The Unseen Everglades (2015-02-25)

The Unseen Everglades takes a deeper look at the history of our cherished lands. This documentary aims to educate people and make them realize how much the Glades are important for us. The situation is critical and the restoration crucial. [News Press] [Just Peachy Productions Website]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-02-25)

Lake O level was 14.68ft on Feb 23. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,828 cfs over the past week. An aerial survey to count manatees at power plants on Feb 15 revealed highest number at the FPL plant with 523 individuals. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Salinity Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Web Site]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-02-25)

Lake O level was 14.74ft on Feb 9. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,539 cfs over the past week. The salinity at Iona (16 psu) this past week was in the optimal range for oysters. 80 manatees reported at Manatee Park and FPL discharge canal. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Web Site]

Cyanotoxins In Our Glasses (2015-02-25)

According to the AWWA, algal blooms in our watersheds lead to cyanotoxins pollution, another disaster for our drinking water and ecosystem. In a message to the Congress, they recommend them to consider efficient ways to deal with nutrient pollution. [News Press] [Saturated River] [AWWA Website] [Algal Bloom] [Lake Erie Example]

The Everglades Case (2015-02-25)

The Everglades are a major part of our ecosystem and Amendment 1 can make a huge difference in its restoration, but only if our politicians handle the money properly. This short Univ of Miami animation summarizes perfectly the situation. [Animation]

Wetlands vs Sea Level Rise (2015-02-25)

Still wondering how Everglades and other wetlands affect salt water intrusion? This animation is made for you. Within 2 minutes you’ll be able to understand the purpose of Everglades and other wetlands restoration & their role against sea level rise. [Animation] [Sketch]

Septic Tanks Hazard (2015-02-24)

According to Linda Young’s new report, about 40% of Florida's septic tanks don’t function properly and less than 1% are inspected each year. It’s terrifying news, since these systems can be an environmental catastrophe if not maintained correctly. [Schematic] [Original Email] [Article]

In The Weeds (2015-02-24)

Officials are claiming that details of a southern flow way would cause it to not work and using them as justification for not buying the remaining U.S. Sugar land. This purchase was the real purpose of Amendment 1 that passed with 75% approval. [News Press] [In The Weeds]

Water Policy in Florida House (2015-02-24)

Despite a rally by voters advocating the Florida Legislature use Amendment 1 funds as voters intended (for land purchases), a bill sponsored by Matt Caldwell of Lehigh Acres might siphon away much of the money to agricultural BMP cost sharing. [News Press] [Water Bill]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-02-24)

Lake O level was 14.68ft on Feb 23. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,477 cfs over the past week. The salinity at Iona (16 psu) this past week was in the optimal range for oysters. Wildlife clinic received 3 patients affected by brevetoxicosis. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Web Site]

Infinite Water (2015-02-24)

A University of Miami research project has created a system allowing urban buildings to operate off the water utility grid. Wastewater is treated adjacent buildings where it is generated then reused as potable water after removing all contaminants. [News Press] [Details] [Project website]

Wings Over Water Festival (2015-02-23)

Harns Marsh Wings Over Water Festival takes place Feb 27 & 28. Don’t miss the opportunity to be amazed by Florida’s wildlife. Nature Walk Friday morning and more activities such as Farmer’s Market or exhibits the day after. And admission is free. [Web Site]

Rescued Manatee (2015-02-23)

Everything went well for Trinidad, a male manatee which was transferred to SeaWorld in Orlando last week. He is now closer to his final destination: Tampa Bay, and will stay at Orlando until the conditions appear optimal for his release. [News Press]

Riverwatch Thanks Seminole Tribe (2015-02-23)

Joe Frank and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. once again donated a new canoe to Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association for the annual Swamp Cabbage Festival Canoe Contest. Riverwatch thanks Joe and the Tribe for their annual, generous support. [John thanks Joe] [Thanks to Calusa Nature Center] [Thanks to Estero River Outfitters]

Linda Estes Wins 3rd Place (2015-02-23)

Linda Estes of LaBelle won third place in the 2015 Riverwatch Canoe Contest, a year free membership in the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium. [Margaret, Joe, Linda & Nargis]

And the Winner Is.... (2015-02-23)

Hannah Mary Perry is the winner of the 2015 Riverwatch Canoe Contest held at Swamp Cabbage Festival. It came as a complete surprise when Margaret called with the news. Hannah's husband, Jeff, bought the tickets under her name without telling Hannah. [Hannah with Margaret] [Hannah & Jeff Perry] [2nd Place Winner] [3rd Place Winner]

Buy The Land, Send It South! (2015-02-22)

Riverwatch director John Scott delivered a forceful, intelligent appeal on behalf of the Caloosahatchee River at the Feb 18 rally in Tallahassee. He stated the logic for the "Buy the Land, Send It South" solution to regional water quality problems. [John Scott speech at rally] [All Rally Speakers]

Pumping in Lake Okeechobee (2015-02-20)

After Mirror Lake last week, it’s Lake Okeechobee’s turn to participate in water releasing program. With those releases from the lake to estuaries, South Florida Water Management District aims to regulate our watershed and improve water quality. [News Press]

Endangered Coast (2015-02-19)

The results of a study about the effects of climate change on coastal areas just came out. It appears that the upwelling, a mechanism that brings nutrient-rich waters, could damage marine biodiversity and creates dead zones if it increases too much. [National Science Foundation]

History of the Caloosahatchee (2015-02-10)

In 1998, Carolyn A. Kimes and L.C. Crocker of FGCU produced a historical overview of the Caloosahatchee River. The 72-page report describes all the various projects that modified the river into its modern conditions. [Kimes & Crocker]

Road Trip!!! (2015-01-27)

Riverwatch will join in a Feb 18 road trip to Tallahassee sponsored by Sierra Club to lobby for clean water. The focus of this trip is to derail the hijacking of Amendment 1 funds that lobbyist and legislators want to divert to development support. [One Reason for the Trip] [Alert] [Details] [2014 Rally Photos]

January CRCA Newsletter (2015-02-03)

The January 2015 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [January Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

Land Buy Action Alert! (2015-02-02)

Urge the Florida legislature to purchase land in the EAA for a reservoir before the option expires this year. Purchase of the land for a reservoir will create the opportunity to flow water south out of Lake Okeechobee and relieve our estuary. [SCCF Call for Action]

Last Pinfish in Estero Bay (2015-02-02)

The News Press' Kevin Lollar documents the trials and tribulations of FGCU's Bob Wasno as he attempted to net the Pinfish bait species in Estero Bay for a captive breeding program. An entire day netted two of the elusive and dwindling fish. [News Press] [Great Video!]

Corps Starting to Listen (2015-02-01)

SCCF's Rae Ann Wessel points to the Corps of Engineers' recent limiting of S-79 discharges to the Caloosahatchee estuary as evidence that the Corps is listening to input from Lee County organizations & scientists. Things can improve over time. [Caloosahatchee Conditions]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2015-02-01)

Lake O level was 14.68ft on Jan 31. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,465 cfs over the past week. The salinity at Iona (16 psu) this past week was in the optimal range for oysters. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [Lake O Water Level] [SCCF Web Site]

Pumping into Nicodemus Slough (2015-01-31)

Storing water in places like Nicodemus Slough (located adjacent Fisheating Creek and Lake O) is one way SFWMD is limiting excess flows to the Caloosahatchee during this abnormally "wet" dry season for Lake O this year. [WPTV, Jan 30] [WPTV, Jan 14]

$1.6B, Down From $3.2 & $2.9 (2015-01-29)

In his 2015-16 budget, Gov Scott recommends $1.6 billion for Florida's natural and water resources. In its 2013-14 analysis, Florida Tax Watch shows $2.9 billion in funding for environmental purposes and $3.2 in 2014-15. [Scott Press Release] [Tax Watch 2013-14] [Tax Watch 2014-15] [Keep Florida Working]

Springs Eternal Presentations (2015-01-29)

The Southwest Florida Community Foundation will host two presentations of Florida nature photographer John Moran's The Springs Eternal Project Exhibition "Florida's Fragile Fountains of Youth" on Feb 4 in Ft. Myers. [Press Release] [Web Site] [Springs Eternal Project]

Major Fruit Pest Hates Heights (2015-01-29)

In less than a decade, the Asian citrus psyllid has spread throughout Florida, destroying half the orange groves in the state, and spread to other states. Researchers have found a weakness in the pest that is decimating the Florida citrus industry. [Growing Florida]

Panther Refuge Annual Meeting (2015-01-29)

Join the Friends of the Florida Panther Refuge for their Annual Meeting which will be held on February 12th from 5:30-8:00pm within the Eaton Conservation Hall of the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Tickets for the evening can be purchased online. [Details]

State Blind to Pollution Problem (2015-01-29)

Before a BMAP meeting in which DEP spun the Caloosahatchee Basin water quality situation to the positive, John Cassani provided a reality check by documenting how total nitrogen concentration trend data show worsening conditions from 1990 to 2014. [News-Press] [Clean Water Network Report] [Nitrogen Trending Upward]

TMDLs and BMAPs (2015-01-29)

FL Clean Water Network warns that working within DEP’s system is a waste of time. We need to expose it for what it is and find other ways to deal with pollution. Working with your local governments is the best way. Lee County is a good example. [Florida Clean Water Network]

Cows at Center of State (2015-01-29)

Every state faces its own water quality battles. In Vermont the Conservation Law Foundation is asking that the court require farms to use best management practices to prevent manure from flowing into waterways. [vtdigger.org]

20/20 Dissection (2015-01-29)

For those who want to believe that Conservation 20/20 has achieved its goal, today Lee County lags far behind its neighboring counties and state averages in both acres and percentage of county land that are preserved & protected, says Bruce Bunch. [News-Press Editorial]

Save the Tarpon...Tournament (2015-01-29)

A lawyer working for Professional Tarpon Tournament Series is once again threatening to haul Save The Tarpon into court – this time in an apparent effort to cripple the group’s legal defense fundraising efforts to protect tarpon habitat. [Save The Tarpon] [Cartoon] [Web Site]

Amendment 1 ALERT (2015-01-29)

Take Action Today to help address devastating water releases to the estuary and assure Amendment 1 funding is used for appropriate projects. We need your support and ask that you take important actions now. This effort will protect our local economy. [Details]

Runoff Rundown Conference (2015-01-29)

Riverwatch is co-hosting the 24th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference on Friday, Feb 6 at FGCU (Cohen Center) for the. This year's conference focuses on stormwater management technologies and projects in our region. [Details] [Online registration ends Jan 30] [Web Site]

Swamp Cabbage Festival (2015-01-29)

Load up the family once again for the 2015 Swamp Cabbage Festival happening the 21st and 22nd of February. Parade starts Sat (21st) at 10am, so get here early! This year's events include Rodeo, Car Show, Swamp Stomp, Fishing Tournament and many more. [Web Site]

New Canoe at Swamp Cabbage (2015-01-28)

The Win-A-Canoe Contest is back again this year thanks to The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. You can buy tickets online, at Estero Outfitters, from CRCA directors, or at the Swamp Cabbage Festival's Riverwatch exhibit, Feb 21-22 in LaBelle. [Old Town 14.5-Ft Canoe] [Prizes] [Tickets by Email] [Tickets Online] [Canoe Description]

FL-CWN Weekly Newsletter (2015-01-28)

Linda Young of Florida's Clean Water Network continuesly feeds us with the most up-to-date news about Florida's water & environmental issues. The January 23 issue of the FL-CWN newsletter includes updates on Lake O discharges, Amendment 1 and others. [FL-CWN Jan 23 Issue] [Web Site]

10-yr, $750M Clean-up of Lake O (2015-01-28)

DEP adopted a 10-year, $750M plan to clean up Lake O. It includes work to restore the Kissimmee River, dispersed water storage and stormwater treatment areas. But as the state works to fill the hole, it must also require others to stop digging. [News-Press]

Major Solar Power Projects in FL (2015-01-28)

Florida utility company Gulf Power announced plans to work with the U.S. Navy and Air Force to build three major utility-scale solar power projects at Florida Panhandle bases, with a combined output of 120 MWt. That's enough power for 18,000 homes. [Orlando Sentinel, Jan 22] [Orlando Sentinel, Jan 26] [AL.com]

Billions on Table for Everglades (2015-01-28)

Gov. Scott announced that the state will commit $5B over 20 years to fully fund the state's portion of Everglades projects like the Caloosahatchee River reservoir, a massive compound designed to store upwards of 55B gallons of stormwater run-off. [News-Press]

Lee County Land Rules (2015-01-27)

On Jan 6 the Lee County BOCC approved a $1.7 million settlement in a case brought by the developers of Estero Place. It's a big number, but only about 10 percent of what Estero Place could've received in damages if the case went to trial. [News-Press] [Aerial Photo]

SWFRPC Adopts Water Resolution (2015-01-27)

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council adopted a water plan with many good provisions. The resolution also calls managing Lake O at a slightly (6") higher water level than the desired 15.5 ft advocated by environmental groups. [SWFRPC Resolution ]

Florida Corruption (2015-01-27)

In recent study about political corruption conducted by researches at Harvard University Center for Ethics, Florida scored a 3 – on its perception of illegal corruption in the executive branch. Our Legislature was rated a 4. [News-Press]

Over-permitting of Water in FL (2015-01-27)

Marion County in FL is facing water shortage due to over-permiting. St. Johns WMD mismanaged the availability of water in the area, meaning, the district had allowed for the over-extraction of water from the FL aquifer than it can actually provide. [Examiner]

Geographic Facts Yield Liability? (2015-01-27)

Homeowners are suing Lee Co. for accepting new flood insurance risk maps that cause homeowners to face higher flood insurance premium & thus lower their property value. How can a government govern when geographic facts can translate into liability?

Water Conservation Expo (2015-01-27)

You are invited to a Free Water Conservation Expo & Vendor Fair on topic "Reducing Your Water Footprint: Corporate and Institutional Practices." The Expo is on Feb 20, 2015 from 8:30 pm to 4pm at SFWMD Headquarters in West Palm Beach. [Flier] [Vendor Registration] [Web Site] [Map]

A Land Remembered (2015-01-27)

On Jan 28 Patrick Smith's son Rick will talk about his father and the extraordinary experiences that enabled him to write about Florida pioneer, the Seminoles and others in World War II. The program starts at 7pm at LaBelle High School Auditorium. [Flier]

Down Means Up (2015-01-27)

An academic study revised downward the 1900-1990 rate of sea level rise from 1.5mm/yr to 1.2mm/yr. The net affect is that the more recent rates from 1990 to present (3.0mm/yr) represent a much greater relative increase compared to historical levels. [The Guardian]

Riverkeeper Often Sue (2015-01-27)

Alleging years of illegal sewage discharges to the Saluda River, Congaree Riverkeeper filed a federal lawsuit in an effort to stop the releases from a Columbia-area wastewater plant that records show was supposed to tie into a regional sewer system. [The State]

Water and Energy Linked (2015-01-27)

Brazil's two largest cities, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, with a combined population of almost 18 million, are learning the linkages of water and energy. A prolonged drought is not only affecting water supplies, it's causing power blackouts. [The Guardian] [Web Site]

Bacteria Clears at Franklin Lock (2015-01-27)

The Corps of Engineers has reopened the swimming beach at W.P. Franklin South Recreation Area on the Caloosahatchee River in Alva. The beach was closed temporarily due to elevated levels of enterococcus bacteria. The bacteria has cleared now. [Southwest Florida Online] [Swimming Advisory]

Riverkeeper Speaker Rescheduled (2015-01-21)

This season's flu requires that we reschedule the Indian Riverkeeper presentation by Marty Baum. Watch this web page for future updates on when Marty can come talk to us. Get well soon Marty!

650 million to 1 (2015-01-16)

NOAA and NASA say 2014 was the hottest ever recorded (135 years of data). The odds are 650 million to 1 it's just a fluke that earth's 10 hottest years have all happened since 2000. [News Press] [Scientific American] [UN Confirmation (w/many comments)] [Earth Temps]

Florida Makes Top 10 (2015-01-03)

Florida ranks in the top 10 of state corruption according to a survey of journalists by Harvard researchers. The survey looked at legal and illegal corruption in the executive, legislative and judicial branches. AZ was most corrupt and MA least. [Research Seminar] [Harvard Center for Ethics] [News-Press]

December CRCA Newsletter (2014-12-31)

The December 2014 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [December Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2014-12-31)

Lake O level was 15.25 ft on Dec 23. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,483 cfs over the past week with 53% of flow originating from the watershed. The salinity at Iona (14 psu) this week was in the optimal range for oysters. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [Lake O Stage & Forecasts] [SCCF Web Site]

Officials May Gut 20/20 (2014-12-31)

Lee County Commissioners Brian Hamman and Larry Kiker may undermine voter desires by gutting the Conservation 20/20 program. While attempting to maintain the appearance of support, their strategy appears to be to eliminate the bulk of the funds.
[Hamman Defunding] [Kiker Defunding]

Blackfish & Competition Affect SeaWorld (2014-12-31)

SeaWorld CEO resigns after a 40% drop in stock prices. The Blackfish documentary criticizing Orca treatment in the park is part of the cause, but declining attendance is also due to increased competition from parks like Universal Studios. [Stockholders Class Action] [SeaWorld Press Release] [Cartoon] [Video Report]

Lt Gen Bostick Signs CEPP Report (2014-12-31)

The long awaited approval of the Corps of Engineers "Chief's Report" on the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEEP) has happened. Final approval of this 8000-page document clears the way for the next step - federal funding. [Palm Beach Post] [Corps Press Release] [TC Palm] [LTG Bostick] [Future Posting Location]

Donate & Support 20 Years (2014-12-31)

2015 is here and it's time to renew your membership & donate to Riverwatch. This is our 20th Anniversary and you can help revitalize the organization as it restructures for its ongoing mission to help make SW FL a better place to live. [Pay Dues & Donate Online]

Environmental Top 10 (2014-12-31)

Bruce Ritchie of SaintPetersBlog has assembled his list of Florida's top 10 environmental stories of 2014. Whether candidates or elected officials want to acknowledge it’s true, the environment always is important in Florida. [SaintPetersBlog]

Pope on Destruction of Creation (2014-12-30)

Pope Francis will officially urge Catholics to push for action on climate change. He stated "Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.” [Ars Technica] [Opponents Quickly React] [The Atlantic] [The New Republic]

Vegans Save 1100 gal/day (2014-12-30)

Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry on earth. However the cattle industry denies it. It behooves the rest of us to learn the truth and act upon it right away or we won’t have a habitable planet. [Gainesville Sun] [CowSpiracy]

Cruising the River with NOAA (2014-12-30)

Riverwatch often gets requests asking where to find nautical charts or the Caloosahatchee. NOAA offers charts of the entire US coastline, including the Caloosahatchee Estuary and the Okeechobee Waterway from the Gulf to the Atlantic. [Caloosahatchee Estuary Chart] [Caloosahatchee - Okeechobee Waterway Chart] [Online Charts]

Lake Erie Dreaded Algae Blooms (2014-12-30)

Ohio’s lawmakers are taking their first step toward slowing the spread of algae in Lake Erie since a toxin contaminated the drinking water for more than 400,000 people. Dredging sediment from the lake and livestock manure spreading on the fields.... [The State]

Ag Water News from FDACS (2014-12-30)

The FL Dept of Ag newsletter describes BMP of SW FL farmers & ranchers. 90% of eligible acres are enrolled in the BMP program. But BMPs do not assure that a farm is sustainable, just less unsustainable. But BMPs are better than doing nothing. [Fall 2014 Newsletter] [BMP Enrollment Map (Sep 2014)] [Unsustainable Ag]

Denying Motion to Dismiss (2014-12-30)

Another milestone was reached on the long trek towards holding DEP and Cape Coral accountable for their misdeeds in removing the Ceitus Boat Lift more than 6 years ago. A judge ruled to deny their motion to dismiss CRCA & others' case against them. [Court Ruling] [Cartoon]

California Drought Bill (2014-12-30)

California politicians are making a push to get drought legislation through Congress. Their bill would send more water to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley at the expense of other uses. This is a vision of the future water-scarce world competition. [The Sacramento Bee]

Big O Birding Festival 2015 (2014-12-30)

The 14th Annual Big “O” Birding Festival 2015 registration is open! The festival is a Hendry County event organized to showcase the migratory and resident birds located in South Central Florida near the Southwest shores of Lake Okeechobee. [Registration Info] [Web Site]

Water Storage Costs Audit (2014-12-30)

A SFWMD audit found paying ranches to absorb flood waters costs $100/acre-ft compared to $8 on public land, whereas centralized deep reservoirs costs $167. CRCA requested such an accounting be done many years ago. It is essential for good planning. [Palm Beach Post] [SFWMD Audit]

Florida Has a Fracking Problem (2014-12-30)

Florida's utilities – Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy – want permission from utility regulators to charge consumers for its fracking exploration for natural gas reserves in other states. [Orlando Sentinel]

Elections Have Consequences (2014-12-30)

This is just like the banking deregulation, letting them get into tangential, risky businesses with government protections as well as monopoly status. How bizarre a twist is that on the traditional approach to regulated monopolies. Very scary! [News Press]

Moonlight on the Marsh Lectures (2014-12-30)

Some of the world’s most distinguished experts on coastal landscape ecology, hydrology and ecological engineering will share their knowledge during The Bernard and Susan Master “Moonlight on the Marsh” 2015 lecture series presented by FGCU. [Flier] [Details]

30 Days of Flooding by 2050 (2014-12-30)

A new report from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)finds that much of the coastal United States will see more than 30 days of flooding by 2050, due to sea level rise. [Huffington Post]

Audit Dispersed Water (2014-12-30)

Timothy Beirnes, CPA, Inspector General and Jankie Bhagudas, CPA, Lead Consulting Auditor prepared a report with an objective primarily focused on assessing the effectiveness of the District's Dispersed Water Management Program and comparison. [Report]

Ocean Acidification (2014-12-30)

The mortality of larval Pacific oysters in Northwest hatcheries has been linked to ocean acidification. Yet the rate of increase in CO2 in the atmosphere and the decrease of pH in near-shore waters are severe enough to cause the die-offs. [Natioanl Science Foundation]

Pendergrass Double-talk (2014-12-30)

Lee Co Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass responded to a News-Press commentary regarding changing rural land designations telling residents that they are nowhere near becoming a replica of Miami. What he doesn't say is that his actions move them nearer. [Pendergrass] [Mann] [News Press Opinion]

Windfall Water Storage Revenue (2014-12-29)

SFWMD approved water storage agreements with various land owners including $136 million to Alico in Hendry Co. Alico will store 100,000 acre-ft of river watershed water at a cost of $120 per acre-ft per year for 11 years. [Sunday News] [Palm Beach Post]

Jon Steverson New DEP Head (2014-12-29)

On Dec 11 Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Jonathan P. Steverson as Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, effective Dec 29. The appointment met with mixed reviews from environmentalists. [Details] [WFSU]

14-year Drought in SW USA (2014-12-29)

Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam is at the lowest level since the reservoir was created 75 years ago. If the drought, which began in 2000, continues into 2016, ag irrigation water users will be cut off, eliminating much of the farming in the region. [AzCentral]

Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper (2014-12-29)

Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper defends, protects, and preserves Biscayne Bay and surrounding waters through citizen involvement and community action. BBWK works to ensure swimmable, drinkable, fishable water in Biscayne Bay for all. [Web Site]

SWFL Water Quality Projects (2014-12-29)

The South Florida Water Management District and dozens of water quality scientists, elected officials and environmental groups met to discuss options at a Caloosahatchee River forum on Dec 2, 2014. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5]

Happy 20th Anniversary FL-CWN! (2014-12-29)

20 years ago this month, the Florida Clean Water Network was born. Initially it was just a handful of state affiliates of national groups. Today the network has over 300 groups and thousands of individuals, and is still growing. Happy Anniversary! [Details] [Web Site]

Sugar Hill Sector Plan Rejected (2014-12-29)

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity rejected the 67-square-mile “Sugar Hill” sector plan sought by U.S. Sugar and Hilliard Brothers of Florida in Hendry County. The sector plan now looks at a new city on the southern shores of Lake O. [The Palm Beach Post] [Map]

Holiday Party at Hendry House (2014-12-04)

It was a beautiful December evening at the Captain Hendry House in LaBelle for the CRCA annual holiday party. More than 30 members, family and friends gather for good food and fellowship. Thanks to all the great cooks who brought specialties. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5] [Photo 7]

November CRCA Newsletter (2014-12-01)

The November 2014 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [November Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

New DEP Secretary (2014-11-30)

Clifford Wilson takes over as Interim DEP Secretary upon the resignation of Hershel Vinyard who departs on the heels of Rick Scott's re-election as Governor. Wilson ran the DEP regulatory program that was criticized for lack of enforcement actions. [Tampa Bay Times] [SaintPetersBlog] [Clifford Wilson] [Previous Clifford Wilson News]

18th Annual River Ride (2014-11-30)

Over 50 riders braved cold, wind, & rain to participate in the 18th Annual CRCA Caloosahatchee River Ride. The annual fund raising event is a safe event thanks to escorts by Hendry County Sheriff's deputies. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5] [No shows]

Landslide for Land Buy (2014-11-30)

Floridians spoke clearly, with 75% of voters approving a constitutional amendment to dedicate money to conservation and recreation. Next will be for lawmakers to implement it properly...or again attempt to thwart the desires of voters. [News Press Editorial] [SCCF] [Miami Herald]

River Hall Development Density Debate (2014-11-30)

Changing Lee County's Comprehensive Plan to allow for a 50 percent increase in density, in what up to now has been called rural lands, may not have caught the attention of many local citizens, but it scares me half to death, says Frank Mann. [Frank Mann Opinion] [Process] [Decision] [News Press Opinion] [Fred Burson Opinion]

Nutrients that Feed Red Tide (2014-11-30)

The "food" sources that support Florida red tides are more diverse and complex than previously realized, according to five years' worth of research on red tide and nutrients published recently of the scientific journal Harmful Algae. [Phys.org]

Red Tide (2014-11-30)

While the Caloosahatchee estuary and nearby beaches are free of red tide, it lurks off Naples. Scientists have identified a dozen nutrient sources that feed blooms, but they say no single source is responsible for the toxic outbreak. [News Press] [Current Conditions Map] [Phys.org]

Monkey Suit (2014-11-30)

Citing concerns about the potential spread of Ebola, a group is suing Hendry County on behalf of residents who live near a future primate breeding facility. The 34-acre compound could house more than 3,000 primates in the Caloosahatchee watershed. [News Press]

Holiday Party on Dec 3 (2014-11-30)

You are invited to the CRCA Annual Holiday Party on Wed, Dec 3, from 6pm to 8pm at the Captain Francis A. Hendry House, 512 Fraser Ave, LaBelle. Bring a covered dish. Riverwatch will provide the meat dishes. RSVP to Riverwatch@caloosahatchee.org.

Oxbow and Riverlore Cruise (2014-11-30)

Join SCCF on an Oxbow and Riverlore Cruise to experience the historic Caloosahatchee. Guided by Rae Ann Wessel, these trips provide a relaxing opportunity to gain a personal perspective on the river - its history, folklore, issues and solutions. [Flier]

Fort Myers Yacht Basin (2014-11-30)

Residents at the Ft. Myers Yacht Basin like the current operations and there is little they would want to see changed. They do not like the idea of Ft. Myers outsourcing or creating a public-private partnership to handle the yacht basin’s resources. [News Press]

People of Influence: Ray Judah (2014-11-30)

Riverwatch counts another of its leaders among the News Press list of "People of Influence." CRCA director Ray Judah was added to the prestigious list this month. Elected to the Lee Co. BOCC, he served 6 terms for a total of 24 years as Commissioner. [News Press]

Manatee Paparazzi (2014-11-30)

Cooler weather locally means cold weather up north and our annual influx of snow birds and manatees. Both gather this time of year at Lee County Manatee Park - a must-see jewel of our area across from the FPL power plant on SR80 east of I-75. [Cartoon] [Manatee Park Facebook] [Manatee Park Webpage]

LaBelle Heritage Museum Speaker (2014-11-30)

Melissa Timo of Florida Public Archaeology will be a guest speaker at the LaBelle Heritage Museum on Wednesday, Jan 7, 2015. Miss Timo’s presentation will cover the steamboats that played a very important role in the early development of Florida. [Details] [LHM Web Site]

Initial Cost: CO2=$25/ton (2014-11-30)

In his book Climate Casino, Yale's Dr. William Nordhaus says we have to be grown-ups and invest in climate change mitigation, just like we invest in other long-term returns, like educating 4-year-olds. [NY Times] [NPR] [William Nordhaus ]

Guided Nature Walks (2014-11-30)

Guided nature walks are provided by Conservation 20/20 volunteers and IFAS Master Gardeners on Saturdays during the winter season, between December-March. Parking is free and no fee or registration is required. [Flier]

People of Influence: Wayne Daltry (2014-11-30)

He's Lee County's resident sage — futurist, historian, sociologist, demographer, consensus-builder. For more than four decades, Wayne Daltry helped shape Southwest Florida. Before retiring as director of Lee County's Smart Growth department in 2010. [News Press]

It is Sooo Complicated! (2014-11-30)

NSF-supported scientists have concluded that the seasonal variations (squiggles in the upward atmospheric CO2 trend line) are due to the green revolution that has provided more food for more people. [National Science Foundation]

FSA Winter Conference (2014-11-30)

The 2014 Florida Stormwater Association Winter Conference will be Wed, Dec 10 - Fri, Dec 12, 2014 in Orlando. Engineers, scientists, stormwater managers, policy makers and elected officials throughout Florida are encouraged to attend. [Registration] [Web Site]

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts (2014-11-30)

The Hendry-Glades Audubon Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for Saturday Jan 3, 2015. If you would like to participate, contact Margaret England: mlelighthouse@embarqmail.com, 863-674-0695 - cell: 863-517-0202. [Flier]

Caloosahatchee (Nov 18-24) (2014-11-30)

Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,247 cfs over the past week with 57% of flow originating from the watershed. The salinity at Iona (20 psu) this week continues to be below the optimal range for oysters. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [SCCF Web Site]

Come Discuss River Projects (2014-11-19)

SFWMD invites interested stakeholders to collaborate on science & projects benefiting the Caloosahatchee River & Estuary. The Dec 2 meeting will focus on prioritizing regional and local projects. [Details]

Service Learning Park Cleanup (2014-09-12)

Join us for the LaBelle Nature Park Cleanup on Saturday, Nov 15 from 8am to 1pm. Free lunch is provided. FGCU Service Learning students are welcome. For directions call Margaret England at 863-517-0202 or email margaret@caloosahatchee.org. [Flyer]

Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (2014-11-06)

Joining the Nov 9 River Ride will be members of Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, a family of 300+ SW FL cyclists. They have been a key supporter of this Riverwatch event for the past 18 years. [News Press] [Banner Photo]

New EvCo Representatives (2014-11-06)

Riverwatch appointed two directors (Ray Judah and Mary Rawl) to represent CRCA in meetings of the Everglades Coalition. The EvCo annual conference is Jan 8-10 with the theme "Send it South: Water for America's Everglades." [2015 EvCo Conference]

New Board Members (2014-11-05)

At the Nov 5 CRCA meeting, five new directors were added to the Riverwatch Board: John Cassani, Jennifer Hecker, Alexis Meyer, Phil Buchanan, and Rae Ann Wessel.

Caloosahatchee River Ride 2014 (2014-08-11)

On Sunday, November 9, join Riverwatch for the 18th Annual River Ride, the recreational bike ride around the Caloosahatchee. Routes for 15, 30, 40, and 62 miles. Register in advance or on the morning of the event at Caloosahatchee Regional Park. [Register with Form] [Brochure] [Register Online] [Caloosahatchee Regional Park map]

CRCA Nov Meeting Program (2014-10-29)

CRCA's Nov 5 meeting program will be a presentation by Dr. John Capece who will describe the history of Riverwatch activities and restoration efforts for the Caloosahatchee oxbows. Presentation begins at 7pm at Bridge Street Coffee Shop in LaBelle. [Map]

October CRCA Newsletter (2014-11-02)

The October 2014 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [October Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

Wharf Walk on Caloosahatchee (2014-10-14)

Go for a stroll along LaBelle's downtown Caloosahatchee waterfront and enjoy food, beer & wine, Jazz music, and art exhibits on Saturday, Nov 8 from 4pm to 9pm. It's part of the LaBelle downtown revitalization program. [Flier] [Downtown Walking District Plan] [Previous LaBelle Walking District] [Web Page] [Facebook]

Death of a River Exhibit (2014-10-31)

On display in the reading room of FGCU Library is “Death of a River,” a set of individual and large-scale collaborative prints showcases artists responding to the ecological impact of water releases from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River. [Andy Owen] [Nicole Klebosis artwork]

Attorney General Candidates (2014-10-31)

Attorney General candidates differ on environmental law issues. Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer & Republican Pam Bondi want to curb federal action on water quality while Democrat George Sheldon opposes Bondi's lawsuit to block EPA's clean up efforts. [Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer] [Republican Pam Bondi] [Democrat George Sheldon]

Crist Visits Caloosahatchee (2014-10-31)

CRCA Directors John Scott (Clean Water Initiative) and Ray Judah hosted Charlie Crist for a campaign press conference highlighting the gubernatorial candidate's support for cleaning up the Caloosahatchee River. [News Press] [Photo]

Gov vs Gov on Issues (2014-10-30)

The Campus Election Engagement Project created non-partisan position comparisons of a candidates across the nation, including the two Florida candidates for governor. [Non-partisan] [Sierra Club]

Local Solar Rules (2014-10-30)

The price of an average U.S. home solar power system is about $20,000. (That’s before a 30% federal tax credit and any state, local and/or utility incentives.) A new report from LBL demonstrates that steep declines are possible in the near term. [Renewable Energy World]

Green Infrastructure Webinar (2014-10-30)

An EPA webcast on Nov 4 will provide an overview of green infrastructure financing strategies and highlight a community which leveraged state funds for a flood mitigation project that provided multiple economic, environmental and social benefits. [Details] [Register] [Green Infrastructure Program 2014]

Caloosahatchee (Oct 21-27) (2014-10-30)

Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,047 cfs over the past week with 53% of flow originating from the watershed. The salinity at Iona (18 psu) this week is in the optimal range for oysters. It's good to have good news to report from time to time. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [SCCF Web Site]

Dialogue on Water Conservation (2014-10-30)

Riverwatch President Mary Rawl and Secretary John Capece represented CRCA-Riverwatch at the Terry Tempest Student Dialogue at FGCU on Oct 27th. The working title for the event is "Talking on Water: Transforming Education into Action." [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Program]

Ft. Myers Stormwater Project (2014-10-30)

On Oct 14 DEP and City of Fort Myers announced a $1.7 million project designed to reduce pollutants reaching the Carrell Canal and the Calooshatchee River by building filter marshes and control structures at a city golf course. [News Press]

Pushing for Solar Freedom in FL (2014-10-30)

Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, plans to push for more solar in Florida as she has in Georgia. Her ultimate goal is to challenge the monopoly control of Florida's major utilities. [Tampa Bay Times] [Photo]

Crist Vows to Clean up River (2014-10-30)

At Centennial Park on Oct 16, Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist blasted opponent Gov. Rick Scott's environmental record and vowed to clean up the Caloosahatchee River. [News Press] [Photo] [News Press - Gov Poll] [Politico - Latest Poll] [2014 Senate Race Ratings]

FNPS WetPlan Workshops (2014-10-30)

Neighborhood Lakes and Ponds Management Workshop is coming to your neighborhood! These workshops, free and open to the public are designed to help residents make a positive change. The workshops are on Nov 14 in Lehigh & on Jan 27 in Bonita Springs. [Flyer] [Details]

FGCU Hosts State Water Posters (2014-10-30)

All students doing research on water issues are invited to submit abstracts for the AWRA statewide research poster contest to be held on Feb 6 at the 24th Annnal SW FL Water Resources Conference, co-hosted by Riverwatch. [Details] [Submit Your Abstract Online] [Web Site]

Invasive Species Workshop (2014-10-30)

The Southwest Florida CISMA and FGCU's Wings of Hope program are asking for presenters for the 19th annual Southwest Florida Invasive Species Workshop that will be held on Jan 22, 2015 at FGCU. The presentation application is due Nov 12, 2014. [Call for Presentations] [Application]

Red Tide Reports (2014-10-30)

Water samples have confirmed the presence of up to low to moderate concentrations of Karenia brevis (commonly known as Florida red tide) offshore and in the bay regions of northern Lee County. The potential exists for some respiratory problems. [Details] [HAB Condition Reports] [Local Observations]

Selling and Buying Water Rights (2014-10-30)

Scientists have developed an algorithm that can match potential water rights buyers and sellers, sift through the complexity of local physical and regulatory systems, and reach a fair deal designed especially for them. [National Science Foundation]

CNCP Open House (2014-10-29)

Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium is having an OPEN HOUSE on Nov 6th from 5pm–7pm, FREE and open to the public. Sierra Club, Calusa Herpetological Society and Southwest Florida Astronomy Society are meeting that night! Come and join us! [Press Release] [Flier] [Web Site]

Monopoly Customers Pay (2014-10-29)

Environmental advocates want the Public Service Commission to reject a request by FPL to use the monopoly's income from electricity ratepayers to lobby against new federal clean-water rules. [The Tampa Tribute]

Global Choke Point (2014-10-29)

Circle of Water's symposium on global choke points shows how journalists documenting a nation's water, food, & energy dramatically capture that country's overall economic & social situation and point out future bottlenecks to sustainability. [Symposium Video]

KLCB Monofilament Madness (2014-10-29)

All boaters are invited to join Keep Lee County Beautiful Monofilament Madness in cleaning Estero Bay on Nov 1, 2014 from 8am to 1pm at Fish Tale Marina Fort Myers Beach. Please fill out and return the registration form. Lunch will be provided. [Details] [Registration Form] [Web Site]