Critics - Hazardous Chemicals (2016-06-24)
Critical contend that DEP officials hope a lack of public scrutiny will allow them to push through changes to increase the amount of hazardous chemicals allowed in the discharge of industrial waste into the state’s rivers, streams, canals, lakes and coastal waters. [Florida Bulldog 1] [Florida Bulldog 2] [News Press] [Details]
Urban Resilience Climate Change (2016-06-24)
EPA announced the availability of the draft report which describes an assessment tool that uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators to help cities identify areas of resilience and vulnerability to climate change impacts across different sectors. [EPA Article] [Report] [Federal Register Notice] [History]
Water Discharge Issue (2016-06-24)
The St. Lucie River watershed has 6 major inflows into the estuary: Lake O, Ten Mile Creek, the C-24, C-23, C-44 basins, and the tidal basin. The total annual average flows into the estuary are 321 billion gallons but this year the amount of water may greatly exceed the average volume. [TC Palm 1] [TC Palm 2] [Photo Algae]
Yes On Conservation 20-20 (2016-06-23)
Yes On Conservation 20-20 is a coalition of local citizens and organizations working to support the passage of the Lee County Conservation 20-20 referendum on Nov 8, 2016. Conservation 20-20 is Lee County’s willing-seller conservation lands acquisition and management program. [Flyer] [Brochure] [Informations 20-20]
Algae in St Lucie (2016-06-23)
Algae blooms in the St. Lucie River are getting more numerous, and a massive bloom in Lake O apparently is getting more toxic. Blue-green algae samples taken Jun 14 and 15 from Lake O contained more than 20 times the amount of toxins considered hazardous by the World Health Organization. [TC Palm] [Story JTL 1] [Story JTL 2] [Video 1] [Video 2]
Water Half Alive Not Half Dead (2016-06-23)
In their algae monitoring web page, Florida DEP chooses words to low-ball algae toxicity. DEP states that WHO considers a concentration of 10 ug/L to be low risk, rather than stating that concentrations above 10 are unsafe. This approach reflects DEP tendency to downplay environmental concerns. [DEP Web Page Image] [DEP Page (Jun 23)] [Current DEP Site]
Assasination of International Activists (2016-06-23)
The U.S. Congress is considering a bill to suspend all security aid to Honduras after the murder of an environmental activist in Honduras. Investigation revealed that Berta Caceres' name appeared on a hit list of a Honduran military police unit that was trained by U.S. Marine Corps and FBI agents. [Message Friends of the Earth] [Script Friends of the Earth] [Huffington Post] [Photo Berta Caceres] [Berta Caceres Info]
Master Gardener Cohort 2016 (2016-06-23)
The UF-IFAS Lee County Extension Service will conduct a Master Gardener training from Aug 19 to Nov 18, 2016. This 13-week comprehensive course will offer students thorough training on basic botany, agriculture, horticulture and on the principles of Florida’s unique and delicate ecology. [UF Message] [Master Gardener Application] [Brochure]
Dangerous Levels of Algae Toxins (2016-06-23)
Lake O researcher Paul Gray sent a message to DEP asking for stepped-up monitoring of algae blooms. DEP sampling on June 14-15 revealed algae toxin concentration more than 30 times the EPA safe level for contact with the water (10 ug/L) and 200 times the safe drinking water level (1.6 ug/L). [Message Paul Gray] [DEP Algae Report] [EPA Mycrosystin Report] [Photo Paul Gray] [Map]
Impacts of TS Colin (2016-06-22)
More rain means more water quality issues for cities such as Ft. Myers and Stuart, where Lake O water is released to prevent lands south of the lake from flooding. Coupled with stormwater runoff from the Caloosahatchee watershed, lake waters turned both coasts brown for much of the tourism season. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Video]
Another Party Line Vote (2016-06-22)
Citizens Climate Lobby boasts bi-partisan support on climate change issues. However, on June 10, the US House of Representatives denounced the idea of a carbon tax. The vote was mostly along party lines. 6 of 169 Democrats were against the tax, all 231 Republicans opposed a carbon tax. [CCL] [The Guardian] [Opportunities] [Photo Steve Scalise]
Conservation 20-20 Update (2016-06-22)
Conservation 20-20 is an environmentally-sensitive land acquisition and stewardship program in Lee County, which preserves and protects environmentally critical land in Lee County. The Conservation 20-20 program will appear as a non-binding referendum on the Nov 2016 ballot in Lee County. [Lee County Ordinance] [Meetings in June] [Ballot Language​] [Status Map]
July CRCA Board Meeting (2016-06-22)
The CRCA-Riverwatch Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, July 6th, at the High Point Place conference room, in Fort Myers. This meeting is open to members of CRCA. Our goal is to educate and inform people on the importance of protecting the Caloosahatchee. [Location] [Photo High Point Place]
Comment - Judy Clayton Sanchez (2016-06-21)
According to Judy Clayton Sanchez (in response to the Everglades Coalition's guest commentary), U.S. Sugar is committed to getting the facts out about the complexity of our water system and the fresh water discharges that are unfortunately happening more often than any of us would like. Agree? [Clayton Editorial] [EvCo Editorial] [Judy Clayton] [Waters Crisis]
Waterkeeper Interview RFK Jr (2016-06-21)
Rains wash 80% of phosphorus fertilizers into streams creating algae that destroy the ecosystem. But farm & wastewater P can be transformed into a particular fertilizer that only dissolves when the plant roots release certain acids at times they need to take up the nutrient. The P never washes off. [Interview] [Photo RFK Jr] [Gibsons at Conference]
Lake O Discharges (2016-06-21)
The amount of Lake O discharges in 2016 passing through the St. Lucie Lock and Dam near Stuart surpassed 136.1 billion gallons, the amount of water released during 'The Lost Summer' of 2013. The water can be devastating to the estuary, as it needs to maintain a certain amount of salinity. [TC Palm] [Map] [Photo Lake Okeechobee 1] [Photo Lake Okeechobee 2]
Hazardous Pesticide Ingredients (2016-06-20)
A federal judge in California has ruled that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under no obligation to force pesticide makers to disclose supposedly 'inert' ingredients in their products - even where those ingredients are seriously hazardous to health or environment. [Article from The Ecologist] [Photo Pesticides] [Report Secret Ingredients in Pesticides] [ANPR] [Complaint] [EPA Letter]
Snorkeling Adventure (2016-06-20)
Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves staff once again will provide snorkeling eco-adventures on select weekdays, from June to September. New this year: a separate, one-hour nature boat trip. The excursions depart from Gasparilla Marina, in Placida. [News Press Snorkeling] [Photo Aiden Perez] [Photo Melinda Brown] [Photo Laura Ruane] [Map Gasparilla Marina] [Reservations]
News Press Letters - Sugar (2016-06-20)
According to Tom Grier, we do not need that much Florida sugarcane. Let’s look at an inconvenient truth: Sugar profits from very lucrative government policies: non-recourse loans, minimum prices, production controls, tariffs and quotas. Other comments were published in the News-Press, on Jun 19. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [Cartoon Big Sugar]
Florida Going Downhill (2016-06-17)
For Philip Schwartz, a member of CRCA Board of Directors, anyone with any education or sense of social justice can see the Florida we once knew slipping away faster and faster. The voters are ignorant of what is really going. We, as a state, are going downhill faster than he ever thought possible. [News Press Philip Schwartz] [Photo Philip Schwartz] [Philip Schwartz Earth Day]
Comment - Malcolm Bubba Wade (2016-06-17)
Throughout the year, Floridians have watched with concern as the USACE has released billions of gallons of water from Lake Okeechobee in an effort to reduce pressure on the Herbert Hoover Dike, and also prepare for the rainy season. [Palm Beach Post] [Photo Malcolm Bubba Wade] [Map Herbert Hoover Dike] [Ray Judah Counterpoint]
Bacteria Closure (2016-06-17)
Once again, boaters and anglers are being warned to avoid the water in North Shore Park due to high bacteria levels. Health officials say a routine water test completed on Jun 9 turned up an unsafe amount of Enterococcus bacteria, and any contact may pose a high risk of disease or sickness. [Fox4] [Map Bacteria Closure] [Enterococcus Bacteria]
Commentary - Ray Judah (2016-06-17)
For Ray Judah, the driving factor to use the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie as the relief valves in response to rising lake water was to prevent flooding in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of the lake to ensure optimum growing conditions for sugar cane to the detriment of coastal estuaries. [Pine Island Eagle] [Photo Ray Judah] [Editorial Tom Rooney] [Photo Tom Rooney] [US Sugar Counterpoint]
Insurance Companies Warn Us (2016-06-16)
Lloyd's of London and the other large re-insurance companies long warned us of our lack of global action on climate change. Now they say the US government's National Flood Insurance Program subsidizes insurance coverage for vulnerable regions and in doing so encourages irresponsible beach building. [Article from FloodList] [Article from] [Presentation Lloyds] [Video Lloyds History] [Photo Houston Floods]
Gibsons Attend Waterkeeper Conf (2016-06-16)
Gene and Nan Gibson represented Caloosahatchee Riverwatch at the annual conference of Waterkeeper Alliance held June 1-6 in Wilmington, NC. They described the event as informative and inspirational. Keynote speaker at the opening session was Waterkeeper President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. [Photo 1 Waterkeeper Conference] [Photo 2 Waterkeeper Conference] [Agenda] [Video Around the World]
Caloosahatchee June 8-14 (2016-06-16)
Blue green algae blooms are present over 27 miles of the river from the Alva Boat Ramp above the Franklin Lock downstream to the Colonial Bridge in the middle estuary. Discharges into the estuary at S-79 nearly doubled to an average of 9,054 cfs with flows as high as 12,801 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [Photo Cyanobacteria Boat Ramp] [More SCCF Reports]
Billys Creek at FGCU Event (2016-04-22)
The FGCU Community Engagement Day (CED) on Apr 15, showcased the range of student service-learning projects. Riverwatch had a table highlighting the Billy's Creek cleanup in which nearly 50 FGCU student participated. [Eagle News] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video]
Methane Emissions - EPA Studies (2016-06-15)
Jim Warren filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the EPA, charging that a high-ranking EPA official connected to the fossil fuel industry committed scientific fraud in a case with sweeping ramifications for global climate change and the safety of workers and neighbors of natural gas sites. [Article from NC WARN] [NC WARN Complaint] [NC WARN Staff] [Sign the Letter of Support]
Graham Urges DEP (2016-06-15)
U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham expressed her strong opposition to proposed new standards and urging the agency to reconsider them. Indeed, DEP is in the process of updating its human-health criteria for 43 dangerous chemicals it regulates for rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters. [Tallahassee Democrat] [Photo Gwen Graham] [Biography Gwen Graham] [Public Blasts DEP] [Letter - DEP Standards ]
Sea Level Rise - Collier County (2016-06-15)
Riverwatch and other regional groups for many years have tried, through the SW FL Water Resources Conference, to get the SW FL communities and governments to join together in sea level rise planning. Differing from SE FL, our local leaders simply pretend the problem does not and will never exist. [Naples Daily News] [Map Sea Level Rise] [Map Collier County] [Photo]
Carbon Sink Becoming Source (2016-06-15)
Drs. Gregory Starr and Christina Staudhammer received $834,000 from the NSF to continue their study of greenhouse gases in the Everglades. They will look at how changes in fresh- and sea-water levels are affecting the balance of carbon-dioxide and methane emissions in the Everglades. [Article from UA News] [Photo Gregory and Christina] [Report 2013] [Photo Christina Staudhammer] [Photo Gregory Starr]
Boater Loses Friend to Gator (2016-06-14)
Gators normally stay in their area and do not come on docks. Occasionally gators must be removed when they lose their fear of people and are drawn by potential food. Each time we remove an overly bold gator a more reclusive one takes its place. Each time boaters are warned not to feed the gators. [NBC2] [Comments] [Photo of Robert Lineberger] [Photo of the Dog] [Video] [Fox4]
Legal Battle - Corkscrew (2016-06-14)
A legal battle over construction of a 1,300-unit residential complex on Corkscrew Road outside Estero was settled on Jun 7, with an agreement by opponents not to appeal in return for the developer dropping a bid to make them pay its legal bills. It was approved by Lee County Commissioners. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [Photo Corkscrew Farms] [Photo Joseph Cameratta] [Video]
Shifting Baseline Perspective (2016-06-14)
Bill Parks, diver & fisherman, says he refuses to be a victim of 'shifting baselines,' the practice of pretending that our Florida waters have always been the cesspool they are now. This approach of comparing things to only recent years & decades holds particularly true for the Caloosahatchee. [Article from Sunshine State News] [Map National Marine Sanctuary] [Shifting Baselines Definition] [Shifting Baselines Presentation]
Resiliency in Unending Crises (2016-06-14)
Resilience is the ability to cope. When a system goes unstable & slides into crisis, what's to be done? (1) Do nothing, except research. Wait to see if it fixes itself. (2) Try to return the system to a desirable state. (3) Admit the system is irreversibly changed. Adapt to the new, altered system. [Report by Lance Gunderson] [CV Lance Gunderson] [Photo Lance Gunderson]
Daltry Comments on News Press (2016-06-13)
Reacting to a News Press editorial, Wayne Daltry points out that if the water supply demand upon which CERP plans were based is not present then the 'build CERP' alternative would be worse for the environment than the 'no build.' So far, we have seen that to be true in our view from 1000 feet. [News Press View from 1000 Feet] [Daltry Comments] [Photo C-43 Reservoir] [Photo Wayne Daltry]
Diamond Comments on Kiker (2016-06-13)
Bruce Diamond says Larry Kiker's editorial is essentially unreadable bureaucratic gobbley-gook from the guy who used Big Sugar money to knock off Ray Judah, our leading advocate in the matter. Does anyone reading this "smoke and mirrors" believe for even a moment Kiker is on the side of the angles? [Larry Kiker Editorial] [Comments by Bruce Diamond] [Biography Larry Kiker] [Photo Larry Kiker] [Photo Bruce Diamond]
Opinion - Carl Hiaasen (2016-06-13)
Carl Hiaasen discusses Lake O problems and describes how Congressman Patrick Murphy presented a jar of dirty St Lucie water to Pres. Obama last year. It is unlikely that the federal government will feel particularly responsible when state officials have steadily dismantled water quality standards. [] [Photo Carl Hiaasen] [Biography]
Reynolds Comments on Mann (2016-06-13)
Paul Reynolds comments that Commissioner Mann is right about the first hundred years, but he is wrong about the last 25. Effort is NOT being made to reverse course but rather to maintain the agriculture status quo and, at least, give the appearance of helping rivers, estuaries, gulf, and ocean. [Frank Mann Editorial] [Photo Frank Mann] [Biography]
Florida Farm Bureau Letter (2016-06-11)
Florida Farm Bureau has joined the water fray, describing the debate as coastal environmental extremists vs. the common sense farmers and Rick Scott. The letter arrived in boxes on a day that flow to the Caloosahatchee estuary reached 11,000 cfs, 4 times the ecological harm level. [Farm Bureau Letter]
Opinion - John Birkle (2016-06-10)
According to John Birkle, the 75 mega Watt solar plant capable of powering over 21,000 homes during the day light hours sounds great on the surface. Looking at the proposed change from conventional methods of producing power, there are some points Birkle claims we need to consider. [News Press] [Naples Daily News] [Map Babcock Ranch] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo John Birkle]
15-20 Feet of Shoreline Lost (2016-06-10)
Colin was a mild tropical storm, but parts of coastal Charlotte County still lost 15 to 20 feet of their shoreline, putting homes and condo buildings at risk of falling into the Gulf. As sea level continues to rise in coming decades, such gradual losses will be a recurring story throughout Florida. [NBC2] [CBC News] [Map] [Photo] [Video 1] [Video 2]
FGCU - STEM Education (2016-06-10)
FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) proposes some STEM scholarships for STEM Professionals interested in a second career in K-12 teaching, and for STEM Majors interested K-12 teaching. Actually, the Whitaker Center for STEM Education is helping to identify candidates for 3 different scholarships. [Informations] [Flier for STEM Professionals] [Flier for STEM Majors] [Flier Noyce at FGCU] [Video]
Caloosahatchee June 1-7 (2016-06-09)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased to an average of 4,821 cfs. Lake O discharges to the river measured at S-77 increased to an average of 3,835 cfs. Approximately 80% of the flows to the Caloosahatchee estuary came from Lake O. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool averaged 1,300 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
USGS Provides Missing Flow Data (2016-06-09)
After several days of rain from TS Colin and more rain continuing to fall while the SFWMD board mets in Ft Myers, online data sites did not show how much water was flowing to the estuary. An inquiry to the USGS office generated a response and updates of the data, plus a link to all FL data. [Franklin Lock Flow Data] [All Caloosahatchee Stations] [USGS Email Response] [Florida USGS Water Data Sites Map]
Project WILD - Aquatic WILD (2016-06-09)
The Trout Lake Nature Center will be facilitating a combined Project WILD/Aquatic WILD training on Jul 14, 2016, from 9am to 4pm. The goal of Project WILD is to develop awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment that will lead to informed decisions, responsible behavior and constructive actions. [Flier] [Map Meeting] [K-12 Guide] [Books] [Get Tickets]
Lower West Coast (2016-06-09)
SFWMD announced the kick-off of the update to the Lower West Coast (LWC) Water Supply Plan. This update will assess current and projected water through 2040. The LWC Water Supply Plan kick-off meeting will be held on Jun 30, 2016 at 9:30am, in Bonita Springs Government Center. [Informations] [Map Meeting] [Map LWC] [Planning Document]
Opinion - Sandra McClinton (2016-06-09)
According to Sandra McClinton, fracking is a danger to the state’s delicate ecosystem and shallow, interconnected underground waterways. It could increase global warming by releasing methane gas, risk earthquake tremors in brittle limestone and hurt property values and tourism business. [News Press] [Details] [Schematic Depiction] [Photo Sandra McClinton] [Photo DWC] [Cartoon Fracking]
2006 vs 2016 SFWMD (2016-06-08)
If you plan to attend the SFWMD Board meeting in Ft Myers on Thursday, Jun 9 to comment on the poor condition of the Caloosahatchee then you may want to first watch the Riverwatch video of the same meeting in 2006. Nothing has really changed. Contact CRCA if you want suggestions on comment content. [SFWMD Meeting Agenda (Public Comment: Item 34)] [SFWMD Ft. Myers 2006] [Senator Nelson 2005] [Email Riverwatch]
Alva Boat Ramp (2016-06-08)
The Florida Department of Health is issuing a health advisory for the Alva boat ramp based on water sampling results. The Florida DEP found the presence of cyanobacteria and when algae is visible, the Health Department recommends individuals using the boat ramp avoid contact with the water. [News Press] [Map] [Photo Caloosahatchee River]
Benacquisto Questions DEP (2016-06-08)
Lizbeth Benacquisto is calling on the DEP to step up its efforts to ensure clean water is flowing through the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers’ estuaries. She also said the DEP should keep water quality standards as high as possible to protect Floridians. [Florida Politics] [News Press] [Biography] [Photo Lizbeth Benacquisto] [Photo Algae] [Photo Water Quality]
Sea Level Rise - Water Supply (2016-06-08)
Millions of people in South Florida get over 90% of their freshwater from the Biscayne aquifer. As sea level rise causes seawater to seep up from underneath, through the limestone bedrock, it contaminates the aquifer and the Everglades above it. [Article from NPR] [Audio File] [Graphic Rainfall Levels] [Map Land Elevation] [Diagram] [Photo Everglades]
Gov Rick Scott - Stories (2016-06-08)
Florida has hit a breaking point with: 88,000 gallons of oil has leaked from a Shell Oil pipeline into the Gulf of Mexico, massive seagrass die-off, & billions and billions of gallons of water discharge from Lake O. Why hasn't Gov Rick Scott jumped on board to help Florida? [The Huffington Post] [TC Palm] [Photo Rick Scott] [Photo Lake Okeechobee]
Rain Covered All Florida (2016-06-08)
Tropical Storm Colin could have dumped more rain in the Caloosahatchee than the 0.5 to 4.0 inches measured east of Franklin Lock. However the coastal estuary received more (2-8 inches) which will drain to the estuary. Lake O & the Kissimmee Basin received 1-4 inches which will flow to us eventually. [Florida Weekly Rain Map] [Caloosahatchee Region Weekly Rain]
Problem Not Fixed in 21 Years (2016-06-07)
Upon its creation in 1995, one of Riverwatch's first actions was to draw attention to the dumping of treated wastewater into the Caloosahatchee by the City of Ft Myers. 21 years later DEP is allowing this pollution to continue despite renewed complaints from Riverwatch and the City of Cape Coral. [Intent to Issue 1] [Intent to Issue 2 ]
Water Washes Over Politics (2016-06-07)
Jason Maughan, a Republican, said he is long been upset about the problems caused by water releases from Lake O into the Caloosahatchee River; fresh water with pollutants that cause problems for the saltier bays, beaches and Gulf. He said he camped along the beaches and up the Caloosahatchee. [News Press] [Island Sun] [Photo Jason Maughan]
Point of View - Ray Judah (2016-06-07)
Recent research has revealed a link between blue-green algae and the development of neuro-degenerative diseases. Blue-green algae, such as the harmful algae bloom in the Caloosahatchee, is a result of land-based nutrient runoff, including phosphorus and nitrogen, from the sugar cane fields. [My Palm Beach Post] [Photo Ray Judah] [Photo Algae Bloom]
Indian River Cities Meet (2016-06-07)
Polluted water flows right past political borders. So government officials, scientists and conservationists will brainstorm on Jun 11 ways to erase the boundaries to removing more muck, septic tank waste and other contamination in the Indian River Lagoon, in Florida. [Florida Today 1] [Florida Today 2] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Map]
River of Slime - Caloosahatchee (2016-06-06)
Here comes the green algae slime again. Why do we just watch it ruin our Caloosahatchee River, kill wildlife, spoil our waterways, and foul our air? For Jim Wawrzyniak, we expect more algae problems in the future so why don’t we start now to take corrective steps and invest in skimming equipment? [Mailbag News Press] [News Press Amy Bennett Williams] [Photo Green Algae] [Slimy River Water]
Arctic and Greenland Ice (2016-06-06)
Arctic Sea Ice is on a record setting run this year. This ice area is the smallest ever for this time of year, but total mass (area x depth x density) is extreme but not record setting, yet. Greenland ice melt has gotten off to an early start this year, 2 months early. [Article Greenland Ice] [Temperatures] [Ice Area] [Ice Volume] [Ice Mass] [Current Melt Area]
Power of the System (2016-06-06)
A judge found the Nuclear Regulatory Commission environmental report on the FPL Turkey Point power plant insufficient but required no action. Citizens Allied for Safe Energy president said: it really shows how powerless we are against a system where government supports big business. [Palm Beach Post] [Decision] [Map] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Graphic]
Bad News - Court Ruling (2016-06-06)
Clearly the circumstances of this particular case were extreme for it to result in a 8-0 Supreme Court Ruling. The case sought to limit a landowners right to mine peat on private lands in a manner that the Federal Government said would endanger water quality. [Miami Herald] [Article from Breitbart] [The Case] [The Supreme Court]
Lake O Learning Collaborative (2016-06-06)
The Lake O Learning Collaborative is focused on collaboration and resource sharing among the many municipalities and counties within the Northern Everglades Estuaries and the Lake O Watershed. This event will be held on Jun 22, from 12pm to 5pm at Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau in Ft. Myers. [Details] [Map] [Goals] [Registration]
First Amendment Florida (2016-06-03)
Four environmental groups asked a court to accelerate its ruling in a lawsuit accusing the Florida Legislature of violating the state Constitution and misdirecting $299 million in Amendment 1 environmental funds into salaries and inappropriate operating expenses. [Tampa Bay Times] [Motion for Summary Judgment] [Summary Water and Land Conservation]
Climate Clock Ticking Down (2016-06-03)
Anything more than a 1.5C rise in sustained global average temperature and things get extremely serious for people on earth. The clock is ticking. Estimates show that at current emissions levels the clock runs out in as little as 10 years. [Skeptical Science] [Report] [Effects Table] [Heat Effects] [The Clock]
Wacky Growth Perspective (2016-06-03)
Gov. Scott says creating new cities the size of Orlando in undeveloped areas is good for the environment because they produce tax dollars to help repair the environmental damage that development causes. How's that for circular reasoning on top of Scott wiping out the growth management laws. [Article from Jacksonville] [Photo Ron Littlepage] [Photo Rick Scott] [Cartoon 1] [Cartoon 2]
Algae Interview - Fox4 (2016-06-03)
Everybody saw the pictures of sprawling algae bloom creeping down the Caloosahatchee. Local scientists, like John Cassani (an aquatic ecologist & Riverwatch director), called out the DEP for not finding any significant traces of it. DEP then quickly responded with an algae discovery press release. [Fox 4] [Video] [Photo John Cassani] [Photo Algae] [DEP Response]
DEP Reports Algae Toxins (2016-06-02)
In a June 2 press release, FDEP reported that its May 24 sampling at Alva Boat Ramp did reveal algae toxin levels above the safe limit of 20ug/L. This comes after a state senator wrote to DEP citing Riverwatch concerns over DEP's deficient reporting of the ongoing Caloosahatchee algae bloom. [Alva Sample Results] [Image] [Microcystis aeruginosa] [Microcystis Toxins] [Microcystis details]
Letter - DEP Standards (2016-06-02)
Patricia Krause, in her letter to Eric Shaw, can’t comprehend how any state can allow more toxins in environment for any reason. Florida is one of the most beautiful of places with so much that is fragile and precious, so the State should have the highest and best standards for all citizens. [News Press] [Tallahassee Democrat] [Video]
Waters of Florida are in Crisis (2016-06-02)
The Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries are choking from polluted overflows from Lake O, while Everglades National Park and Florida Bay are starved for freshwater. As Floridians, clean water is the lifeblood of our environment, economy, and quality of life, but all of which are in jeopardy. [News Press] [Photo] [Everglades Coalition] [Cara Capp] [Michael Baldwin]
Impacts of Polluted Water (2016-06-02)
According to Cris Costello (a water expert and senior regional organizing representative with the Sierra Club), algae blooms – that are harmful to marine life and also humans – will create a sure turnoff to both tourists and full-time residents alike. This bad situation affects everything. [Article from Creative Loafing] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Cartoon]
Caloosahatchee May 25-31 (2016-06-02)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased to an average of 4,305 cfs, while discharges to the river from Lake O at S-77 increased to an average of 2,515 cfs. USACE request flows be reduced to an average of no more than 2,800 cfs at S-79. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [More SCCF Reports]
May 2016 CRCA Newsletter (2016-06-01)
The May 2016 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]
Revisions Chemicals Products (2016-06-01)
The state is planning to increase the allowable limits of several cancer-causing chemicals in Florida’s rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries. The DEP is updating the standards for what is known as the Human Health Criteria. [My Palm Beach Post] [Frequently Asked Questions] [Treated Waters Maps] [Draft Technical Support DEP] [Frank Cerabino]
Opinion Eve Samples (2016-06-01)
Eve Samples was surprised when she received in April an email from a public relations firm working for U.S. Sugar Corp. requesting a meeting with Editorial Board. Indeed, the last time journalists had a meeting scheduled with the Clewiston-based company, in 2013, U.S. Sugar canceled the day before. [TC Palm 1] [TC Palm 2] [Photo] [Eve Samples] [Video]
FPL Rate Hike Public Hearing (2016-06-01)
FPL shareholders make a 20% annual profit off their monopoly. They use Florida customer's money to deceive voters on solar amendments, fund nuclear expansion in sea level rise zones, & pay for fracking in other states. Attend this Public Service Commission meeting on June 2 (Thursday) to speak out. [Flier] [CBS Miami] [Rate Hike Commentary] [Map] [Hearing Dates]
Cloud Effect Critical to Warming (2016-05-31)
Since the 1980's, we have known that the severity of global warming depends on how cloud cover responds to initial global temperature increases. The cloud effect has not yet offset climate change but there is hope clouds could help in the future. [Yahoo Finance] [Report 2013] [Report 2016] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
San Carlos Islanders Upset (2016-05-31)
The density & intensity of Maher’s plans for Bay Harbour Marina Village on San Carlos Island at the entrance to Estero Bay are so controversial that a third day of rezoning hearings wasn’t enough. So, a fourth hearing day is scheduled for Jun 17, at 9am in downtown Ft. Myers. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]
Slimy River Water (2016-05-31)
Green water tainted by potentially toxic cyanobacteria flows down the Caloosahatchee, state and county officials are silent on whether people should stay out of the river. The USACE closed the beach at W.P. Franklin Lock and Lee County Utilities' Olga Water Plant has stopped pulling from the river. [News Press] [Cyanobacteria] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video]
June CRCA Board Meeting (2016-05-30)
The CRCA-Riverwatch Board of Directors will meet on June 1 in LaBelle at the Bridge Street Coffee Shop. Dave Urich of Responsible Growth Management Coalition has developed six white-boards on the Lake "O" water issue and will discuss. [Location]
Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods Meeting (2016-05-30)
The next Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods Initiative Quarterly Meeting is scheduled for June 15, 2016 from 10:00-12:00 at the South Florida Water Management District’s Lower West Coast Service Center in Ft. Myers. [Details]
SFWMD to Meet in Fort Myers (2016-05-30)
The South Florida Water Management District meets on Thursday, June 9 in Fort Myers at the Old Lee County Courthouse. Plan on attending and letting them know how we feel about Caloosahatchee conditions experienced during 2016. [Schedule] [Meeting Agendas]
EvCo Law Workshop (2016-05-30)
The Everglades Coalition holds hits Summer Meeting & Environmental Law Workshop at the Conservancy in Naples, July 6-8. Friday will be our quarterly meeting with a shortened business agenda. [Details]
Watershed-Lake Cycle (2016-05-30)
The estuary damage experienced in Jan-Feb is repeating in late May. First the Corps stops discharges from Lake O into the Caloosahatchee while stormwater runoff from the watershed passes. Then they open up S-77 and start draining the Lake. The estuary is pummeled by these one-two punches. [S-79 Flow Graph]
DEP Says No Algae Problem (2016-05-27)
Contradicting Riverwatch sampling on May 20-23 and many TV reports, a DEP press release suggests no algae problem in the Caloosahatchee at that time. Clearly, DEP sampling and reporting is of little practical value in keeping the public truly informed on prevailing conditions in the Caloosahatchee. [DEP Algae Press Release Data]
Buying Land May Be Cheaper (2016-05-26)
C-43 West Reservoir analysis shows it will deliver under 75,000 ac-ft/yr of water to the estuary for $600 million. Buying EAA lands & reallocating that irrigation water from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee MFL would be more cost effective. Water allocation policy would be the limiting factor. [Public Forum Slides] [Water Storage Analysis]
Cape Justifying Lock Removal (2016-05-26)
Cape Coral claims it is conducting “special operations” at Chiquita Lock (leaving it fully open) for maintenance. But DEP says the Cape has set up monitoring equipment to collect water quality data. These data are needed to justify a permit application for removal of the lock. [DEP Email] [WINK-TV Video]
Microsystis Algae Bloom in River (2016-05-26)
FGCU Prof. Serge Thomas provided microscope images of algae samples collected by Riverwatch from the Caloosahatchee River at LaBelle, May 20-23. Microsystis is a freshwater cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can produce hepatotoxin (microcystin). [Image 1] [image 2] [Image 3] [Image 4] [Image 5] [Image 6]
Photos of Vegetation Debris (2016-05-26)
Hendry County Extension Director Gene McAvoy identified photos of vegetation debris washing up on banks of the Caloosahatchee River downstream of Ortona as being the underwater rhizomes of spatterdock, typically firmly anchored to the bottom. They are probably landowner trash from canal cleaning. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Gene McAvoy]
David Guest - Earthjustice (2016-05-26)
David Guest was at the center of key environmental battles and earned him praise from allies and opponents alike. But he has earned enemies in communities that rely on Florida's sugar industry, which he has battled over water quality standards and the back-pumping of water from canals into Lake O. [Politico Florida] [Photo David Guest] [Biography David Guest] [Team Earthjustice] [Photo Algae Bloom]
Fox4 - Algae Blooms (2016-05-26)
The beach at Franklin Lock along the Caloosahatchee is closed. Cyanobacteria has left the water so contaminated, the Army Corps of Engineers have declared it a health hazard. The W.P. Franklin lock recreation area is ideal for families and friends to enjoy the beauty of Florida. But not right now. [Article Fox4] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Report Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch] [Video Fox4]
Caloosahatchee May 18-24 (2016-05-26)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased to an average of 4,183 cfs, while discharges to the river from Lake Okeechobee at S-77 decreased to an average of 350 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 averaged 2,139 cfs. Cyanobacteria was present at Alva and Olga. [Conditions Report] [Table] [Photo] [More SCCF Reports]
Opinion Malcolm Bubba Wade (2016-05-25)
For Malcolm 'Bubba' Wade, there is no truth in Ray Judah's claim the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie were the relief valves so the Everglades Agriculture Area (EAA) could maintain optimum growing conditions. The EAA is allowed to discharge three quarters of an inch of flooding per day. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [News Press 3] [Photo Malcolm Bubba Wade] [Photo Ray Judah] [Photo Tom Rooney]
Larry Kiker - Federal Funding (2016-05-25)
We must continue our past efforts to seek solutions to the impact freshwater discharges and other vital issues affecting our economy, environment and quality of life, said Larry Kiker. He will be traveling to Washington D.C. to advocate for full federal funding of critical water quality projects. [News Press] [Photo Larry Kiker] [Biography Larry Kiker] [Lee County Agenda 2016]
Thanks to San Carlos Marine (2016-05-25)
CRCA-Riverwatch thanks San Carlos Marine at 3300 Palm Beach Blvd in Fort Myers for the kind service on our new Waterkeeper boat. The future of our Waterkeeper program depends on the generosity of sponsors like San Carlos Marine. [Photo] [Map] [About San Carlos Marine] [Web Page]
Pat Oleszko Used Humor (2016-05-25)
Pat Oleszko, a 69-year-old artist from Manhattan, wore a sign on her back that read: Row vs Wade. Oleszko's sign was meant to be a pun, a play on the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. The purpose of the sign was to draw attention to rising sea levels, one of many impacts of climate change. [News Press] [Photos] [Rauschenberg Residency] [Graphic Sea Level] [History Roe v Wade]
DEP Defends Rock Bottom (2016-05-25)
We will be at rock bottom, said Linda Young, of the Florida Clean Water Network comparing Florida safety standards to other states. However, DEP claims that their weakening of standards for toxic compounds allowed in the state's rivers, lakes, streams and coastal water pose no risk to Floridians. [Tallahassee Democrat] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Public Blasts DEP]
Collaborators in Corruption (2016-05-25)
Some 20 years ago, headlines informed readers that Indian River Lagoon was sick. Over two decades later, the diagnosis is grave. Why? Because the political and bureaucratic functions of government have become collaborators in failure throughout the layers of government and economic politics. [Florida Today]
NextEra/FPL Say No (2016-05-25)
Alan Farago & Lisa Versaci presented a shareholder proposal to require the company NextEra to report each year on the risk its faces from sea-level rise. NextEra (owner of FPL) shareholders rejected the proposal, with 65 percent opposed, arguing that this proposal would be a waste of time and money. [Miami Herald] [The Huffington Post] [The Palm Beach Post] [Tampa Bay Times] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Algae Bloom Aerial Photos (2016-05-24)
Photos of the Caloosahatchee algae bloom taken between LaBelle and Olga show extremely high algal concentrations in the more stagnant parts of the river, like at Oxbow 24 within the Old Ft Denaud development. Algal streaks are visible in the high flow velocity portions of the river as well. [Ft Denaud Bridge] [Franklin Lock] [Downstream of Franklin Lock] [Upper Estuary at River Forest] [Upper Estuary at Olga] [Oxbow 24 at Old Ft Denaud]
Green Stuff in Caloosahatchee (2016-05-24)
This brilliant green-marbled water means bad news for the Caloosahatchee and its watershed. Initially spotted along the LaBelle, Alva and Olga shorelines, the cause of the pea-colored water is likely a sudden bloom of cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae). [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Scott Perry 1] [Scott Perry 2]
Ten Options for NETs (2016-05-24)
NETs (negative emissions technologies) take more CO2 out of the atmosphere than they put in. No one single technology can solve climate change but many have been proposed that could contribute to reducing atmospheric CO2. 'Carbon Brief' takes a closer look at 10 of the most frequently proposed NETs. [Carbon Brief] [Ten Options] [Video Prof Joanna Haigh] [Video Prof Mike Stephenson] [Video Prof Richard Lampitt]
CHNEP Director Search (2016-05-24)
Qualified environmental professionals should apply for CHNEP director position. CHNEP provides excellent information products but on the policy side traditionally has been limited by its funding agencies to rubber-stamping the projects and positions of DEP. [CHNEP Director Announcement] [CCMP 2013] [Map] [Job Description]
An Obstacle to Solutions (2016-05-24)
EAA agriculture is not the primary source of Caloosahatchee nutrient problems but it is a major cause of our water volume problems through its irrigation demands and by serving as an obstacle to drainage solutions. It and others also contribute to water quality problems through political actions. [TC Palm] [US Sugar 1] [US Sugar 2] [US Sugar 3] [US Sugar 4] [US Sugar 5]
We Need a Drone (2016-05-23)
If you have a drone with a good camera and want to volunteer to help Riverwatch then please contact us. We would like to perform an algae bloom survey of the Caloosahatchee River and estuary. Aerial photos taken of the 2005 bloom had a huge effect in mobilizing the public to action. [Email Us]
Rob Moher Next Challenge (2016-05-23)
Speaking to about 40 members of the Naples Press Club at the Hilton Naples, conservancy President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Moher said the challenge going forward for the next few years will be to help shape public policy that reflects not one interest but the common interest. [Naples Daily News] [Biography Rob Moher] [Video Rob Moher]
Back To Engineering Basics (2016-05-23)
The Corps and State of Florida appear to be using falsified geologic data to assure the public that a proposed natural gas pipeline will not be vulnerable to sinkhole failures and leaks. With such examples, it is hard to trust any of their engineering assurances on other projects. [Suwannee Democrat] [Report Dennis Price] [SpectraBusters] [Letter to USACE] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Estero River Dangers (2016-05-23)
Estero River will be cleared of fallen tree limbs and overhanging invasive trees such as Brazilian peppers to remove potentially dangerous barriers to the river's flow (and moving urban drainage). Work to clear natural debris deposited in the Estero River is a volunteer campaign. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Map]
USACE and Lake O Discharges (2016-05-23)
A possibly toxic blue-green algae bloom is not enough of a concern for federal officials to stop Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie River. No agencies are saying it poses a threat, Army Corps of Engineers spokesman John Campbell said. [TC Palm] [Sun Sentinel] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Algae Bloom in River (2016-05-21)
Riverwatch Past President Scott Perry was interviewed on NBC-2 about the algae bloom he encountered on the Caloosahatchee in LaBelle while preparing for his annual kid's fossil camp. The algae blanketed the surface, obstructing any visibility of the river bed just inches below the water surface. [Scott 1] [Mathidle Laurendon] [LaBelle] [Scott 2] [WBBH] [NBC-2 Video]
Phillip G. Buchanan (1944-2016) (2016-05-19)
Phil Buchanan, champion of environmental and quality of life issues for Pine Island, Matlacha and our entire region, has passed away. A Riverwatch leader and issues advocate, his passing is a shock and great loss to the group and to each individual who knew him and called him friend. [News Press] [Pine Island Eagle] [Phil as an Author] [Phil as an Engaged Citizen] [Photos] [Facebook]
Chiquita Lock End Begins (2016-05-20)
The day after the passing of Phil Buchanan, the primary legal challenger to Cape Coral's 2008 removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift and the subsequent degradation of the Matlache waters, the Cape is now starting the same process at the southern end of the spreader canal by opening up Chiquita Lock. [Chiquita Lock Location] [Daily Breeze] [Phil Watching Officials]
Estero - CREW Headwaters (2016-05-20)
Estero supports an effort to secure $13.7 million of state funding for the preservation of 2,841 acres in southeast Lee County. The village council on May 18 agreed to send a letter endorsing the project, CREW Headwaters, to stewards of Florida Forever, the state’s public land acquisition program. [Naples Daily News] [History CREW] [General Management Plan] [CREW Boundary Map] [Photo] [Video]
Record Rainfall in Florida (2016-05-20)
Heavy rainfall increased the potential for algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon. According to Mark Perry (executive director of the Florida Oceanographic Society), if you have dry conditions over time, and all of a sudden you get a huge rain, this flush will bring a lot of high bacterial levels. [TC Palm] [Florida Today] [Graphic SFWMD Rainfall] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video]
Get Ready, Here We Go Again! (2016-05-20)
The Kissimmee, Okeechobee and Calooshatchee Basins were hit with 4-5 inches of rain from May 17-19. The Corps halted Lake O discharges at Moore Haven while the river watershed runoff passes the estuary but will soon open the flood gates and send another prolonged blast of water to the estuary. [Flow Graph] [May 17-19 Rainfall Map]
Eye On Miami - Taxpayer Dollars (2016-05-20)
Eye On Miami describes how SFWMD is spending taxpayer dollars to wage a blatantly political agenda-driven campaign against citizens who are organizing to protest state water policies that put coastal lands and waters at severe jeopardy of continued pollution. [Eye On Miami] [Alan Farago (gimleteye)] [SPB] [Protester] [Cartoon]
Laser Light Shows Ft Myers (2016-05-20)
Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium is proud to announce the return of summertime laser light shows during a 10-day Go Wild for Lasers event, featuring several family fun laseriffic events throughout the celebration for both children and adults, taking place between May 18 to May 28. [Fort Myers Beach Talk] [Photo] [Map] [Buy Tickets]
Algae Headed Down River (2016-05-20)
Kayaking on the Caloosahatchee on the morning of May 19, former Riverwatch president Scott Perry photographed an algae bloom blanketing the shores near LaBelle. River flow is very high (6000 cfs) following the 3-5 inches of rain from May 17-19. This will move the algae to Ft Myers quickly. [LaBelle Algae 1] [LaBelle Algae 2]
Solar Benefits (2016-05-19)
Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits throughout the USA by 2050, according to a study from the U.S. DOE's. It shows that a U.S. electric system in which solar plays a major role, by supplying 14% of demand in 2030, and 27% in 2050. [Solar Thermal Magazine] [Report] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
Caloosahatchee May 11-17 (2016-05-19)
Lake O water flows continued to recede at S-79. Discharges into the estuary at S-79 decreased to an average of 2,164 cfs, while discharges to the river from Lake O at S-77 increased to an average of 2,178 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 averaged 443 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
Public Blasts DEP (2016-05-19)
Florida wants to weaken its standards for roughly two dozen cancer-causing chemicals it will allow to be discharged into its rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters. DEP is in the process of revising limits on toxic chemicals that can be released into surface waters. [News Press] [Cartoon] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video]
Sanibel Resident Opinion (2016-05-19)
Jill Dillon of Sanibel writes that John Scott is running against Matt Caldwell who she describes as Big Sugar's poster boy. Cadwell spearheaded passage of the 2016 Water Policy bill successfully undermining Florida's statewide water resource protections from Apalachicola Bay to the Florida Keys. [News Press] [Sanibel Captiva Islander] [About John Scott] [John Scott Candidacy]
Lake O BMAP Meeting (2016-05-18)
The Lake Okeechobee Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) Annual Meeting was held in Okeechobee on May 3 to review first year progress on reducing pollution to Lake Okeechobee from surrounding lands, primarily agricultural, mostly cattle ranches. [BMAP Presentation] [Agenda] [Presentation by SFWMD] [FDACS Update] [Technical Meeting Summary] [Lake Tohopekaliga NRP]
Matlacha Bridge - Protest (2016-05-18)
A handful of residents from Matlacha, Bokeelia, St. James City and Ft. Myers, took up a spot on the Matlacha Bridge to raise awareness for issues linked to water quality. Those who took part in the peaceful protest did signs, yelled slogans and offered information on why water quality was important. [News Press] [Pine Island Eagle] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]
Mitch Hutchcraft Editorial (2016-05-18)
C-43 Reservoir is just a component of overall solution to restore the river which includes water quality improvement, storage and operational changes to the water management system. But it's a crucial component that will provide tangible benefits to the river and estuary for decades to come. Agree? [Lehigh Acres Citizen] [Mitch Hutchcraft] [News Release SFWMD] [Opinion] [Biography Mitch Hutchcraft]
Seismic Testing in Big Cypress (2016-05-18)
A Texas Company won approval to explore for oil at Big Cypress National Preserve, after the NPS concluded the work would have no significant environmental impact. Environmentalists denounced the decision saying it will cause lasting damage to some of last extensive wildlife habitat left in South FL. [Naples Daily News] [Sun Sentinel] [Big Cypress Environmental Review] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Larry Fink - EAA Organic Soils (2016-05-18)
Sulfur levels in some US watersheds and rivers have steadily declined and farmers may need to consider applying sulfur soon. Larry Fink explains sulfur dynamics in South Florida soils, particularly the EAA organic soils where the contribute to the mercury problem in soils, water, and fish. [Environmental News Network] [Comments] [Technical Report] [Official Protests Larry Fink] [Larry Fink]
Pocket Green v Algae Green (2016-05-18)
A Caloosahatchee riverfront home with a Just Value of $6.6 million has an asking price of $25 million. But could the river's severe water quality problems depress the value of this 9532 sq ft home built in 2013? It sits on 0.75 acres at 1240 Coconut Dr FM and sold for $2 million in 2008. [News Press] [Valuation Card] [Aerial] [Photo] [News Press Link]
BOCC Says Let It Die (2016-05-17)
Lee County Commissioners Pendergrass, Hamman, and Kiker suggest the SW FL Regional Planning Council should die because it performs useless activities including climate change planning. History will place these misguided souls alongside Robert E. Lee - under whose portrait they meet and serve. [Sea Level Rise Work] [SFWMD Activities] [Commissioners] [SWFRPC] [BOCC Meeting VIDEO] [Cartoon]
Protect FPL Assets from FPL (2016-05-17)
The parent company of FPL is required by SEC regulations to include all shareholders of record, and to announce resolutions proposed by shareholders according to SEC rule. FPL is the largest business unit of NextEra. Its major market is the eastern seaboard of Florida, vulnerable to sea level rise. [The Huffington Post] [FPL] [Report] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Welcome to Sea Level Rise (2016-05-17)
Look at our yard, at the landscaping, a Miami woman said. That palm tree was super-expensive. She went on: it's crazy — this is saltwater. Welcome to rising sea levels, Professor Harold Wanless told her. Much of the Miami region may have less than half a century more to go. [The New Yorker 1] [The New Yorker 2] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Cartoons] [Video]
Solar Flight Without Fuel (2016-05-17)
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have set out to achieve something that still seems impossible today: the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel or polluting emissions. Solar Impulse wants to demonstrate that clean technologies can achieve impossible goals. [Explanations] [Destinations] [Tween Tribune] [The Plane] [The Team] [Video]
Nathan Blyveis - Observations (2016-05-16)
After reading the full-page ad from U.S. Sugar, Nathan Blyveis had a few observations, which he sent to the News Press. He wonders how many of the elected representatives that take money from U.S. Sugar are still in office. It would be nice to publish that information before the November elections. [News Press Mailbag] [Nathan Blyveis]
Global Effects of Canada Fires (2016-05-16)
While it is too soon to comprehend the full extent of the damage, we know that it is far-reaching and utterly devastating, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Wildfires can strip away the protective vegetative blanket and release all that stockpiled carbon into the atmosphere. [New Scientist] [Map] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video]
Ocean Noise (2016-05-16)
Seismic surveying to map oil & gas reserves on the US Atlantic coast from Florida to New Jersey involves blasting the ocean floor with sound waves. It can be harmful to marine life, including endangered whales, turtles and dolphins. [Savannah Now] [McClatchy DC] [Techniques] [WWAY TV3] [Cartoon] [Map]
SFWMD - Key Agreement (2016-05-13)
SFWMD Governing Board approved, on May 12, an agreement that protects SFWMD's investment in the C-43 West Reservoir under construction intended to store and deliver water to benefit the ecology of the Caloosahatchee Estuary. This project is a top priority of SFWMD and some environmental groups. [News Release SFWMD] [Map SFWMD] [Information C43 Reservoir] [Map C43 Reservoir] [Video] [Debate]
Caloosahatchee Holds Wonders (2016-05-13)
For years, the Florida eco-illuminati have used a handful of alliterative verbs describing what's been done to our poor Caloosahatchee and its watershed: drained, dynamited, ditched, dredged, damaged. But, despite everything, the Caloosahatchee still holds wonders, according to Amy Bennett Williams. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Podcast]
Boating Class (2016-05-13)
Some local boat captains and kayak tour operators now have a better understanding about how to enhance the eco-tourism experience and become better stewards of Estero Bay. 10 participants completed all 4 sessions for the Ecotour Provider Environmental Education Program. [Marco Island Sun Times] [Florida DEP] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [John Kiseda]
Tarpon Scarce in Tournament (2016-05-13)
Only a couple tarpon were caught by the 230 fishermen in the Doc Fords Tarpon Tournament. Even knowing the weather reasons, the experts were surprised the teams caught so few fish. These are some of the best tarpon fishermen from all over, said Capt. Bill Hammond. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [Photo 1] [Tee-shirt] [Photo 3] [Results]
C43 West Reservoir Presentations (2016-05-12)
Watershed Council and Riverwatch Directors addressed an audience of 50 on May 11 describing the history, benefits, risks and deficiencies of the C-43 West Basin Reservoir first proposed in the 90's and now under construction at a cost of $600 million. [Forum Program] [Wayne Daltry] [John Cassani] [John Capece] [Jennifer Hecker] [William Mitsch (editorial)]
C-43 Public Forum - May 11 (2016-05-12)
On May 11 more than 50 people attended the Public Forum concerning the C-43 West Reservoir. The speaker engaged in shared conversations with the attendees for 70 minutes following 30 minutes of presentations. Reporters from FOX4 came to cover the event. [Flier] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]
Reminder for CR Working Group (2016-05-12)
Don't forget that the next meeting to develop SAV Restoration Targets for the Caloosahatchee River will be held on May 17, 2016 in Alva from 9:15am-noon at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park. The outcomes will be compiled into a written summary which will be presented to CHNEP TAC in Jul, 2016. [Agenda] [Map] [Presentation] [CR Working Group] [Reservation]
Florida Trail Association Activities (2016-05-12)
Three important events will be held during the month of May and June by FTA. (1) Saturday May 21, Full Moon Hike at Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area or WMA. (2) Saturday June 4, Clip and Walk Paradise Lake Spur to Creek Trail Maintenance. (3) Saturday June 25, Night Hike at St. Luke's Church. [List of Events] [Event 1] [Event 2] [Event 3]
Climate Class Online Sara Harris (2016-05-12)
Dr. Sara Harris teaches global climate change, environmental science, and oceanography in the department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia. She proposes free online climate science courses to master the basics of climate science. [Skeptical Science] [Sara Harris] [Map] [Video] [Courses]
Caloosahatchee May 4-10 (2016-05-11)
Lake O water levels continued to recede. Discharges into the estuary decreased to an average of 2,255 cfs and discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 1,294 cfs. There has been no salinity signature in the middle Caloosahatchee estuary at Ft. Myers. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
SFWMD Blasts Riverwatch (2016-05-11)
On May 11, SFWMD issued a press release suggesting it was not invited to the Riverwatch public forum on the C-43 West Reservoir. The email invitations were distributed to "Riverwatch Members and Friends" which included 40 names and addresses. Riverwatch encourages SFWMD participation. [Event Flier] [SFWMD Press Release] [Get the Facts] [Just the Facts] [Splash Sheet] [CRCA Public Forum Invitation]
Stop Pollution and Save Water (2016-05-11)
According to Kathleen Brennan, a future with polluted water is grim. So where are those with the power to do something? For Dick Hasselman, there is no evidence that pollution in Lake O comes from the north. The evidence is there and must be fully communicated to the public so they better understand [Mailbag] [Cartoon] [Map] [News Press] [C43 Reservoir Project Debate]
CRCA Public Forum Invitation (2016-05-05)
The public is invited to attend the Riverwatch public forum on May 11 in Ft Myers to discuss the C-43 West Reservoir project. It will be a 15 square mile, $600 million water storage project to help balance Caloosahatchee estuary salinity. [Event Flier] [Forum Outline] [Press Release] [News Press] [Reader Comments] [Prof Mitsch Video]
Grand Resorts - Dirty Water (2016-05-10)
(1) According to Tom and Annie Babcock, the Grand Resorts development proposal for Fort Myers Beach must be consistent with a long established vision defined by a municipal Comprehensive Plan. (2) According to Bill Greggs, sugar interests have not forgotten thanks to several publications. [Mailbag] [News Press Grand Resorts] [Photo Grand Resorts] [Video Grand Resorts] [News Press Dirty Water]
Feud Over Injection Well (2016-05-10)
The fight between Cape Coral and 2 state agencies stems from a Florida Governmental Utility Authority’s proposal to dig a shallow injection well to remove surplus treated wastewater from its North Fort Myers plant. But, Cape residents could face contaminated drinking water and increased water bills. [News Press] [Injection Well] [Cape Coral] [North Fort Myers Neighbor]
Chemical Pearls in Oysters (2016-05-10)
According to a new study by Portland State University researchers, native Olympia oysters in Oregon's Netarts and Coos bays contain a cocktail of pharmaceuticals and chemicals, including pain relievers, antibiotics, mercury and pesticides. [Oregon Live] [About Oysters] [The Study] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video]
Southwest Florida Water Blessing (2016-05-09)
Blessed water is poured into the Caloosahatchee River during the Southwest Florida Water Blessing Event recently at Centennial Park in Downtown Fort Myers. More than 100 people offered prayers and blessings for the water of Southwest Florida to include Lake Okeechobee. [News Press] [Happehatchee Center] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video]
The Work of Paul Gray (2016-05-09)
Dr. Paul Gray is the Audubon Society's science coordinator for the Lake Okeechobee watershed program, which means he essentially manages the wildlife sanctuaries on the lake and works to protect them. He has worked with the bird conservation nonprofit for 19 years. [Highlands Today] [Okeechobee News] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
Gary Goforth v US Sugar (2016-05-09)
Dr. Gary Goforth analyzes the U.S. Sugar advertisements and the case they make. He gives a more accurate interpretation of the actual facts and what the data tell us. Very clearly, the current solutions in place barely begin to address the water volume and quality problems of agriculture. [Presentation] [Resume] [Graphic] [Gary Goforth]
Water Crisis Coverage (2016-05-09)
We need to continue to focus on environmental concerns. We need to wake up, come out of denial, rid ourselves of status quo thinking, and for the sake of now and generations to come, seek to preserve the Gulf waters, animals and natural resources of the state. [News Press] [Photo] [Chad Gillis] [Video]
Efforts of Marco Rubio (2016-05-06)
Rubio's office has said if the bill passes, as expected, it will be the most significant action taken to authorize this important Everglades Restoration Project. Marco Rubio claims a major role to play in this success. Like most of Florida's congressional delegation, he has long advocated for CEPP. [Sunshine State News] [Fact Sheet] [Press Releases] [Timeline] [Marco Rubio] [Video]
6 Maps to Rethink the World (2016-05-06)
We don’t often question the typical world map that hangs on the walls of classrooms - a patchwork of yellow, pink and green that separates the world into more than 200 nations. But Parag Khanna, a global strategist, says that this map is, essentially, obsolete. [The Washington Post] [Maps] [Parag Khanna] [Book] [Video]
Babcock Ranch Project (2016-05-06)
Syd Kitson proposes to build baseball fields in Lee County and put up a movie theater and a hotel right in our Density Reduction Groundwater Recharge lands. The runoff from these businesses and fields will only foul the land south of the town and pollute the Caloosahatchee. [Guest Opinion] [News Press] [Map] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
Property Values (2016-05-05)
Dirty water is bad for business. That was a theme among industry leaders and politicians gathered on Apr 28, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Bell Tower to talk about the economic impacts of record January rains and the Lake O releases that followed. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video] [Property Value Impacts]
Clawson and Dike Repair (2016-05-05)
Efforts to expedite repairs to the Herbert Hoover dike around Lake Okeechobee are moving along several legislative paths but ultimately come down to an $800 million question: Where would the money come from? The U.S. Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Bonita Springs, proposed fast-tracking the repairs in a bill. [TC Palm] [Map] [Naples Daily News] [Fact Sheet] [Photo] [Herbert Hoover Dike]
Caloosahatchee Apr 27-May 3 (2016-05-05)
Lake O water levels continued to recede. Discharges into the estuary at S79 increased to an average of 2,739 cfs while discharges to the river from Lake O at S77 decreased to an average of 2,645 cfs. 42% of Lake O outflows were directed to the Caloosahatchee. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [More SCCF Reports]
New Project Florida Forever List (2016-05-04)
Brenda McClymonds, with The Trust for Public Land, has submitted the Application to Add New Project to the Florida Forever List. The property she is requesting includes important sections of Hog Branch and Bear Branch, located in Charlotte County. This project concerns approximately 557 acres. [Completed Application] [Map] [Report] [Blank Application] [Priority List] [Florida DEP]
BMAP Update (2016-05-04)
A public meeting of interested stakeholders to discuss the Lake Okeechobee BMAP took place on May 3, 2016 from 9am to 11am at Dixon Hendry Campus. The BMAP is the means for implementation of the adopted TMDL. The purpose of this meeting was to provide the annual update on the adopted BMAP. [Draft Agenda] [Draft Report] [Letter] [Map] [News about BMAP]
Estuary Bottom Once Sand Now Muck (2016-05-04)
Historically, the Caloosahatchee bottom was sandy, almost beach-like. Today it's difficult to tell what the bottom looks like because it's impossible to see through the suspended solids and excess tannins that have crippled part of the Caloosahatchee River & estuary. The river bottom is now muck. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Video]
US Chooses Ships Over Coral (2016-05-04)
The large-scale dredging of Miami’s port to accommodate the newest generation of freighters, an undertaking that prompted a long-running battle with environmentalists, caused widespread damage to a portion of the area’s fragile and already distressed coral reef. [The New York Times] [National Geographic] [Photo] [Report] [Video]
Kissimmee Basin (2016-05-03)
According to Alan Faber, we need to know more about the condition of the Kissimmee Basin flow into the lake. If the water condition is anything like that mentioned, what is being done about the problem at the source (the Kissimmee Basin) to clean up the pollution before it enters the lake? [News Press] [Map] [Photo] [Kissimmee Basin] [Fact Sheet]
Bears and Panthers are in Danger (2016-05-03)
When Scott ran for re-election in 2014, he claimed to be a born-again environmentalist. But just like an anole, he turns green when he needs to. Then FWC was widely despised with the bear hunt (or bear harvest). Next up on FWC's megafauna-that-needs-shooting list: the Florida panther. [Context Florida] [Cartoon] [Diane Roberts] [Bear Petition] [Panther Petition]
Sawfish Caught and Released (2016-05-03)
A huge smalltooth sawfish was caught and released off the Naples Pier on Apr 28. The endangered fish was too big for the fisherman to pull up to remove the hook. Instead he towed the line to the shore and with the help of other fishermen, pulled the sawfish to shore as a crowded looked on in wonder. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Smalltooth Sawfish] [Video]
Bad Computer Model Assumptions (2016-05-02)
A dye tracing experiment was used to test the computer model used to issue DEP permits in the Springs areas of Florida. The model failed the test when the dye appeared 6 months later at a spot halfway to the point the model said would take 100 years to reach. [Tampa Bay Times 1] [Tampa Bay Times 2] [Accurate Water Models] [Presentation] [Cartoon]
ECHCP - Sierra Comments (2016-04-29)
Sierra Club Florida opposes the Eastern Collier Habitat Conservation Plan (ECHCP) which would include an incidental take permit that would authorize the unintentional harm or killing of Florida panthers and other endangered species on 45,000 acres of new urban development. [Comments on ECHCP] [Letter] [Naples Daily News] [Map] [Presentation]
Dirty River Jam 2016 (2016-04-29)
The 2nd annual Dirty River Jam will be held on Jun 11, from 1pm to 11:45pm at Terra Fermata. They are teaming up with to create community awareness of the growing problems involving Indian River and surrounding waterways which are being adversely affected by the run-off from Lake O. [Event] [Map] [Logo] [Dirty River Jam 2015] [Facebook]
Massive Seagrass Die Off (2016-04-29)
The shallow coastal waters of Florida Bay are famed for their crystal clear views of thick green seagrass. But since mid-2015, a massive 40,000-acre die off here has clouded waters and at times coated shores with floating dead grasses. It is the latest sign we are failing to protect the Everglades. [The Washington Post] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Video]
501(c)(3) Organizations (2016-04-28)
Tax-exempt educational organizations may not engage in partisan activities for elections. This means: (1) no endorsing or opposing specific candidates or parties, (2) no money or resources to candidates, or (3) no rating, grades or ranking of candidates on their positions. [Commenting on Candidates and Campaigns] [Presentation 501(c)(3)] [Guide] [Election Related Activities] [Video]
Ray Judah Presentation (2016-04-28)
Clean water was the topic at the Matlacha Civic Association's monthly meeting last week. Ray Judah, former Lee County Commissioner and former coordinator of Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition, made a presentation about the State of Florida - Lee County Waters. [Pine Island Eagle] [The Tampa Tribune] [Ray Judah] [Biography]
Deoxygenation Marine Life (2016-04-28)
Climate change has caused a drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans in some parts of the world, and those effects should become evident across large parts of the ocean between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study led by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. [NSF] [Cartoon] [Firstpost] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
EPA Report: How to Sue Us (2016-04-28)
You know the Obama Administration must be incredibly frustrated with states when the EPA issues a manual instructing people on how they can sue the government using the Clean Water Act. "Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration" will surely become a very hot download. [Fact Sheet] [Draft Report] [EPA Comment Page] [Webinar]
April 2016 CRCA Newsletter (2016-04-27)
The April 2016 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]
Caloosahatchee Apr 20-26 (2016-04-27)
The Corps of Engineers continues to release water in a pulsing pattern. On some days discharge exceeds the 2800cfs limit & on other days it is below. This pulsing approach may be the best way to maintain estuary health when flows are near the upper (2800cfs) or lower (800cfs) limits. [Conditions Report] [Table] [Pulse Ref (pg16/22)] [More SCCF Reports]
Comments - Agree or Not Agree (2016-04-27)
An Apr 25 story by Dan Peterson generated many questions and comments. Some people think that Sunshine State News and the Treasure Coast Star are propaganda machines for Big Sugar. Others say the technical debates over the best solutions are merely stalling tactics that have worked for decades. [Comments 1] [Comments 2] [Dan Peterson] [Treasure Coast Star] [Story]
Opinion of Mark Generales, SFWMD (2016-04-27)
SFWMD has significant experience in removing pollutants from Lake O water. Using its system of Storm Water Treatment Areas south of the Lake, it has met and exceeded the legal requirements for removal of phosphorus from the water going into Everglades' National Park. [News Press] [Comments] [Presentation]
Old Bridge Village Residents Join (2016-04-26)
In the first Riverwatch community association meeting presentation, at least 10 residents of Old Bridge Village joined Riverwatch, with many more expected. Thank you to Jack Kedian for hosting the presentation delivered by John Cassani. [Location] [Kedian & Cassani] [CRCA Intern Mathilde Laurendon]
LaBelle Fossil Camp 2016 (2016-04-26)
Fossil Camp 2016 will be held in July at LaBelle Heritage Museum. Kids have their choice between 3 camps: Jul 11-15, Jul 18-22, & Jul 25-29. The camp day will be 8am to 3pm daily. Campers will learn about the LaBelle area before the coming of humans. Register now! [Flyer] [Information] [Registration Form Paper] [Registration Form Online] [River Fossils Collection]
Indian River Lagoon Scorecard (2016-04-26)
The new Florida Today Indian River Lagoon Scorecard had served our intended purposes of generating community conversation and focusing attention on how we can do better. This report is a clarion call for our leaders to do better and for citizens to demand action on the Indian River Lagoon. [Florida Today] [Brevard State Legislators] [State Legislators] [Brevard County Commission] [Video 1] [Video 2]
John Scott Candidacy (2016-04-26)
State Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers, has a Democratic challenger in the November election: John Scott. He has filed papers with the state to open a campaign account, and said he plans a formal announcement soon, but he declined to reveal details about his campaign at this point in the race. [News Press] [John Scott] [Matt Caldwell]
The Everglades Iran-Iraq War (2016-04-26)
While Mike Elfenbein's comments are offered "tongue-in-cheek" he astutely points out the irony of the prevailing $-centric debate among those who degrade the environment to produce ever-cheaper food and those who do it for sprawling development or merely for entertainment (tourism, hunting, etc.). [Elfenbein Sarcasm] [NPS Press Release] [Elfenbein on Parks]
Wastewater Discharges to River (2016-04-25)
Speaking at a DEP hearing, Riverwatch VP Gene Gibson called for enforceable timelines and milestones for the City of Ft Myers to eliminate all their wastewater discharges to the river. [Statement Notes] [Background] [Problem in 2007] [Same Problem in 1995]
Property Value Impacts (2016-04-25)
Riverwatch VP Gene Gibson explained to the Island Reporter newspaper that $1 billion was lost in property value for every foot of lost clarity in the water, and that's before the economic impact on tourism and the fisheries. Gibson says that's why we need Waterkeeper. [Island Reporter]
Phil Buchanan and Ceitus Barrier (2016-04-25)
Cape Coral removed the Ceitus Barrier in 2008 under an agreement that it would be restored with a lock to accommodate boaters. But, recent data collected by both Cape Coral and Lee County clearly shows the damages caused by the removal of the Barrier. [Letter] [2014 Complaint] [Background] [Phil Buchanan] [Ceitus Case Stipulation Signed]
Great American Cleanup (2016-04-25)
The Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program, engaging more than 5 million volunteers and participants every year to create positive change and lasting impact in local communities. The Great American Cleanup enters its 18th year in 2016. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Presentation] [Cartoon] [Logo]
Herbert Hoover Dike (2016-04-25)
Herbert Hoover Dike is a 143-mile earthen dam surrounding Lake Okeechobee, the heart of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system. The project reduces impacts from flooding as a result of high lake levels for a large area of south Florida. People who live near the dike worry if it will hold. [Palm Beach Post] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Map] [Risk Level]
Lists Matter (2016-04-25)
In the wake of Apalachicola River being ranked as America's #1 Most Endangered Rivers, Senator Marco Rubio has called on Congress to force Florida, Alabama and Georgia to negotiate an agreement to improve the river and fairly allocate its waters. [TB Business Journal] [Montgomery] [Congress Must Act] [Rubio & Scott] [Bundy-style Seizure] [Apalachiocola Riverkeeper]
Keep It in the Ground (2016-04-23)
The U.S. continues to lease public land & water for fossil fuel extraction, going against claims made in Paris. Waterkeeper Alliance is a part of the Keep It in the Ground movement. We must embrace a full accounting approach to our energy options to avoiding the worst effects of climate change. [News Press] [Waterkeeper Alliance] [Keep It in the Ground]
Caloosahatchee Apr 13-19 (2016-04-22)
Lake O water levels continued to recede with flows to the Caloosahatchee still exceeding the high-flow harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake discharges into the estuary decreased slightly to an average of 2,943 cfs, and discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 2,700 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
Caloosahatchee Apr 6-12 (2016-04-22)
Discharges into the estuary increased slightly to an average of 3,078 cfs and discharges to the river from Lake Okeechobee increased almost 1,000 cfs to an average of 3,121 cfs to supply agricultural irrigation demand. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [More SCCF Reports]
2016 Earth Day Apr 22 (2016-04-22)
Earth Day 2016 was Friday, Apr 22, during which many people participated in a day of action. Riverwatch is joining Waterkeeper Alliance in a call to action: Keep it in the Ground. This movement seeks to leave fossil fuels as fossils and promote renewable energy use. [Earth Day] [Dates] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]
Wa-Ke Hatchee Community Park (2016-04-22)
Lee County Parks and Recreation hosted an Earth Day Celebration event Apr 16 at Wa-Ke Hatchee Community Park. Exhibitors, including Riverwatch, did their part to inform, conserve and enjoy the local environment. [Event] [Photo] [Countries Earth Day 2016]
CRCA Board Meeting in May (2016-04-21)
The CRCA-Riverwatch is dedicated to the protection of the River and its watershed, through education and promotion of the responsible use of the River for the enjoyment of all people. The next CRCA Board Meeting will be held at 630pm on May 4 at High Point Place in Fort Myers. [Board of Directors] [Photo] [Cartoon] [Previous Meeting]
C43 Reservoir Discussion (2016-04-21)
On May 11 Riverwatch and Watershed Council will host a Public Forum to discuss the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir project. It is intended to improve the timing, quantity and quality of freshwater flows to the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. But will it? [Plan] [Forum Outline] [Information] [Debate] [Location] [Cartoon]
Earth Day at the Conservancy (2016-04-21)
On Apr 16, Harrison Langley and Jesse Roberts from Collier County Waterkeeper, along with Phil Schwartz and John Capece from Caloosahatchee Riverwatch, joined together for an exhibit at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples to celebrate Earth Day. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Conservancy of Southwest Florida]
Earth Day with Jack E Davis (2016-04-21)
On Friday, Apr 22 SCCF held its second annual Conservation Conversation. Dr. Jack E. Davis spoke about our coastal waters and the people who live near them. Dr. Davis is a professor at the University of Florida. [Santiva Chronicle] [Jack Davis] [Trout Lake Nature Center] [Curriculum Vitae]
46,000 or 7,000 Dollars (2016-04-21)
If land is not bought, we will continue to spend millions of tax dollars every year, trying to clean up this ongoing economy-ruining mess of dirty water. In the long run, buying this land would be a bargain compared to the annual millions that will be spent. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [News Press 3] [News Press 4] [Cartoon]
Big Sugar VS Bullsugar (2016-04-21)
Putnam stated: anyone affiliated with Bullsugar or buying lands in the EAA, would be vaporized. Here is a brief explanation of what Putnam said, according to a FB post by Michael Conner, a spokesperson for Bullsugar. Adam Putnam is Rick Scott's right-hand man. Aspiring to be Florida's next governor. [Eye On Miami 1] [Eye On Miami 2] [Adam Putnam] [Bullsugar] [Cartoon 1] [Cartoon 2]
Cape Coral Sued Over Pollution (2016-04-21)
Florida Clean Water Network filed a 60-day notice of intention to sue the City of Cape Coral over violations of their NPDES (water pollution discharges) permit. CRCA has a separate suit against the Cape over their removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift, the act that FCWN says led to the NPDES violation. [FCWN Announcement] [Legal Notice of Intent]
Amy Bennett Williams (2016-04-20)
We had an afternoon to kill: a long, clear early spring afternoon. That, and a back seat full of dogs. So the destination was never really in question: the river. Where else to keep two boys and three rowdy young canines entertained? Destination of choice: the Caloosahatchee. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Sound Cloud]
Humans and Global Warming (2016-04-20)
A new study has found that humans are responsible for virtually all of the observed global warming since the mid-20th century. It is not a novel result. In fact, most global warming attribution studies have arrived at the same general result, but this study uses a new approach. [Skeptical Science] [Diagram 1] [Diagram 2] [Diagram 3] [Video]
20-20 Ballot Language Matters (2016-04-20)
Lee County Commissioners are finalizing language which will appear on the Nov 2016 general election ballot, regarding the continuation of the county’s successful Conservation 20/20 land acquisition and management program. It may be one of the most important referendums to come. [News Press] [Cape Coral Daily Breeze] [Conservation] [Lee County Ordinance] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
How Runoff Can Kill Fish (2016-04-19)
It seems like every few years a blue-green algae bloom hits the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. TC Palm clearly explains the process by which watershed stormwater runoff and Lake Okeechobee discharges can result in an algae bloom and then a fish kill. [TC Palm] [Algae Bloom] [Tyler Treadway] [Public Health Bullets] [Fact Sheet] [Cartoon]
Time to Break the Cycle (2016-04-19)
We are in a vicious cycle. Our tax dollars help create sugar subsidies. With the profits Big Sugar makes from the subsidies they donate millions of dollars to our elected politicians. In order to get re-elected, politicians do the bidding of the Big Sugar to keep the money into their campaign funds. [Letter] [Photo] [US Sugar] [Cartoon]
Meeting on Amara Zee (2016-04-19)
Riverwatch directors met on the tall theater ship Amara Zee on Apr 6, hosted by Paul Kirby and Adriana Kelder. Officers were reelected for the next year. Presidents typically serve two terms whereas the treasurer and secretaries are long term and VP duration of service falls in between. [Agenda] [Next Production] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
Lead Contamination in Florida (2016-04-18)
The FL Water Management Districts are afraid to meet their requirement to regulate lead and other poisons in our environment and waters. In attempting to limit off-site gun range lead contamination, state officials were legally intimidated by an NRA crafted action. [Tampa Bay Times] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Cartoon]
Glades Lives Matter (2016-04-18)
The swanky Biltmore in Coral Gables. The Breakers in Palm Beach. Upper-crust Everglades Coalition and Everglades Foundation folks have celebrated in style, making their case that working-class Glades residents should give up homes and livelihoods to make way for Lake O’s excess water. [News Press] [Janet Taylor] [Palm Beach Post]
Most Endangered Rivers (2016-04-18)
This report identifies the 10 most threatened waterways in United States and highlights the urgent need for conservation, greater efficiency, and better management of water resources to prevent further harm to river health, wildlife, fish and recreation. [American Rivers] [Map] [Tech Times] [Report]
SFWMD Good Stewardship (2016-04-15)
Attention to the health of South Florida's environment was intensified this winter by unprecedented rainfall and weeks of Lake Okeechobee releases to the coastal estuaries. But finger pointing at the SFWMD Governing Board is misdirected. [News Press] [Logo] [Photo] [Profile] [Statement]
Sediment Fingerprinting (2016-04-15)
Sediment fingerprinting is a method to allocate sediment nonpoint source pollutants in a watershed through the use of natural tracer technology with a combination of field data collection, laboratory analyses of sediments, and statistical modeling techniques. [ASCE Library] [Citations] [Explanations Larry Fink] [Sediment Fingerprinting Technique] [Photo James Fox]
Caldwell and Scott at FGCU (2016-04-15)
At an FGCU meeting with State Rep Matt Caldwell, CRCA Director John Scott stressed the need to purchase land south of the lake as the highest priority but noted that land north of the Lake is easier to acquire because the sugar industry isn't involved there. [Sun Bay Paper] [Matt Caldwell] [Biography Matt Caldwell] [John Scott]
Ruth Scott on Collier Development (2016-04-15)
Riverwatch Director Ruth Scott spoke at a meeting in Collier County addressing habitat concerns in reaction to an Immokalee regional urbanization plan for 45,000 acres with ag on much of the remaining lands. Developers seek a 50-year Fish & Wildlife Service permit. [NBC-2] [100+ Concerned] [Kenneth McDonald, FWS] [Video] [Ruth Scott]
National Report IWLA (2016-04-14)
The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) has spent the last 6 months conducting an intensive investigation into how each state monitors its streams and rivers. IWLA found, alarmingly, that fewer and fewer water bodies are meeting state water quality standards and monitoring is insufficient. [Introduction] [Florida Report] [IWLA] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Videos and Photos]
Pro-Fracking Conference (2016-04-14)
On Apr 2, activists disrupted a speech entitled Friends Don't Let Friends Ban Fracking at FGCU. Liesa Priddy, vice chair of FL Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, spoke at this pro-fracking conference. She has a ranch near Immokalee and is a co-applicant for a 45,000 acre development permit. [Liberation] [Liesa Priddy] [Cartoon] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
FGCU Students Clean Water Rally (2016-04-14)
FGCU students want to educate the rest of the University about water issues in Florida, specifically the issues related to the discharges of Lake O into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers. The rally will be held on Apr 18, 2016 from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Veterans Pavilion. [Eagle News] [Lee Herald] [Brittany Jacobs] [Event] [Photo] [Facebook]
Lehigh Acres MSID (2016-04-13)
Join the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LA-MSID) in a special Groundbreaking Ceremony on May 4, 2016, from 3pm to 5pm, at Lehigh Acres. The Southwest Lehigh Weirs Project can help make tangible improvements in the health of the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. [Invitation] [Lehigh Acres MSID] [Information] [Map]
Historic Monroe Station (2016-04-13)
Monroe Station, one of the last original existing outposts on the Tamiami Trail, burned down on Apr 9, 2016 leaving the community in dismay. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. It was on the National Register of Historic Places. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Video]
Apalachicola - Most Endangered (2016-04-13)
American Rivers, a national organization that has published endangered-rivers reports since 1984, has named the Apalachicola the most endangered river in the nation. Apalachicola in the Florida panhandle is right now at the breaking point. [Sunshine State News] [Orlando Weekly] [National Geographic] [Map] [Photo]
Debated Since 2005 (2016-04-12)
The debate over the water quality aspects of the C-43 West Reservoir is not new. It goes back to 2005. The remedy was supposed to be a nutrient removal project on the south bank of the river at Ortona Lock. That project has yet to materialize. [News Press 2005] [News Press 2006] [News Press 2008] [News Press 2010]
C43 Reservoir Project Debate (2016-04-12)
Nature's ecosystems are so finely tuned that no matter which water quality solutions Florida pursues, it creates other problems. The question is whether our technology and lifestyle can evolve quickly enough to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. [News Press] [Reader Comments] [Detailed Answer] [Video William Mitsch] [Photo]
Catch Limits on Fish (2016-04-12)
A proposed federal rule that would give regional councils more say in setting catch limits on fish has sparked rare friction between the Obama administration and environmental groups. The proposal, years in the making, could take effect during the summer 2016. [USA TODAY] [News Press] [Tallahassee Democrat]
CR Working Group (2016-04-12)
The Caloosahatchee River Targets Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Working Group will meet May 17 in Alva from 9:15am-noon at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park, 19130 N. River Road. The group will continue developing SAV Restoration Targets for the Caloosahatchee River. [Agenda] [Map] [Presentation] [Meeting Notes] [Resources]
CHNEP Newsletter (2016-04-11)
The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) is a partnership working to protect the natural environment of southwest Florida from Venice to Bonita Springs to Winter Haven. It was established in 1987 by an amendment to the Clean Water Act to identify, restore and protect estuaries in USA. [Newsletter] [Map] [FYCCN] [Photo]
New Land Use Strategies (2016-04-11)
A new analysis published in the journal Nature and led by soil and crop scientist Keith Paustian at Colorado State University shows that changes in land-use practices can also help reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [NSF] [SOURCE] [Keith Paustian] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Focal Point of John Cassani (2016-04-11)
An exploding population rate in Southwest Florida, combined with poor water management, has deteriorated the fragile estuaries this region depends on for its fishing industry, boating and tourism. That message was the focal point of John Cassani. [Captiva Sanibel] [Comments] [Santiva Chronicle] [John Cassani] [Video]
Fish Mercury (2016-04-08)
It is important, particularly for women of child bearing age to be aware of the limitations on eating Florida fish. Almost all coastal fish are contaminated with dangerous levels of mercury. Some inland fish as well. Tank-raised fish are safer relative to mercury. [Cartoon] [Mercury in Fish Tissue] [2016 Map] [Fish Card] [Fish Food Chain Mercury]
Farmers and Climate Change (2016-04-08)
Agriculture and fisheries are highly dependent on specific climate conditions. So, climate change is not going to be good news for agriculture. Studies have shown that it will likely reduce crop yields, create a malnutrition crisis, and make large portions of the globe inhospitable to staple crops. [Eye on Miami] [Climate Progress] [EPA] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Graphic]
Caloosahatchee Mar 29-Apr 5 (2016-04-08)
Discharges to the estuary decreased but remain at harm levels. Increased turbidity during high flow periods reflect increased loading of suspended solids that settle out in calm conditions and become re-suspended by currents and by wave action contributing to reduced production. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [More SCCF Reports]
Billys Creek Clean-up (2016-04-07)
On Mar 25th 2016, FGCU Students along with Community Partners, FCGU Faculty/Staff, FSW Students, and community members held a cleanup to remove trash and debris from Billy’s Creek and surrounding areas. Student produced an excellent video documenting the activity and its importance. [Mary Rawl] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video] [Clean-up a Success]
Flood Hazard in California (2016-04-07)
Flooding is the most common and damaging of all natural disasters in the United States, and was a factor in almost all declared disasters in U.S. history. Flood damage has also been on the rise globally over the past century. [PLOS ONE] [Appendix] [Map] [PHYS ORG]
Ceitus Case Stipulation Signed (2016-04-07)
Riverwatch and the other plaintiffs submitted to the court a motion for summary judgement on the action seeking to compel Cape Coral and DEP to replace the Ceitus Boat Lift structure they removed in 2007. Ralf Brookes is the attorney representing CRCA in this case. [Ceitus Stipulation] [Statement of Facts] [Notice of Hearing] [Notice of Mediation] [Ralf Brookes]
Biodiversity of Southwest Florida (2016-04-06)
Come and enjoy a free program on Biodiversity of Southwest Florida with Frogwatch's John Cassani on Wednesday, April 13 at Calusa Nature Center's Iona House (3450 Ortiz Ave., Ft Myers) at 7pm. The program is sponsored by Sierra Club Calusa Group. For more information [Flyer] [John Cassani Bio] [Frog Watch]
Caloosahatchee Feb 23-29 (2016-04-06)
Discharges into the estuary decreased to an average of 7,485 cfs, discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 5,874 cfs, and discharges made up 78% of estuary discharges. Absolutely terrible for this time of year. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
Caloosahatchee Mar 1-7 (2016-04-06)
High flows have lowered salinities at the mouth of the river to as low as 2 psu, too low for many salt water invertebrates. Discharges into the estuary decreased to an average of 5,570 cfs, and discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 4,786 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
Flooding in Miami Beach (2016-04-06)
A new study from the University of Miami (RSMAS) found that since 2006, flooding in Miami Beach has soared, 400 percent from high tides and 33 percent from rain. Miami Beach flood events have significantly increased over the last decade due to an acceleration of sea-level rise in South Florida. [Miami Herald] [Graphic] [RSMAS] [CNN] [Photo] [Cartoon]
Make Lake O a National Monument (2016-04-05)
Lake Okeechobee is already a monument to environmental mismanagement and state incompetence. So why not make it official and perhaps in doing so we chart a path towards cleaning up the estuaries mess without at the same time destroying the Lake O fish habitats. Sign the petition! [Press Conference] [Obama Petition Announcement] [Full Petition] [Sign the Petition] [NBC-2]
Riverwatch Director John Scott (2016-04-05)
The problem is known. The solution is known. The funding is available through Amendment 1. All that’s missing is the political will to make it happen. We must acquire land south of Lake O to store, treat and convey water south to the Everglades in order to save the fisheries and coastal communities. [John Scott] [Official Statement] [Video]
Point of View Lake O Discharges (2016-04-05)
Until the state steps up and buys the land necessary for storage and treatment, Florida will be locked up in this morass, and the high-volume discharges of Lake Okeechobee water into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and their estuaries will continue to grow. [Palm Beach Post] [Jaclyn Lopez] [Cartoon]
Lake O Southern Flowway 101 (2016-04-05)
Larry Edward Fink of Waterwise Consulting provides an overview of the southern flowway concept, its issues and oppositional myths. It's an essential primer on those wanting to understand the debate and have a more informed perspective on this critical debate. [Scoping Level Evaluation] [Agenda] [Waterwise Consulting] [Larry Fink] [Curriculum Vitae]
April Freeman Press Conference (2016-04-05)
April Freeman will be announcing her first step in tackling the Lake Okeechobee Water Crisis in South Florida on Tuesday, Apr 5 at 6:00pm. April's solution will be both innovative and practical, taking the politics out of the Lake Okeechobee crisis. [Press Conference] [Issues] [Photo] [Facebook]
Water as a Human Right (2016-04-04)
The negative effects by the Lake O discharges have reached the real estate market, the tourism sector, and the fishing industry. While these are not the life & death water issues of other nations, the SWFL Clean Water Movement is demanding that clean water be considered a basic human right. [Fort Myers Beach Talk 1] [Fort Myers Beach Talk 2] [Letter to the Editor] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
NWNA Wants More (2016-04-04)
The Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association was formed in 2004 to advocate for development and property values. NWNA opposes restoration of the Ceitus Boat Lift structure and advocates alternatives so as to maintain unincumbered boat traffic. [Presentation] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
C-43 Reservoir (2016-04-04)
Water managers are clearing land for the Caloosahatchee River West Basin Storage Reservoir project, or C-43 reservoir. This project is meant to keep the Caloosahatchee Estuary healthy. The C-43 reservoir is planned along the Caloosahatchee River. [WGCU] [Caloosa Belle] [Project] [Facts and Information] [West Basin Storage Reservoir] [Photo]
Chad Gillis and News Press (2016-04-01)
Chad Gillis is an outdoors writer for the News Press. He written many articles related to the nature and the environment. In Mar 2016, he wrote a long article as a story, with 4 chapters, dedicated to the Lake Okeechobee and the water crisis. [News Press] [Mailbag] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]
Leaders Respond (2016-04-01)
Releases into the Caloosahatchee River have poured into the gulf, causing environmental impacts that are affecting local fish and wildlife. Join us at the event Lake Okeechobee Releases: Federal, State and Local Leaders Respond, on Apr 28, 2016, from 7:30am to 1:30pm in Fort Myers. [Photo] [Paper Registration] [Map] [Event] [Web Registration]
Caloosahatchee Mar 22-28 (2016-04-01)
Lake water levels continue to recede with relatively high discharges into the Caloosahatchee. Discharges into the estuary decreased but remain above the harm threshold averaging 3,039 cfs, and discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 2,179 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
High Levels of Bacteria (2016-04-01)
The Florida Department of Health in Lee County is advising the public not to enter the water at North Shore Park due to high levels of bacteria identified in routine testing. These tests indicated that the water quality at the park does not meet the safety criteria for enterococcus bacteria. [News Press] [FOX 4] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
SWFL Sustainability (2016-04-01)
SWFL Sustainability is focused on People, Place, and Profit to improve our Quality of Life for Today & Tomorrow. In 2016, the inaugural SWFL Sustainability Summit will take place on Apr 28, from 8:00am to 2:30pm at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs. [Poster] [SWFL Sustainability] [Photo] [Sponsorship Package] [Vendor Package] [Get Tickets]
April Fools Joke...or Not (2016-04-01)
Chad (News Press) may be playing a joke on us. But the real joke might be that students really are holding a pro-fracking conference funded by Koch Brothers at FGCU, Florida's environmental university. But seriously, it is a topic worth exploring, discussing and debating. [News Press] [Announcment] [Cartoon] [Web Site]
March CRCA Newsletter (2016-03-31)
The March 2016 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 Newsletter] [Newsletter Archives]
River Rally May 2016 (2016-03-31)
River Rally is a national conference that focuses on education, inspiration and celebration within the river and watershed community. River Rally draws hundreds of people together every year from across the USA and the world. In 2016, this event will take place on 20-23 May. [Program] [Photo] [Suggested Social Media Posts] [River Network] [Sponsorship] [Registration]
Support the News Press (2016-03-31)
The News-Press is an essential leader & ally in efforts to achieve improvements for the SW Florida environment. Riverwatch relies upon its publications and journalists. Subscribe to the News Press to both educate yourself on the issues and support this most essential enterprise. [Subscribe to News Press] [Cartoon]
2016 Florida Legislative Wrap-Up (2016-03-31)
ULI SW Florida, REIS & FPZA present 2016 Florida Legislative Wrap-Up on April 21, 2016 from 8:00am to 10:30pm at FGCU's Cohen Center (10501 FGCU Blvd S, Fort Myers). ULI & REIS Members: $30. Non-Members: $45. Don’t miss learning about what will impact your business in the coming year! [Details] [Registration] [Website]
Sources of Estuary Problem (2016-03-31)
A debate raging back and forth is whether recent Caloosahatchee Estuary problems are from Lake O or the local watershed. It is a somewhat silly distinction since the local watershed is also dominated by agriculture. Nevertheless, analysis shows since Jan 15, Lake O = 49 days and watershed = 28 days. [Flow Graph] [Daily Breeze] [Clewiston]
LaBelle Regional Park Clean-up (2016-03-31)
Please join us for a clean-up day at the new LaBelle Regional Park on the north bank of the Caloosahatchee (Riverbend Dr) on Apr 9 from 8am to Noon. The City of LaBelle has had the lease on this since 1991 and if the City does not develop a park SFWMD will surplus the 200-acre site on the River. [Map] [Caloosa Belle] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Predicting US Heat Waves (2016-03-31)
The formation of a distinct pattern of sea surface temperatures in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean can predict an increased chance of summer heat waves in the eastern half of the U.S. up to 50 days in advance. This new technique could improve existing seasonal forecasts. [NSF] [HNGN] [PBS] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Alva Oxbow Paddle (2016-03-30)
Join a group of paddlers for the Alva Oxbow Paddle on Saturday Apr 23. Meet at the Alva Boat Ramp 21580 Pearl St Alva, FL 33920 at 8:00 am, return to boat ramp at noon. Limit 10 participants. Bring your kayak or canoe and gear. Cost: $5 per car. Call Margaret England for details 863-517-0202. [Event Facebook]
Earth Day (2016-03-30)
Celebrate Earth Day at Wa-Ke Hatchee on Saturday, Apr 16 from 10am to 2pm. This event is free and open to the public. Celebrate the Earth with exhibitors who do their part to inform, conserve, and enjoy our local environment. Bring family and friends and enjoy the event! [Wa-Ke Hatchee Wire]
Ready for a Waterkeeper (2016-03-30)
Thanks to the generosity of Linda & Daniel Mattos, Riverwatch now has a great boat awaiting the first Caloosahathcee Waterkeeper. It's a wonderful Triumph 170 in great condition. And thanks to the Severus Foundation, CRCA can begin a serious fundraising campaign to support hiring a Waterkeeper. [Triumph 170]
Machine Gun Video (2016-03-30)
The group has produced a series of videos delivering its points in rapid-fire sequence presenting the perspectives of the east coast estuary advocates. It's a new approach that may have an impact in this most unusual of election years. [Caldwell Poster] [Machine Gun Video] [Name Them Video] [Putnam Video]
Scott Blames Obama for Water (2016-03-30)
The polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee and the surrounding watershed are not a new problem. The recent declaration by Gov. Rick Scott that the Barack Obama administration is largely to blame for the destructive flows of water heading east and west from Lake O makes for a nice press release. [Palm Beach Post] [Everglades Foundation] [Cartoon]
Clean-up a Success (2016-03-30)
On Mar 25 Riverwatch VP Mary Rawl hosted a clean-up of Billy's Creek with 47 people participating, mostly FGCU & FSW students. Thank you to all! Shout-out to Neil Wilkinson, Brian Murphy, John Paul, Wes Anderson & Chris Rawl for assisting and to CHNEP for funding. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Website] [Videos]
Captains for Clean Water (2016-03-30)
The first of what could potential be many future meetings by the Captains for Clean Water group was held Mar 22, and the message related was perfectly clear: stop harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee to estuaries. [Island Reporter] [Eagle News] [Forum] [Michael Donovan] [Daniel Andrews] [Facebook]
Missed Opportunity (2016-03-30)
Governor Rick Scott blames the Obama administration for the release of too much freshwater from Lake Okeechobee and the resulting environmental damage to our area. For him, Obama should have funded rapid repair of the Lake O dike so it could hold more water. [News Press] [WCTV] [Rick Scott] [Cartoon] [Charlie Crist]
Saudi Land Purchases in the US (2016-03-30)
A Saudi Arabian company bought 14,000 acres in drought-stricken CA & AZ to grow and ship home cattle forage. This raises debate about how water rights follow land ownership in the West. Exporting food, fiber or forage is the same as exporting water. [The Washington Post] [The Big Story] [CNBC] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
John Marshall (2016-03-29)
There was nothing John Marshall loved more than the Everglades and preserving the environment. It was his life’s work and CRCA had the privilege to work with him on east-west cooperation on St. Lucie, Lake Okeechobee, and Caloosahatchee issues. [Palm Beach Post] [WPTV] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Caloosahatchee BMAP (2016-03-29)
The state’s Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) to clean up the river clearly states that of the 61 percent of the primary pollutant to the Caloosahatchee, nitrogen, is coming from Lake Okeechobee. The BMAP is a plan with specific pollutant reduction projects and milestones. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Annual Meeting] [Everglades Foundation] [BMAP]
New State Water Policy (2016-03-29)
Of the new water bill promoted by Caldwell and signed by Scott, Senator Bob Graham said it weakens protection and management of Florida’s water resources. It will result in further corrosion of what was once hailed as the water management standard of the Nation. [Photo] [Tampa Bay Times] [Ocala] [Reader Comments] [Cartoon]
Fight Against Climate Change (2016-03-28)
We must address climate change with vigor. Water advocacy groups recognize the imperative of promoting alternative energies and reducing fossil fuel use. Waterkeepers have drawn up a list of energy issues in Florida and Georgia. [WWALS] [Map]
Discharge Permit for Fort Myers (2016-03-28)
The wastewater discharge permit for Fort Myers will expire in May, 2016. Cape Coral is challenging Ft Myers' renewal application in an effort to force the City to spend the money need to pipe the effluent to the Cape for reuse. Ft Myers could instead develop a reuse system of their own. [Letter] [News Press February] [System Description] [News Press]
Water Quality and Quantity (2016-03-28)
The estuary can handle up to 2800 cfs flowing down the river but this year the threshold has been exceeded five fold. This situation has a major effect on salinity and habitat quality. It's necessary to find ways to reduce the excess flows. [Cape Coral Daily Breeze] [Cartoon]
Garden Tour with John Kiseda (2016-03-28)
A Spring Garden Tour, at John Kiseda's home in the South of Fort Myers, took place Wed, Mar 23. John Kiseda works at the All Native Garden Center, on Thursdays and Fridays. He promotes sustainable gardening by transforming landscapes into wildlife gardens featuring native plants. [John Kiseda Web Page] [All Native Garden Center]
Hawaiians Visit Caloosahatchee (2016-03-27)
The Hōkūle‘a a Polynesian voyaging canoe is circling the globe to bring attention to the need for sustainable stewardship and addressing the challenges of climate change and sea level rise. This Easter the vessel is in Ft Myers at the downtown yacht basin. [Sunday News] [Overview] [Tracking Map]
Defend Core Truths & Values (2016-03-27)
Scapegoating farmers is not the path forward, but this fundamental truth is not well served by disinformation such as asserting that 80% of pollution comes from local basins, since these basins too are primarily agricultural. It is not who bears historical blame but who is blocking progress. [News Press]
Why We Care (2016-03-26)
Amy Bennett Williams read to the Riverwatch annual meeting an essay expressing the values that cause her to care about the Caloosahatchee. She also read a 1994 News Press editorial that led to the community forum where Riverwatch was born, an essay that also mentioned Waterkeeper. [A Day in the Caloosahatchee] [Amy Bennett Williams] [WGCU Essay Link]
How We Got Here (2016-03-26)
Wayne Daltry, current director and former 2-term president of Riverwatch explained to the annual meeting audience the history of events and intentions that brought the Caloosahatchee to its current situation and set of problems. [Wayne Daltry]
Science Stuff (2016-03-26)
CRCA Director John Cassani stepped annual meeting attendees through the technical aspects of troubles facing the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary from urban development, agricultural runoff, Lake O management, and other factors. [John Cassani]
Riverwatch Awards (2016-03-26)
Riverwatch VP Gene Gibson recognized 3 CRCA members and another attendee of the 2016 annual meeting, expressing appreciation for their exemplary service and contributions to Riverwatch: Linda Mattos, David Laties, John Paul, and the News Press (Amy Bennett Williams). [Gene with Award]
Waterkeeper Primer (2016-03-26)
John Capece provided attendees of the CRCA annual meeting an introduction to the new Waterkeeper Alliance Affiliate program for Caloosahatchee Riverwatch. The plan will ramp up Riverwatch to full Waterkeeper status in 3 years or less. [John Capece] [Introduction] [Presentation] [Proposal]
Annual Meeting Program (2016-03-26)
76 members & guests attended the Riverwatch annual meeting on Mar 19. The program included: Commissioner Frank Mann - MC, Wayne Daltry – Caloosahatchee History, John Cassani – Technical Issues, John Capece – Waterkeeper Program, Gene Gibson - Awards, and Amy Bennett Williams - Values. [Meeting Program] [Commissioner Frank Mann]
1000 Friends of Florida (2016-03-25)
A meeting to discuss environmental advocacy with Governor Bob Graham will take place on Tue, Apr 19, 2016. 1000 Friends of Florida, the meeting organizer, believes that citizens play an active role in society, and they are concerned about the environment and their lifestyles. [Meeting 1] [Meeting 2]
Move Water or Protect Sparrow (2016-03-25)
In stating, “The bird is a big problem” advocates of outdated paradigms seek to perpetrate continued destruction. They intentionally misrepresent endangered species rules & actions that serve to preserve an entire ecosystem and funnel us towards rational solutions using one bird's endangered status. [WTSP] [News Press] [News Press] [Reader Letter] [Classic Newton Cook]
Birds Need a New Home (2016-03-25)
The Calusa Nature Center is raising money to rebuild the Audubon Aviary, a sanctuary for injured birds since 1976. Visitors of all ages can make an important connection to nature through coming close to these birds. The aviary has reached the end of its lifespan. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Donation Page]
A Record Jump in CO2 (2016-03-25)
From Feb 2015 to 2016, the global concentration of carbon in the atmosphere rose a record 3.76 parts per million (ppm), to over 404 ppm. The last record-holder was 1997-1998, when carbon dioxide rose 3.70 ppm. [GRIST] [Graphic 1] [Graphic 2]
Estuary Salinity (2016-03-25)
Every week, SCCF carries out a report which provides a scientific assessment of Caloosahatchee River and Estuary conditions. During the month of March, even if discharges to the river from Lake Okeechobee decreased, the report recommends further reducing releases to the Caloosahatchee. [Report 1] [Report 2]
Dead Fish in Florida (2016-03-25)
It's not the first time that fishes die in Florida. This situation is caused by water pollution in Florida, but not only. The political aspect is important, and voters or politicians must do their utmost to change things and improve the quality of water. It becomes a necessity. [Eye On Miami] [Photo] [Youtube]
Tampa Bay Times Covers River (2016-03-24)
On Mar 20 the Tampa Bay Times published a front page story on Lake Okeechobee discharges to the Caloosahatchee. Riverwatch directors hosted the journalist investigating the issue. [Front Page] [Reader Comments] [Story] [Photo]
The Everglades Headwaters (2016-03-24)
This land will always be wild thanks to the state of Florida’s most recent land protection. Earlier this month, the Cabinet and Gov. Rick Scott voted unanimously to buy nearly 4,000 acres of conservation easements on working cattle ranches in the Everglades watershed. The state won’t own the land, but now it can never be developed. [Tampa Bay Times] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
Sugarcane Grower Viewpoint (2016-03-24)
The sugar industry is presenting their side of the story regarding recent water problems saying their farmers do not discharge wastewater into Lake Okeechobee. It is true...sugar farms only pump/drain their excess water into canals. It is SFWMD that pumps water from canals into Lake O or elsewhere. [Tampa Tribune] [Huffington] [Sugar Ad] [Cleanwater] [Sanchez]
State Pushes Purchases to Feds (2016-03-24)
In 2015 the State of Florida balked on its 2008 agreement to buy EAA lands for water storage. Now Rep Clawson will try to get the Federal dollars for the purchase. This is yet another example of the state doing its best to create problems and expecting the Feds to fix them...but without regulations. [TC Palm] [Letter] [Conservancy] [News Press] [Ray Judah] [Cartoon]
Walk for Future Generations (2016-03-24)
Sunday, March 20 to Friday, March 25, people will step up efforts to save the Everglades, through a protest march from Miami to Naples. Everyone is invited to walk for an hour, a day, a few days or the entire time, or attend the protests and press conferences. Follow the link below for more details. [Facebook]
Caravan Stage Company (2016-03-24)
On the Calooshatchee in Port LaBelle is the Amara Zee, a 98ft long, 24ft wide river barge. It is the on-water stage of Caravan Stage Company, a unique theater company created in 1970, the Caravan is a non-profit theatrical organization that has toured the world to as far away as Athens & Istanbul. [Southwest Florida Online] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Website]
USDA Bee Grade Science (2016-03-23)
USDA is either pursuing prudent science or intentionally burying research suggesting a bee die-off link to neonicotinoid pesticides (a relatively new type of pesticide used in Monsanto seeds). These pesticides are already banned in Europe but USDA is going slow and in doing so have angered some. [2012 Counterpoint] [Info Graphic 1] [Info Graphic 2] [Pesticide Linkage Report] [Friends of the Earth]
Youth Driven Cinema (2016-03-23)
Youth Driven Cinema promotes the creation of educational/motivational short movies by young people. Their event takes place on April 29th at The Lyric Theater. Proceeds going to camp scholarships at Environmental Studies Center. [] [Tickets for the Youth Driven Cinema] [Website of the Youth Driven Cinema] [Example Movie]
2016-17 Board Elected (2016-03-21)
At its annual meeting on Mar 19, Riverwatch President John Paul conducted an election for the 2016-17 CRCA Board of Directors. 17 directors were elected with 4 positions to be filled later in the year by the board. Officers will be elected by directors at the April 6 board meeting. [2016-17 Board List]
See it, Report it, Stop it (2016-03-21)
As part of its new Waterkeeper Alliance Affiliate program, Caloosahatchee Riverwatch has set up a water hotline for the public to call in and report water pollution and other water problems they observe in the Caloosahatchee, Lake O, Estero Bay and Charlotte Harbor region. 239-444-8584 [Water Hotline]
River - Climate Linkage (2016-03-17)
As Jan rains showed, we can't fix the river if we neglect the climate. Feb 2016 has set yet another record global temperature rise - 1.35°C. The next highest February anomaly was 0.88°C in 1998, so last month is a full 0.47°C warmer than that. [2C Temp Graph] [Skeptical Science]
Family Takes Home Canoe (2016-03-04)
Chris Cavanaugh of Lehigh Acres sent his family to pick up their Riverwatch canoe. His father, wife and children loaded the canoe into their pickup already making plans for camping and fishing. When called Chris was shocked saying that he never wins anything. [Happy Family] [Posing with Canoe]
Murder or Assasination (2016-03-04)
Berta Caceres, a prominent water activist in Honduras was killed on Mar 2. Many doubt it was a random murder and instead believe it was a targeted assassination. Human rights and environmental activists and groups around the world are calling for a full investigation and diplomatic action. [The Guardian] [Waterkeeper Action Notice] [Democracy Now] [Solidarity Photos] [State Dept Petition] [Berta Caceres]
6000 cfs to 4000 cfs (2016-03-04)
US Army Corps of Engineers says it will reduce the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee. It was 6000cfs for a month (perhaps even higher by some estimates) but may soon go down to 4000cfs. The estuary is severely harmed by flows above 2400 to 2800 cfs. [News Press] [Flow Graph] [Flow Spreadsheet] [Cartoon]
Congratulations to Advocates (2016-03-02)
The court document shows several Florida groups supporting the EPA water quality plan: Conservancy of Southwest Florida, Environmental Confederation of Southwest Florida, Florida Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, and St. Johns Riverkeeper. Opposing was Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. [Florida Brief] [2015 Analysis] [EPA TMDL Supreme Court] [2015 Ruling]
Supreme Court Upholds TMDL (2016-03-02)
In its first post-Scalia environmental action, the Supreme Court refused to hear the Farm Bureau challenge to the EPA TMDL program for the Chesapeake Bay. This upholds EPA efforts to improve water quality in the US water body most similar to the South Florida situation. [Law360] [Climate Progress] [Ruling Upheld] [SW FL Advocates]
Ridgeway H White (2016-03-01)
Rigdeway White is President of The Charles Stuart Mott Foundation, based in Flint with an endowment of $2.7 billion. A core missions is protection of fresh water resources. White also serves on the board of United States Sugar Corporation. [Alan Farago Article] [Ridgeway White]
Thanks, Sam (2016-03-01)
A special thank you to Sam Epps, Harbor Master of the Sea Scout Base in Galveston, Texas. Sam was visiting LaBelle and helped set up, staff and disassemble the Riverwatch exhibit at Swamp Cabbage Festival. He also acquired a small Sunfish sailboat donation for CRCA. [Sam Epps] [Sea Scout Base]
River Fossils Collection (2016-03-01)
Attracting lots of attention at the Swamp Cabbage Festival was the fossil collection of Scott Perry, former Riverwatch President. Some of these Caloosahatchee River artifacts were collected by kids participating in Scott's summer fossil camp in which children learn about and hunt fossils [Fossil Camp Flyer] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5]
Taking From The Public (2016-02-29)
Ft. Myers continues to strip residents of their riverfront public access rights. Riverwatch VP Gene Gibson sent a letter to DEP and the National Park Service reminding them of the public easement and the attempted violation. [CRCA Letter] [Cartoon]
Canoe Contest Winners (2016-02-28)
At the Riverwatch Swamp Cabbage Festival Canoe Contest, Chris Cavanaugh won the canoe. The 2nd place prize of Estero River Outfitters canoe outing was won by Wayne & Marti Daltry. Joe Bridges won the 3rd place prize of a Calusa Nature Center family membership.
Joe Frank & Canoe Contest (2016-02-28)
Joe Frank, member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. was on hand to draw the winning tickets in the canoe contest at the 2016 Swamp Cabbage Festival. For the past many years, Joe has arranged for the canoe donation from the Tribe. Thanks, Joe! [Joe, Nargis, Linda & Meryem] [Happy Family] [Posing with Canoe]
Every Storm is Different Now (2016-02-25)
When trying to understand why our recent EXTREME rainfall, know that in his hopeful TED talk, Al Gore points out that "every storm is different now." Ask yourself, are ours now "different" and if so, what should we do about it? [At Risk Cities] [Al Gore TED Talk]
His 128th Climate Speech (2016-02-25)
It's not my grandfather's ocean any more! This is what the U.S. Senator from Rhode Island is hearing from his state's fisherman. Sheldon Whitehouse has made 128 such climate change speeches to Congress. [CSPAN Video] [Sen. Whitehouse Climate Page]
Guessing Game at Lake O (2016-02-24)
On Feb 15 the US Army Corps of Engineers changed the way it reported how much water was flowing out of Lake O into the Caloosahatchee River. Above 6000 cfs a difference of as much as 50% appeared in their reporting. Riverwatch has inquired to get a explanation. [Spreadsheet of Corps Data] [Flow Error Chart at Moore Haven Lock]
Circular Finger Pointing (2016-02-24)
Just as coastal SW FL is pointing inland, Cape Coral is pointing at Ft Myers and complaining about releases of treated waste water. The logical conclusion is that each county and community must be willing to do its part in reducing water consumption, pollution, & runoff back to more natural levels. [News Press]
Clarifying His Position (2016-02-24)
On Feb 24 the News Press quoted Lee Co Commissioned Frank Mann as clarifying his perspective, “The fresh water you need to get south (of Lake O) also carries these nutrients, but any water south is good for us.” [News Press] [Web Site]
Riverwatch in Good Company