Caloosahatchee River Citizen's Association

The Year Ahead
Rob Andrys, President

It seems like only last week when Rae Ann Scholle passed the gavel on to yours truly at our annual meeting.  It was an excellent day, the weather was warm and sunny; first we helped dedicate the new Caloosahatchee Regional Park, and then we held our election of officers. The new officers are: President Rob Andrys, Treasurer Steve Boutelle and Secretary Pam Porter.  The Vice-President position is open at this time.
I would like to thank Rae Ann.  She has done such a wonderful job. We all extend to her our sincere gratitude for all she has done in her two years as President!  She has left some big shoes to fill. I only hope that I can adjust to high heels!  We all miss her humor at the board meetings.  Rae Ann is still quite active, but not on the board.  She and her firm have been hired by RiverWatch to continue research on the river's oxbows.  A grant from Florida Atlantic University will allow us to analyze the oxbows in greater detail to determine how to restore better water flow to them, which ones should be altered, and which ones should be left alone.  This study, along with river cruises, will allow our members to participate first-hand in experiencing and learning about the river.  To join a river cruise or help with the oxbow study, please call our information hot line.
RiverWatch welcomes our newest board members: Bill Hammond, former board member of the South Florida Water Management District, now a Professor at FGCU; Mike and Anita Buff from Alva; David Robson from Yoder Brothers; Bruce Boler from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection; and Pat Toffelmeier of Fort Myers.  There are still vacancies on the board. If you are interested, please call me at 728-2807; we meet the third Wednesday of every month at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium's Iona House.  There we plan for upcoming events, contact members to help with our work, and generally have a good time doing it.  There are other opportunities to participate with your RiverWatch group.  You can sit in on a board meeting, you can join one of our committees or just participate in some of our events.
I am really excited about the year ahead!  We have prioritized projects that we feel are important to the river and to the citizens of the region.  Committees are being formed to implement these projects.  They include:

  1. History and Legacy 

Rae Ann Scholle started this committee, which is working to bring the history of the river to life.  Rae Ann will continue to serve as a facilitator.  We need a Chairperson to organize the work of the committee, as well as other volunteers interested in the history of the river.  You can expect to learn a lot about the river's pioneer families, where historical sites are (were) located, and create a photo journal.

B.  Public Affairs
This committee, as its name implies, will keep abreast of the issues affecting the health of the river.  The committee will keep our members aware and informed of how we can influence public policy regarding the river.  This will become very important as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers further develops its plans for the implementation of the Everglades Restoration Act.

C.  Public Education
We are planning to have some informative "Town Hall" meetings regarding issues that affect the river. Some of the topics will include:

  1. The Caloosahatchee and the Army Corps Restudy; what changes to the river can be expected. 
  2. Best practices for riverside improvements. 
  3. Identification of pollution sources affecting the river.
  4. Analysis of the tributaries, their influence on the river, and best management practices that could be implemented.   

D.  Projects
1.  Storm Drain Stenciling
We will continue our long time project of coordinating other groups such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and other public service organizations to stencil stormwater drains with educational messages about pollution prevention.  We were given a grant to continue this project.  If you know of a group that we should ask to help with this project, please call our hotline.
2.  Caloosahatchee Regional Park
We are working with the Lee County Land Stewards program to continue removing exotic trees from the park and planting natives. 

As you can see, we have many ways for our members to participate in creating a better river, and to meet like-minded folks.  We live to experience all that there is on this earth, and RiverWatch needs your experience.  hanks for your involvement!

The C&SF Restudy Final Integrated Feasibility Report and Programmatic Environmental Impact

Statement is now available
It is available in a number of forms including:
1) The Internet at - This web site includes downloadable files that can be viewed using the Adobe Acrobat Reader. The Reader is available for download at the site free of charge.
2) Libraries - A copy of the printed report is available at select South Florida Public Libraries for viewing.
3) CD-ROM - Due to the length of the printed version, we recommend that requests for the report be for the CD-ROM version. This version includes a 2-CD set containing the Final Report, ATLSS Web page, and the Hydrologic Performance Web Page.
4) Print - The printed version is in excess of 4,000 pages, including a 600 page main report and 3,400 pages of technical appendices. Due to the expense of reproducing and shipping the printed version, only the main report is available in print.

A hotline has been established for the general public to request the final report. This will centralize the processing of the requests and should reduce delays and the potential for lost or misplaced requests. All requests for the report should be made by calling the HOTLINE at (904)232-3332.

Anita and Mike Buff

Last year we saw in this newsletter an opportunity to become volunteers with Mote Marine Mammal Lab.  It was easy to get involved.  We contacted them and it sounded like fun.  They let us choose the dates we wanted to work.  They
trained us to help with boat traffic counts and compliance surveys. 
It was a fun experience working with other volunteers from around the state we would not have ordinarily met.  We learned a little about the history and the future of the Caloosahatchee while serving our community.  If you are considering becoming a volunteer, check the newsletter for opportunities that help the Caloosahatchee.

Charles Edgar Foster, River Guide Extraordinaire, on a recent Caloosahatchee Cruise.  Join Charles, Rae Ann Scholle (our Caloosahatchee Contessa) and Dr. John Capece (our Caloosahatchee Science Guy) on a cruise to learn about the history and ecology of our river and our efforts to protect this precious resource.  Call our Hotline for upcoming cruise dates.

The rivers are our brothers.
They quench our thirst.
They carry our canoes and
feed our children.
So you must give the rivers
the kindness that
you would give any brother.

- Chief Seattle, Suquamish Tribal Chief
From a letter to the United States Government

Restudy and Restoration for Dummies
A program for all persons interested in and/or perplexed about the Caloosahatchee
Restudy and Everglades Restoration Projects
Thursday, June 24, 1999
6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium
Led by Mr. Wayne Daltry, Executive Director of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council
Sponsored by RiverWatch and the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium

It's Time to Renew Your Membership!

Please take a moment to fill out this form and then return it to us with your check.  As you know, the Caloosahatchee River
Citizen's Association needs your continued support to make sure that good things occur on our river.
Name:       Street Address:       
City:      State:    Zip Code:    Fax:    Email:   

Membership Level:
Student $5 ($2.50)    Individual $10 ($5)    Family $20 ($10) 
Friend $50 ($25)    Guardian $100 ($50)    Sponsor/Corporate $250 ($125) 
Protector $500 ($250)    Champion $1,000 ($500) 
*Please note that all memberships expire at the end of the calendar year.  Members joining from July through October should pay the amount in parentheses.
Volunteer Interests:
Clerical    Technical    Membership    Education   
Projects and Events    Publicity/Communication 
Please complete this form and send it with your check to:  CRCA, Box 1165, Fort Myers, FL 33902