February 21, 2018

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Peoples Climate March (2017-04-18)

Whether it is rising sea levels, ocean warming, or changing weather patterns, climate change impacts every single one of us, and hurts the most vulnerable communities around the world most. We need our lawmakers to stand up and help to secure a safer, healthier future for all. Join us on April 29th. [Dive Into Democracy]

Conservation 20-20 Film (2017-02-14)

A free film screening about the history of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve and Conservation 20/20 is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve Interpretive Center, 7751 Penzance Blvd., Fort Myers. The film was produced by students from Florida Gulf Coast University. [Fort Myers Florida Weekly] [You Are Invited!]

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]

Possible Threat to South Florida (2016-08-26)

A tropical wave that could still threaten South Florida is not yet showing signs of organizations. Forecasters now believe it only has a 60 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone. Most of the projection models show some type of system approaching South Florida. [Local10.com] [WINK News Hurricane Central] [Hurricane Special links]

Developers Should Pay (2016-07-14)

4 Miami-Dade commissioners have suggested an idea so new it doesn't appear any other city has implemented it: Create new impact fees that would require developers to basically pay for their portion of the burden of sea-level-rise-related costs. [Miami New Times]

Seminar in North Fort Myers (2016-07-11)

You can attend the Natural Areas and Aquatic Management Seminar on Wednesday, Sept 21, 2016 at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center, rooms 102 A-B. For additional information, you can contact Roy Beckford at fbeckford@leegov.com. [Details] [Agenda] [Map]

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]

Why Are You Not Protesting? (2012-06-02)

Edward O. Wilson dropped by the Grist office recently and asked why young people aren't out protesting the mess that's being made of the planet. Help us come up with a good answer. [Grist] [The Social Conquest of Earth by Wilson]

The New Climate Dice (2012-08-17)

Dr. James Hansen and his colleagues in the recent report "Increasing Climate Extremes and the New Climate Dice" reconfirm their conclusion that the increasing extremity of heat waves and the area covered by extreme events is caused by global warming. [Report] [Ice Volume] [Dr. James Hansen] [Ice Death Spiral]

Bill 1 = $206 Million (2012-09-05)

Perhaps the first in an endless series of Climate Change bills is coming due in Miami. Increased flooding due to Sea Level Rise is dictating that Miami Beach revamp its stormwater system. Florida bills will steadily grow from millions to billions. [Miami Herald] [SE FL Sea Level Rise]

Annual Total in Half Season (2012-09-15)

2012 forecasted an average year with 9-15 named storms, including 4-8 hurricanes. As of Sep 1 the total was 12 storms, 7 hurricanes. But the 6-month season was only half over. Upper level wind shear kept the storms under Cat 3. [Miami Herald] [2012 Hurricane Season] [Science of Hurricanes]

Havens & Frazer on N&P (2012-09-16)

For many years, environmental agencies have sought to improve the water quality of lakes and estuaries by reducing inputs of phosphorus. New research indicates that we must reduce both phosphorus and nitrogen to reverse eutrophication symptoms. [Details] [Website]

A Negotiated Settlement (2012-10-02)

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

Cape Will Never Agree (2012-10-04)

Led by Mayor Sullivan and David Scott (geologist), the Cape attendees at the Ceitus meeting were loud and unruly—they giggled every time somebody used the word “environment” and mocked any suggestion of scientific data. [Meeting Report] [Cartoon] [Cochrane & Snowden] [Doin' My Toons]

Annual Total in Half Season (2012-10-19)

2012 forecasted an average year with 9-15 named storms, including 4-8 hurricanes. As of Sep 1 the total was 12 storms, 7 hurricanes. But the 6-month season was only half over. Upper level wind shear kept the storms under Cat 3. [NSF.gov] [Images]

Munich Re (2012-10-19)

A recent study release by Munich Re, the world's largest re-insurance firm (insuring the insurance companies), sees climate change driving increased disasters & predicts the trend will continue, though a number of experts question that conclusion. [USA Today]

Manufacturing Consent (2012-11-02)

Leo Amos points out how the state contract "mediator" has been consistently attempting to "Manufacture Consent" by creating the illusion that the majority of Ceitus issue stakeholders agreed to what was really just a minority report created by DEP. [Email]

Another Newsletter Disclaimer (2012-12-30)

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

Blue Mussels & GHG (2013-03-27)

Mussels make use of what are called byssal threads-strong, silky fibers-to attach to rocks, pilings and other hard substrates. Now, scientists have discovered, the effects of ocean acidification are causing mussels get tossed about by wind and waves. [National Science Foundation ]

The First Climate Refugees (2016-02-18)

The Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw just received $48 million from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to move off of their disappearing south Louisiana island. The tribe is the first community of official climate refugees in the continental (lower 48) United States. [Daily Kos]

Southwest Florida Rains (2013-05-16)

From record heat to record cold, from abnormally dry conditions to full-on rain, 2013 has been a roller coaster ride, weather-wise. The first 10 days of April have produced more than half the rain we typically see all month. [News-Press] [Southwest Fla. coastal rainfall totals]

Algae Shuts Down Water Plant (2013-06-06)

Concentrations of potentially-toxic blue green algae in the Caloosahatchee River has caused utility managers to close a Lee Co. treatment plant. County plant operations manager Hank Barroso said thsystem will remain offline until conditions improve. [News-Press]

Ice Free Arctic Summers (2013-06-06)

According to federal scientists, the Arctic Ocean summer ice may melt completely, possibly within the next decade or two. North Pole will lose its summer ice cap after 2050 due to a warming climate melting sea ice. [News-Press]

Too Much on Environment (2013-06-06)

Bob Graham in his opinion stated that Florida's conservation groups, not given an equal seat at the table when legislation is being crafted or considered, must fight back bad bills to hold on to what is left of our environmental legacy. [Sun-Sentinel]

Where Does Soil Charcoal Go? (2013-06-07)

Most scientists thought charcoal was resistant. They believed that once it was incorporated into soils, it stayed there. No one really thought it dissolved, but it does. It's exported into wetlands and rivers, eventually making its way to the oceans. [National Science Foundation]

CRCA Input, County Response (2013-07-26)

Riverwatch President Wayne Daltry has communicated concerns to Lee County about high flows to the estuaries and the lack of viable options. Responding for the County, Roland Ottolini points out that solutions are being sought but progress is slow.

Green Chunks (2013-07-31)

In July 31 letters to the News Press, residents complain that "my canal has huge green chunks floating in it and if it gets any thicker I probably could walk across." and about the "Water Calamity" affecting SW Florida due to Lake O releases. [News Press]

Dark, Fast and Fresh (2013-08-08)

Since May 8, the Corps have released 145.9 billion gallons of water down the Caloosahatchee. In the same time, 182.4 billion gallons of runoff entered the river between the lake and Franklin lock. Now, the river is running faster than seen for years. [News Press]

Reality Check (2013-08-12)

Some officials have been accused of not listening at a meeting about algae in our rivers. However, If the prevailing politics don't allow officials to actually do anything about the problems being described to them then maybe they should multi-task. [Video]

Brain Eating Amoeba (2013-08-13)

A 12-year-old boy has contracted a rare and deadly infection from a “brain-eating” amoeba after playing in contaminated water in LaBelle. The organism, Naegleria fowleri, is found in warm freshwater and can cause rare and deadly brain infections. [News Press] [Fact Sheet] [More Information]

First Claim Against Corps (2013-08-13)

The first official claim for lost wages has been filed against the Army Corps of Engineers for the toxic waterways on the Treasure Coast. Local Charter Angler argues his river charter fishing business has suffered since the locks were opened. [CBS 12 News]

3 to 2 Ceitus Vote (2013-08-30)

Lee County BOCC split 3 to 2 to continue funding Ceitus data collection. Mann and Kiker (Ray Judah's replacement) were against while Manning, Hall and Pendergrass voted for. Those in favor were lukewarm in their support for the larger Ceitus effort

Do not Go Near the Water (2013-08-29)

The Lake O releases have caused much damage to the river and estuary ecosystems in Southwest Florida. These releases must stop to prevent further damage and other sources of storage need to be utilized. It is time for important changes to be made. [Youtube]

Seizure of Sugar Land (2013-08-30)

City commissioners have requested a resolution favoring state action to seize land owned by U.S. Sugar Corp., a step they hope will speed up efforts to stem pollution of the estuaries, by allowing use of a southern flow way for Lake O releases. [TC Palm]

Bi-Coastal Rally (2013-09-04)

Hundreds of people from South Florida gathered near the U.S. Sugar Corp. refinery in Clewiston on September 1, to speak out about water pollution that’s plagued the state this summer. Those attending were officials, environmentalists, businesses etc. [News Press]

Up the Food Chain (2013-09-04)

Toxins from Blue-Green algae have been found in 67% of fish and shell fish in the James River between May and October 2012. These toxins can build up to levels that the World Health Organization considers unsafe for consumption. [Bay Daily]

New York Times (2013-09-09)

S Florida water problems have attracted the NY Times. They write: Life in and around the estuaries has come to a standstill this summer. Fishing piers sat forlorn. Fish capable of swimming away have already done so. Salinity in the estuary is zero. [New York Times]

Air Potato Mapped in Park (2013-09-16)

To track progress in eradicating air potato in the LaBelle Nature Park, John Capece, Nargis Abduvohidova and Nicolas Roussell mapped the infestation of the vine along the park trails. The plant is most prevalent near the entrance and to the east. [The Culprit] [Park Infestation Map]

FGCU-SL#3: Web Site Content (2013-09-17)

You can help build the Riverwatch web site and newsletter by creating content in the form of these news boxes. FGCU students can earn service learning hours by reviewing river news items and creating summaries. SOP provides training and SOP. [News Entry Page Image] [Email Inquiry]

FGCU-SL#4: Oxbow Research (2013-09-17)

Adventurous FGCU students can assist Dr. John Capece with Caloosahatchee oxbows research by going on a half-day trip (4 to 6 hours) to measure water flow velocities in the old parts of the river. [Photo-1] [Photo-2] [Photo-3] [Email Inquiry]

FGCU-SL#5: Petition Signatures (2013-09-28)

Join other volunteers and gather signatures for "Florida's Land and Legacy Amendment" at Nov 10th River Ride Event, Caloosahatchee Regional Park. 7am-noon. Help reach the goal of 76,000 additional volunteer collected signatures before Nov 30. [Southwest FL] [Volunteer Page] [Email Inquiry]

Once More Unto the Breach (2013-09-28)

Attorney Ralf Brookes (on behalf of Riverwatch and 6 other petitioners) notified DEP and Cape Coral of legal action on the restoration of the Spreader Canal System by replacement of the northern barrier structure (previously the Ceitus Boat Lift. [Press Release] [60-day Notice] [Cape Reaction] [News Press] [Notice (7MB)] [Lehigh Acres Citizen]

Crisis Press Yields Hearings (2013-10-03)

Florida Congressmen Trey Radel & Pat Murphy organized an unprecedented bipartisan hearing to discuss solutions for the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie. A welcome bipartisan change from recent years of inaction on the WRRDA parts of a larger solution. [Huffington Post] [Congressmen] [News Press]

Typhoon & Global Warming (2013-12-02)

Yeb Sano, leader of the Philippine's delegation to the UN climate talks in Warsaw, drew a standing ovation following his emotional speech. Typhoon Haiyan with 195mph winds surpasses Camille as the strongest recorded storm ever to hit land. [Article] [Take action] [Website] [Connection Uncertain]

Growing Ceitus Insistence (2014-01-06)

CRCA has filed legal action against DEP & Cape Coral for their failure to replace the Ceitus Boat Lift. The two conspired to appear to meet their legal requirements while never intending to approve any permit or build any replacement structure. [Cartoon] [Lehigh Citizen] [Press Release] [News Press]

Waterway Distress (2014-01-07)

Distress over the condition of a waterway, Spring Creek. Decades ago the water was always clear, there was an abundance of fish. Currently the water is so shallow, they no longer see the abundance of wildlife & the water is now very murky. [News Press]

Lake O Disgusting (2014-01-07)

The color of Lake O is brown. This happens because of the last 40 years with big agriculture, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers... Who is really to blame? Like said a comic-strip philosopher named Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” [News Press] [Cartoon]

Septic Tanks Dominate (2014-05-07)

The nitrate polluting one central Florida spring travels 10 years from source to spring. Sources, past and present include: 40% - septic tanks, then cattle ranches, horse farms, drainage wells, and residential fertilizer. [Ocala News]

Why Citrus Greening Matters (2014-05-31)

Insecticide use skyrocketed as farmer try to fight Citrus Greening. FL citrus growers now spend about $240 million a year on insecticides - 30% more than 2004, even though they're farming about 30% less land and yielding half as much fruit. [Huffington Post]

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amendment 1 Flouted (2015-03-24)

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

Totten Glacier is Melting (2015-04-02)

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

CRCA Land Purchase Resolution (2015-04-03)

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

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

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

Restoration and Economy (2015-04-17)

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

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

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

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

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

Dampening Property Values (2015-05-29)

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

Former Governor Shocked (2015-05-31)

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

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

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

Doubling Down on Destruction (2015-08-30)

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

River Conditions Worsen (2015-09-28)

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

Apply Now (2015-09-09)

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

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

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

Panthers Whereabouts (2015-09-15)

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

Heat is the Culprit (2015-09-15)

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

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

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

River Orientation (2015-09-27)

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

Reauthorize Conservation Fund (2015-09-28)

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

Swamp Cabbage River Tours (2015-09-28)

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

USGS Pesticide Model (2015-09-28)

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

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

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

First Fracking Summit (2015-09-28)

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

Water Quality Issues Everywhere (2015-09-29)

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

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

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

Swim No More (2015-10-09)

Vibrio vulnificus, a flesh-eating bacteria, killed a Polk County man 3 days after he contracted it in Estero Bay. The man had a small cut on his leg where the bacteria had direct access. The State Dept of Health said the bacteria is always present in warm Florida waters and people should be cautious [NBC2 News]

Climate Change and Wannabees (2015-10-09)

In a critique on the behavior of US presidential hopefuls on climate change, Thomas Friedman uses John Rockstrom's book Big World, Small Planet to drive home his point. A resilient planet that once absorbed the excesses at no cost suddenly tipped into a saturated planet will greet the new president. [The New York Times]

Lest We Forget (2015-10-09)

The Tampa Tribune editorial calls for Floridians to not forget how lawmakers ignored 75% of voters last year who endorsed the Amendment 1 Ballot initiative requiring the state to spend more on land and water conservation. Lawmakers spent the money on salaries, insurance and other non-conservation. [The Tampa Tribune]

Red Tide Status (2015-10-13)

As of Oct 9 blooms of Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, are present along and offshore of Bay and Gulf counties in northwest Florida, and along and offshore of Manatee, Sarasota and northern Charlotte counties in Southwest Florida. Extensive fish kills have been reported at Mexico Beach. [Map] [FWC]

Developments in Lake O (2015-10-14)

Guy Harvey Outpost proposes to convert the Okee-Tantie recreation area into a destination resort on Lake Okeechobee. The project will be a full Guy Harvey Signature brand complete with lodges, an outfitters shop, guides and fishing services, a Tiki Bar and other amenities. [Okeechobee News] [Plan]

Like a Broken Record (2015-10-15)

NASA global data analysis shows that September of this year was the hottest ever measured on earth. Like a broken record, this "fill in the month" news story of another broken temperature record repeats over and over again. And yes, Sep 2015 is no exception in that it was exceptionally hot. [Climate Progress]

Red Tide Status (2015-10-20)

As of Oct 16 red tide organism, Karenia brevis, are present in, along and offshore of Bay and Gulf Counties in Northwest Florida, and along and offshore of Manatee and Sarasota counties counties in Southwest Florida. Fish kills and respiratory irritation have been reported offshore Sarasota County. [Map] [FWC]

Yucky Swim (2015-10-20)

New Yorker environmentalist Christopher Swain became the first person in history to swim the 1.8-mile length of Brooklyn’s frothy green Gowanus Canal. Swain hopes the swim will draw attention to the contaminated water and inspire city officials to undertake a large-scale clean up effort. [Photo] [Yahoo News]

CRCA Annual Meeting March 19 (2016-01-31)

Save the date! From 4-7pm on Sat, Mar 19 CRCA will hold its annual meeting to welcome members and kick off its 2016-17 programs. Hosting the meeting is VP Gene Gibson who has reserved the beautiful Gathering Room in High Point Place on the Ft. Myers riverfront. RSVP is required. [Gathering Room View] [Event Page] [High Point Location]

Springs Ever After (2015-10-20)

The threats to Florida's springs are numerous and complex. However, there are solutions to help protect springs, the aquifer and our drinking water. Some are long-term, requiring new thinking about land use. Other answers come in the form of simple steps we can take to reduce pollution. [Florida Spring Council]

River Network Promotes Diversity (2015-10-20)

River Network is promoting inclusiveness & diversity in environmental organizations. Like most, Riverwatch lacks sufficient diversity in its leadership. While 36% are women, other are absent: 0% Hispanic, 0% African American, and 0% under 30 years of age (5% under 40). Renewed outreach is required. [River Network Magazine] [Diversity Statistics]

Iranian Vulture Culture History (2015-10-20)

Iran banned the export, import, production and veterinary use of diclofenac. It is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug used to treat livestock and caused the decline of vulture species around the world. Vultures feeding on animal carcass recently treated with diclofenac die from renal failures. [Bird Life International] [Vulture Culture History]

Everglades Workshop (2015-10-20)

FIU School of Environment, Arts and Society invites future advocates, scientists and public officials to the Everglades Service-to-Activism Workshop on Oct 24. Participants should have experience with Everglades and read "America, the Owner's Manual:Making Govt Work for You." [Flyer]

Here and There (2015-10-21)

Another study showed that human damage to seagrass meadows leads to the 72% decrease in the amount of organic carbon captured and stored carbon by the grass beds. The findings suggest protecting and restoring seagrass meadows can be important in mitigating climate change. [ABC Science] [Nature Climate Change]

Oil and Gas Bill (2015-10-21)

Upcoming FL legislation includes SB 318 which seeks to regulate oil and gas resources and preempt the regulation of all matters relating to the exploration, development, production, processing, storage, and transportation of oil and gas. [Senate Bill]

Save Downtown Boat Ramp (2015-10-21)

The City/County agreement protecting the Centennial Park Boat Ramp expired in 2014 and the ramp is now vulnerable to removal by the City of Ft. Myers. Riverwatch is contacting all boat owners in the area to enlist their help in telling the City officials that the people want to keep the boat ramp. [Situation Summary] [Boat Ramp Location]

Politics and Water Quality (2015-10-23)

Governor Rick Scott’s July public relations event on Pine Island touting our “pristine waterways” was yet another feeble attempt to convince the public that he and his policies are making Florida a better place to live. John Cassani editorializes on how the state’s actions ignore state law. [The News Press]

Presence Required (2015-10-26)

The Dept of Community Development will hold a Vue Informational Meeting on Mon, Oct 26, 5:15 pm at the Fort Myers City Hall. The Planning Board will meet to discuss the Vue on Wed, Nov 4, 1pm at the Fort Myers City Hall. Please attend to help save our downtown Centennial Park. [Letter] [Photo]

BearPaws (2015-10-26)

Barrett Stejskal is the co-president of BearPaws Environmental Consulting conducting environmental evaluations, maps, wetlands, surveys for listed species, creates habitat management plan and helps clients with permitting at all governmental levels. Barrett is a graduate of Florida Gulf Coast Univ. [News Press]

Waterfront Access (2015-10-26)

Bonita Springs City Council voted to develop access to Spring Creek a top priority among waterfront access. Fishing pier and parking area will be developed at Dog Beach, south of Lovers Key State Park. Development decisions in the past mean more work and money to create waterfront access now. [News Press]

SHORE on Indian River (2015-10-28)

Sharing our Research with Everyone on the Indian River Lagoon 2015 is presented by AWRA Florida, Daytona State College of Institute of Marine and Environmental Studies and the Marine and the Marine Discovery Center is on Nov 6 at Daytona Beach, Florida. Register now! [AWRA]

Oct 23 Red Tide (2015-10-28)

Oct 23 sampling results for red tide organism shows Karenia brevis are present in, along and offshore of eastern Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties in NW Fl and in, along and offshore of Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and northern Lee counties in SW FL. [Map] [Cartoon] [FWC]

STOP ROGG (2015-10-29)

Walk for Mother Earth circulated a petition to STOP ROGG River of Grass Greenway Project to help save the Everglades and the Big Cypress. Everglades is a World Heritage Site and a Wetland of Global Importance. Help save the Everglades from destruction. Sign the petition now. [Petition]

October CRCA Newsletter (2015-10-29)

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

Warming Drives Cod Decline (2015-10-30)

For centuries, cod were the backbone of New England's fisheries and a key species in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Today, cod stocks are on the verge of collapse, hovering at 3-4% of sustainable levels. Even painful cuts to the fishery have failed to slow this rapid decline [National Science Foundation]

No Swimming (2015-10-31)

Test results at Sanibel Blind Pass Beach indicate beyond acceptable health level. DOH is warning people not to enter water. Due to high bacteria levels, no wading or swimming at Blind Pass Beach is recommended. Exposure to bacteria caused risk of disease to susceptible individuals. [News Press]

Oct 30 Red Tide Status (2015-11-03)

Blooms of the Florida red tide organism, Karenia brevis, are present in, along and offshore of Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay and Gulf counties in NW Florida and in, along, and offshore of Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties in SW Fl. [Map] [FWC]

Thank You (2015-11-03)

Thanks to all who supported CRCA on the Fundraising event of WGCU Public Media on Oct 19. CRCA earned 16 spots to air our plan, promotions and fund raising drives, too. Thank you to Ray Judah, John Paul and Emily Morauski for job well done. More spots in the future! [Photo]

Manatees Arrival (2015-11-04)

Weather is cooling down and manatees are here again to swam in warm waters. Nov is Manatee Awareness Month and wildlife officials want boaters to be aware of manatees move during migration period. 2015 study on manatee deaths identify Lee county on one that has many boat related deaths on manatees. [Cartoon] [WFSU]

Close Together (2015-11-05)

The common grass planting practice leaves space between new plants to prevent overcrowding & reduce competition for nutrients & sunlight. But a new study to restore degraded salt marshes proved this wrong. It found that clumping close together newly planted marsh grasses spurs positive interaction. [NSF]

Win a Canoe at Swamp Cabbage (2016-01-19)

The Win-A-Canoe Contest is back again this year thanks to The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. You can buy tickets online, at Estero Outfitters, from CRCA directors, or at the Swamp Cabbage Festival's Riverwatch exhibit, Feb 27-28 in LaBelle. [Old Town 14.5-Ft Canoe] [Prizes] [Tickets by Email] [Tickets Online] [Canoe Description]

Wettest January on Record (2016-01-23)

The recent Southwest Florida weather madness reached a high-water mark Friday, January 22 — literally. Friday’s downpours helped break the record for wettest January ever recorded in Fort Myers. Total rainfall so far this month is 8.41 inches. [News-Press]

Franklin Lock & Dam Tours (2016-01-23)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will offer free tours of the W. P. Franklin Lock and Dam on the Okeechobee Waterway in Alva through March. The 45-minute tours are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm and at 3pm. Group tours are also available by appointment. To sign up call 239-694-2582. [Details] [Volunteers Betty Ann and John Sutton]

Still Denying Global Warming (2016-01-23)

In 135 years of record keeping (by NOAA), the six hottest years for this planet have been 2015, 2014, 2010, 2005, 1998, and 2013. Yet many people still deny human-induced climate change. Unlike the era when the same types denied the earth rotating the sun, we cannot afford the time to be so stupid. [News-Press]

Algae Makes You Stupid (2016-01-23)

Algae blooms may be slowly eating away at our memories. According to a new study, chronic exposure to a commonplace algae toxin in crabs, shellfish and other seafood increases risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in humans. [Florida Today]

UF Water Institute Symposium (2016-01-23)

We invite you to participate in the 5th biennial UF Water Institute Symposium, focused on understanding causes of trends, cycles and extreme events and their consequences for human, agricultural and natural systems. The symposium is being held on Feb 16-17 at J. Wayne Reitz Union on the UF campus. [Symposium website] [Register online]

Save Our Downtown Boat Ramp! (2016-01-23)

CRCA-Riverwatch is opposing the possible closing of a popular boat ramp in downtown Fort Myers. We've sent postcards warning boaters and other taxpayers to keep a close eye on what the city does with the boat ramp on Edwards Drive. Help save our downtown boat ramp. [Fox 4] [Letter by Ron & Joan Pierce] [Interview with CRCA VP Gene Gibson]

Wind, Waves Whip Sanibel Sands (2016-01-24)

With winds whipping up waves, the beaches of Sanibel and Fort Myers are seeing some unwanted shifts."There's definitely movement of sand," said Judith Zimomra, Sanibel city manager. "Some areas have additional sand; there are some areas that have lost sand." Heavy rains also did some damage. [News-Press]

Vue - an After-Christmas Fire Sale (2016-01-24)

CRCA VP Gene Gibson in his commentary mentions: Andres Duany, the urban planner who prepared the Downtown Ft Myers Plan, said “the City sells itself too cheaply.” If the city approves what the new Vue developer wants, this will amount to an after-Christmas fire sale that will prove Duany right. [Commentary by Gene Gibson] [Commentary by David Urich] [Vue and City Council] [Joint letter & memo]

Lee County Streamlines 20/20 (2016-01-24)

Lee County will no longer ask property owners who want to participate in the Conservation 20/20 land acquisition program to list an asking price on the application. On Jan 19, the Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to streamline the application process by removing the asking price. [News-Press]

El Nino (2016-01-24)

Southwest Florida is all wet, and the region isn't expected to dry out anytime soon. El Niño is at its peak and is expected to dump above-average rainfall on this area through spring. Heavy rainfall in the Caloosahatchee River watershed coupled with Lake O releases can cripple coastal marine life. [News-Press] [Lake O Stage]

Florida State Parks (2016-01-24)

Gov. Scott’s DEP chief, Jon Steverson, sparked a firestorm in 2015 by discussing park management plans that could include expanding hunting, grazing and logging activities at 174 Florida state parks. But Steverson said he stands by the approach and he has a supporter in Rep. Matt Caldwell. [My Palm Beach Post]

Watershed Kickbacks (2016-01-24)

The former director of the Newark Watershed Conservation and Development Corp., Linda Watkins-Brashear pleaded guilty on Dec 18 to soliciting nearly $1 million in bribes from businesses in return for inflated and no-work contracts. Ms. Watkins-Brashear admitted taking $1M in kickbacks. [NJ.com]

New Group at Babcock (2016-01-25)

Paul Holmes and others are forming a Babcock Ranch Preserve chapter of the Friends of Florida State Forests. Who is involved in the group and the activities they will organize will be posted as information becomes available. [Details] [Plan] [Facebook]

Ignorant Irony or Hypocrisy? (2016-01-28)

The reality is the very people who bought the homes in the developments that helped create environmental damage just a few years ago are now our allies as we try to avert the next phase of environmental destruction. Will the downward spiral ever be reversed? [Naples News]

Counting Fish to Catch (2016-01-29)

Fishermen want the Feds to increase the estimates of the numbers of fish in the Gulf so they can be permitted to catch more of them. Fishermen are challenging the scientific methods of the federal regulators. [News-Press]

House OKs Fracking Regulation Bill (2016-01-29)

On Jan 27 the state House approved a bill that would create regulations for fracking despite strong opposition from Democrats who said the oil and gas drilling practice could contaminate groundwater, damage the environment, make people sick and hurt Florida’s tourism industry. The House voted 73-45. [News-Press] [Florida Politics]

NOAA Weather Data (2016-01-29)

Whenever you want to compare today's weather to historical data, NOAA provides you access to historical records in customized formats to match your needs. It's nice to see that the government makes it easy for everyone to benefit from their data archives. [NOAA weather website]

Rain, Rain Go Away (2016-01-29)

The latest drenching ended Thursday night, Jan 28th, but for Southwest Florida businesses, pain from the rain — and a January that’s the wettest ever for Fort Myers — will last a lot longer. [News-Press]

Foul Water Heads for River (2016-01-29)

A state environmental agency gave a presentation in Fort Myers on Jan 28 on cleaning up the Caloosahatchee River while another state agency pumped polluted farm water into Lake O, which drains into the river. If water management in Florida seems confusing, that's because it is. [News-Press] [Sun Sentinel] [Palm Beach Post] [Interview with CRCA director Phil Schwartz]

C-43 Reservoir: Construction On (2016-01-29)

After years of remaining on hold, the C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir off SR 80 just west of LaBelle, is finally seeing activity again. According to SFWMD, the project had been on hold due to lack of funding. The $584.6 million project cost is shared between the federal government and SFWMD. [Caloosa Belle] [Map]

Does Vue Benefit Ft Myers? (2016-01-29)

Bob and Kerry Holley of Fort Myers wrote to the News Press, "Many condominium developments are coming; please don't give away the best parts of our beautiful city without keeping our riverfront accessible and usable for all citizens." [News-Press]

Water is the New Oil (2016-01-29)

Nearly 200 people met to discuss water quality and distribution challenges facing Southwest Florida now and in the future at a water conference at FGCU on January 15. "Water is the new oil," said George Yilmaz, a panelist with Collier County Utilities." "We need to change our approach to water". [News-Press]

Challenge Status Quo (2016-01-29)

Ray Judah wrote: Mayor Ruane portrays to know the facts concerning restoration of the Caloosahatchee and our coastal estuaries. In fact, he represents the status quo of policy makers at the local and state level that have ignored or failed to understand the water budget in the Lake O watershed. [Cape Coral Daily Breeze]

Wider Impact from BP Spill (2016-01-29)

More than five years after millions of gallons of oil flooded into the Gulf of Mexico following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, a clearer picture is developing about the long term impacts to wildlife and their habitats. The damage was much greater than previously understood. [Public News Service] [Listen to audio]

Amendment 1 Lawsuit (2016-01-29)

On Dec 3 Circuit Judge George Reynolds accepted a motion from the state to dismiss part of the Amendment 1 lawsuit that sought a court order requiring state CFO Jeff Atwater to transfer $237 million from the general-revenue fund to what is known as the Land Acquisition Trust Fund. [Tampa Bay Times] [Jacksonville.com]

Not Retreating on River Hall (2016-01-29)

The News Press is covering citizen opposition to the River Hall development. Thornberry and his neighbors at River Hall scored their first legal victory in a battle with Lee County to preserve the rural dream they were sold. FGCU professor Paul Asfour doesn't think they are done fighting developers. [News-Press] [Photo] [Guest Opinion]

High Peaks Losing Glaciers (2016-01-29)

NSF research scientists have documented the melting of ice on Niwot Ridge and the adjacent Green Lakes Valley in the high mountains west of Boulder, Colorado. The glaciers will continue as the climate continues to warm. [National Science Foundation]

Dead Fish Removal Authorized (2016-01-29)

Owners and managers of private property along Sanibel beaches are authorized by the city's Natural Resources Department to remove dead fish impacted by "very moderate levels" of red tide on the island. Dead fish may only be removed by hand, using tools such as pitchforks or grabbers. [NBC-2]

Lots of Water Falling & Flowing (2016-01-29)

Ft Myers received 13 inches of rain in Jan 2016, exceeding any January since records began in 1902. Lake Okeechobee waster levels are now above 16ft. Despite a high Lake with a weak dike, SFWMD decided to backpump farm water into the lake. Flow to the estuary at S-79 exceeded 14,000 cfs on Jan 29. [News-Press] [S-79 Flow]

Pine Island Plan Revision (2016-01-29)

In response to our complaints about the lack of open space requirements in the new Pine Island regulations, the County Attorney's Office has changed the rules to require 50 foot front setback and 25 foot side setback on new developments. That means houses must be at least 50 feet apart. [Email by Phil Buchanan] [Pine Island Eagle] [Cartoon] [What you need to know]

Billy Creek Clean Up Day (2016-01-31)

Join Riverwatch and FGCU, KLCB, and Wright Construction for a clean-up day on Billy's Creek in Ft. Myers. This Creek flows into the Caloosahatchee River near downtown Ft. Myers. Help us protect the Caloosahatchee by cleaning up Billy’s Creek on Friday, March 25. [Website] [Sign up]

Salinity Flat-lines in January (2016-01-31)

For the entire month of January, estuary salinity has been below MFL 30-day limits. Rains and Lake O releases since the middle of the month have completely flat-lined salinity levels, highly unusual for January. [Conditions Report] [More SCCF Reports]

Waterkeeper Alliance Magazine (2016-02-02)

You can receive a printed version of the semi-annual Waterkeeper magazine sent to you by mail if you make a donation of $25 or more to Waterkeeper Alliance. PDF versions are available online free of charge. [Donate & Subscribe] [Back Issues]

Lake or Local Blob (2016-02-03)

While it is easy to point the finger at Lake Okeechobee, recent Caloosahatchee estuary problems have been more due to local watershed runoff quantity and quality. The underlying causes and required solutions are largely the same and the necessary actions still remain to be acknowledged and achieved. [Lake vs Watershed Flow] [Data Source] [Blob Cartoon]

Bad News for Food (2016-02-03)

USDA economists are forecasting how US food production and irrigation water supplies will change over the next 60 years. As climate change begins to be felt and our population expands, food supplies will suffer. This has the makings of a crisis. (Note: Aillery did the EAA water storage analysis.) [USDA Analysis] [USDA Web Site]

Not the Heat, But the Humidity (2016-02-12)

The paper must be feeling some heat if it feels that it needs to defend itself for reporting the real news. The Feb 12 edition alone contained 6 water related pieces documenting regional hardships due to excess and polluted water or its associated controversies. [Blaming Media] [Tourism] [20/20] [Water South] [Red Tide] [Wet Crops]

Boaters Are Voters (2016-02-12)

Please attend the Fort Myers City Council meeting on Feb 16 at 4:30pm when the Downtown Hotel project will be discussed. Wear your business / boating shirts and let the leaders know that it is not acceptable to use our ramp as a staging area for construction. [Details]

Stop Lake O Discharges (2016-02-12)

Sarah Lepa started a petition addressed to Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio, Gov. Rick Scott and several State Representatives suggesting that new legislation should include measures such as the South Flow Way, Plan 6, Solution 101 to DIVERT water from Lake O away from SWFL wildlife and beaches. [Sign the Petition]

Plastic Baykeeper (2016-02-19)

The waterways surrounding New York City are a soup of plastic, according to an environmental group called NY/NJ Baykeeper. The group estimated there are at least 165 million plastic particles floating in New York Harbor and nearby waters at any given time. [AP The Big Story] [NY/NJ Baykeeper]

Lake O Discharges (2016-02-19)

SFWMD requested the Corps of Engineers to begin reducing the amount of water discharged from Lake O into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers starting Feb 19th. But doing so could make conditions worse, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds said. [WINK News] [Video]

High Winds (2016-02-19)

The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF0 tornado touched done in Moore Haven on Feb 16. The tornado was approximately 50 feet wide with a length of track approximately 1.6 miles. The high winds demolished and damaged some homes in Glades County. [Southwest Florida Online]

Land Program Back on Ballot (2016-02-19)

Lee Co Commission voted 4-1 on Feb 16 to send the 20-year-old Conservation 20/20 program back to voters. Since adopted by voters in 1996, the 20/20 program has spent more than $316 million to acquire, restore and conserve about 24,931 acres. This is the BOCCs way of trying to end the program. [News-Press]

From Lake O to Everglades (2016-02-19)

Water is flowing from lands south of Lake Okeechobee to Everglades National Park for the first time in nearly a century. It remains to be seen if this is the benefit the estuaries or just the EAA and Water Conservation Areas south of Lake O. CRCA will analyze the data and report findings. [News-Press 1] [News-Press 2]

Bull Sugar (2016-02-19)

Bull Sugar is a non-profit organization dedicated to stopping polluted discharges into the St Lucie River, Caloosahatchee River and Indian River Lagoon. They stand by their slogan: CLEAN POLITICS=CLEAN WATER. [Facebook]

Clean Power Plan on Hold (2016-02-19)

The Supreme Court temporarily paused the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, the first-ever federal rule to limit carbon pollution from U.S. power plants. While not a final ruling, this decision is a real set back in President Obama’s efforts to combat climate change. [The Climate Reality Project] [The Guardian]

Reprehensible Legislative Actions (2016-02-19)

Ray Judah, a former Lee County Commissioner, in his recent commentary called the recent legislative actions concerning water quality 'reprehensible'. He believes The Water Policy Bill signed by Gov. Scott greatly impedes efforts to cost effectively prevent water pollution at its source. [Pine Island Eagle]

No Big Fix for Water Crises (2016-02-19)

Cynthia Barnett says that when it comes to water issues, while there is no Big Fix, there are lots of other things we can do, starting with developing a water ethic. It means that we live today in a way that doesn’t jeopardize things for future generations. It’s not terribly hard. [Huffington Post]

El Nino Research (2016-02-19)

America’s two leading climate science agencies NOAA amd NASA are conducting an unprecedented survey via land, sea and air to investigate the current El Niño event and better understand its impact on weather systems that have brought both parched and soaking conditions to North America. [The Guardian]

Zika Virus (2016-02-19)

The Zika virus, transmitted by the same mosquito as dengue fever, has spread with alarming speed throughout South and Central America—and scientists in Brazil suspect that global warming is exacerbating the problem. [Eco Watch]

The Town of Babcock Ranch (2016-02-19)

Babcock Ranch continues to focus public attention on the solar aspect of their development. The economics of solar PV and solar thermal now dictate that ALL new construction should include solar. The new city will consist of 19,500 homes, 6-million square feet of commercial space. [News-Press]

SW Sliding into a New Normal (2016-02-19)

The weather patterns that typically bring moisture to the U.S. Southwest are becoming more rare, an indication that the region is sliding into the drier climate state predicted by global models, according to a new study. [National Science Foundation]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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 frogwatch.net [Flyer] [John Cassani Bio] [Frog Watch]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Counter-Attack (2016-05-05)

As the Bullsugar movement gains political traction on water issues in South Florida, it is coming under counter-attack by the groups it is pressuring through TJ Markle of Treasure Coast Star and the Southern Exposure blog. [Treasure Coast Star] [Southern Exposure] [Kenny Hinkle] [Cartoon]

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]

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]

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 BullSugar.org 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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Florida Makes Top 10 (2015-01-03)

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

Florida Corruption (2015-01-27)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amendment 1 ALERT (2015-01-29)

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

20/20 Dissection (2015-01-29)

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

Corps Starting to Listen (2015-02-01)

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

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

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

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

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

Springs Eternal Presentations (2015-01-29)

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

Pumping into Nicodemus Slough (2015-01-31)

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

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

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

The Everglades Case (2015-02-25)

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

Follow The Stream (2015-02-26)

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

The Unseen Everglades (2015-02-25)

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

New DEP Special Counsel (2015-02-26)

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

The Cost of Growth (2015-02-26)

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

Fish Kill Hotline (2015-02-26)

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

Student Poster Contest Winners (2015-02-26)

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

Caloosahatchee Basin Visioning (2015-02-26)

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

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

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

Legislature Tackles Water Woes (2015-02-26)

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

2015 Legislative Platform (2015-02-26)

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

State of Everglades Report (2015-02-26)

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

No Red Tide (2015-02-26)

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

Save Everglades With Images (2015-02-26)

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

Land Buy Press Conference (2015-03-03)

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

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

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

AWRA March Technical Meeting (2015-03-05)

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

The Purchase Choice (2015-03-12)

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

Control The Flow (2015-03-13)

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

Effects Of Nutrient Pollution (2015-03-13)

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

Time Is Running Out (2015-03-16)

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

Jeb In The Wilderness (2015-03-16)

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

Pine Island Overcrowding (2015-03-16)

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

Thanks Nature Center Team (2015-03-21)

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

SFWMD Land Surplus (2015-03-24)

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

Young On Legislative Session (2015-03-24)

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

Caloosahatchee Basin Visioning (2015-03-24)

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

Black Bear Hunting Proposal (2015-03-26)

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

Sea Water Invasion (2015-03-27)

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

FEMA Pressures Deniers (2015-03-31)

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

FORCE March Newsletter (2015-04-02)

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

The Fracking Crusade (2015-04-02)

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

FGCU Asks Your Opinion (2015-04-05)

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

Senators Heard the Crowd (2015-04-08)

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

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

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

SWFL Sustainability Summit (2015-04-08)

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

Business Owner Perspective (2015-04-09)

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

Joe Negron Support (2015-04-09)

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

Regional Park Earth Day (2015-04-09)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coastal Squeeze (2015-04-17)

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

Deepwater Horizon Disaster (2015-04-20)

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

Obama in the Everglades (2015-04-21)

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

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

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

Lee Commission Supports Purchase (2015-04-29)

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

New Riverwatch Officers (2015-04-30)

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

Everglades ASR Regional Study (2015-04-29)

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

Saved By The Bell (2015-04-30)

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

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

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

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

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

Land Acquisition Trust Fund (2015-05-30)

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

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

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

Environmental Ed Workshop (2015-09-30)

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

Harborside Construction Delayed (2015-09-30)

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

Red Tide Update (2015-10-01)

As of Sep 30, blooms of the red tide organism, K. brevis, are present along and offshore of Bay and Gulf counties and adjacent to Franklin County in NW FL, and along and offshore of Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte Counties. Fish kills have been reported at Bay, Gulf and Franklin Counties. [Map] [FWC]

Cape Sable Gets Grant (2015-10-05)

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation awarded a $2 million grant to Everglades Foundation for the construction of four dams designed to restore and protect Cape Sable’s coastal wetlands. The dams will prevent saltwater from Florida Bay to wash into freshwater areas of the Everglades National Park. [Florida Keys News]

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]

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]

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]

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]

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]

Fracking Test (2016-02-19)

Industry backed bills introduced by Southwest Florida legislators that would create regulations around fracking in Florida may have sailed through the House, but they’re facing more scrutiny, if not outright opposition, in the Senate. But it shows that our local legislators are part of the problem. [News-Press] [Fracking Myths and Reality]

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]

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]

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]

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]

A Shot of Solar Efficiency (2012-06-02)

Florida Gulf Coast University is hoping to revolutionize solar energy, starting with a single battery. That battery, purchased for $30,000 from an Australian company, captures energy created by solar panels and saves it for a cloudy day. [News Press]

$880M In New Projects (2012-06-05)

A 12-year, $880 million plan to clean up the Everglades was released on June 4, the latest development in a nearly 25-year legal fight over water quality in the fragile ecosystem. [News Press] [Audubon Florida] [Eco-Voice] [AD Plan]

CHNEP Micro Grants (2012-06-05)

CHNEP awarded the $12,000 allocated for micro-grants (usually up to $250/project) for this fiscal year. The guidance encourages people to apply for projects that can begin in the next fiscal year, after Oct 1, 2012 and be completed by Aug 31, 2013. [Apply for a micro-grant]

CO2 at 400 ppm (2012-06-05)

The world's air has reached what scientists call a troubling new milestone for carbon dioxide, the main global warming pollutant. Years ago, it passed the 350 ppm mark that many scientists say is the highest safe level for carbon dioxide. It now stands globally at 395. [Naples News] [CO2 Concentration Graph] [NASA]

Lake Trafford Tape Grass (2012-06-05)

FGCU faculty and students were out on May 31 moving aquatic vegetation around Lake Trafford. Researchers hope tape grass beds will expand throughout the 1,600-acre lake in Collier County and help it recover from decades of degradation and fish kills. [News Press] [Photo]

River Advisory Lifted (2012-06-05)

The Hendry & Glades County Health Departments have lifted the advisory for the Caloosahatchee River waters but they're still advising people to use caution. While the advisory is no longer in place, the conditions are still possible for algae growth. [Details]

Rock Mining Mitigation (2012-08-14)

The SFWMD is working on a new plan to restore more than half of the 26,800 acres that in 2010 cost taxpayers $197 million in a deal with U.S. Sugar Corp. Rock miners would pay for the restoration in compensation for the environmental damage they do. [Sun-Sentinel] [Science Article] [Mining Issues]

Water Supply Augmentation (2012-08-15)

The idea of allowing water from agricultural fields south of Lake Okeechobee to flow back into the lake to be used for environmental releases down the Caloosahatchee River is causing a stir among environmentalists. [News-Press]

Backpumping OKd (2012-08-15)

An old source of Lake O pollution could return after South Florida water managers on Aug 10 opened the door to renewed "back-pumping." Supporters say back-pumping during the rainy season would make more water available during drought. [Sun-Sentinel]

Nano Toilet (2016-02-19)

UK researchers have created a self-sustaining nano-membrane toilet that could provide a safe alternative to open defecation and public lavatories. This waterless toilet removes the water from human waste and leaves solids that can be used as fuel or fertilizer. [The Guardian] [Nano Toilet Design] [Nano Toilet Drawing] [Video]

Help Available for Ponds (2016-02-19)

WETPLAN offers Neighborhood Ponds Management free classes on Wednesdays and Fridays. Whether you are a homeowner, an association board member, a landscaper or a lake management employee, you will learn tips and techniques for extending the life of your ponds and reducing your management costs. [News-Press] [Flyer] [WETPLAN Website]

Fossils and Photography (2016-02-04)

Photographer and Author Mark Renz presents images from his book, "Naturally Twisted – A Wild Look at the Wild" at 7:30pm at the Calusa Nature Center's planetarium. The museum will open at 6pm for guests to visit the fossil and other exhibits. Free to Sierra and CNCP Members. Non-member donation $10. [Details] [Flyer]

CRCA Facebook (2012-09-15)

We are up to 92 likes. Please visit our Facebook page and like us today! Facebook with its easily-accessible style, compliments the CRCA web site which is designed to provide a more permanent record of issues and positions. [CRCA Facebook]

Water & Land Legacy Amendment (2012-09-20)

Florida's Water and Land Legacy Campaign is in the thick of volunteer recruitment. Please consider helping the campaign by sending an email alert to your members, recruiting volunteers at meetings or by posting a campaign write-up in your outreach. [Kickoff Meeting Announcement] [Details] [Publicity Toolkit] [Full Text]

Riverwatch Hosts Fracking Experts (2013-01-30)

Fracking experts from Florida and Pennsylvania describe hydraulic fracturing as it applies to both oil & gas wells and Aquifer Storage & Recovery in Florida. They say the biggest problem is the dirty water that comes back up a fracked well. [Christopher Brown] [David Yoxtheimer] [Radisav Vidic] [Presentations] [Profiles]

Fisheating Creek (2013-03-14)

The Army Corp of Engineers (ACOE) wants to fill in part of the Fisheating Creek channel. A hearing on this issue was held in Tallahassee from Mar 4-11, 2013. Looks like we are still in the same old battles that Ellen Peterson waged for years. [Details]

Tamiami Trail Bridge Opens (2013-03-27)

On Mar 19, state officials, local dignitaries and conservationalists gathered to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the Tamiami Trail bridge project. The Tamiami Trail bridging seeks to restore historic water flows to the Everglades. [WLRN] [Audubon of Florida] [Photo]

Dynamic Duo Serve CRCA (2013-04-04)

The new president & vice president of CRCA are Wayne Daltry & Marti Daltry. Marti previously served two terms as president but this is the first CRCA officer role for Wayne. Standing committee chairs were also appointed at the Apr 3 board meeting. [Nominating Committee Report] [Election & Appointments]

Scenic River Venue Closing (2013-05-16)

Riverwatch & Watershed Council have traditionally held many of its events at the Royal Palm Yacht Club. But as of May 17 the club is closing. More than half of the 22 annual SWFL Water Resource Conferences have been hosted at the scenic yacht club. [News-Press] [RPYC Timeline] [RPYC website]

Get Canoe Contest Tickets Now (2013-09-08)

The Win-A-Canoe Contest is back again this year thanks to The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. Buy tickets online, at Estero Outfitters, or from CRCA directors. Also, Riverwatch can mail your gift of contest tickets with a card to friends & family. [Card Sample] [Email for Tickets] [Order Tickets & Gift Online] [Canoe Picture]

Register Early for River Ride (2013-09-08)

On Sunday, November 10, join Riverwatch for the 17th Annual River Ride, the recreational bike ride around the Caloosahatchee. Routes for 15, 30, 40, and 62 miles. Register in advance or on the morning of the event at Caloosahatchee Regional Park. [Register with form] [Register online] [Caloosahatchee Regional Park map]

2014 Donations and Dues (2013-12-11)

On Dec 4 Riverwatch sent out its 2014 dues notice & donations invitation. Thank you to those who responded so generously in the first weeks. This annual appeal accounts for almost half of CRCA income, so please send what you can as soon as you can. [Join/Renew] [Donate]

Real Estate Divestment (2013-12-12)

Waterfront land values will soon be affected by sea level rise. U Miami professor H. Wanless has long studied climate change & envisions as much as 2ft by 2048, 3ft by 2063 & 4 to 6ft by 2100. Wanless speaks at a Jan 31 conference co-hosted by CRCA. [Miami Herald] [Conference]

Florida SEE Grapevine (2014-01-06)

The 10th Annual Everglades Area Tours Paddle-In will take place Saturday, February 22nd, 2014. Start from Everglades National Park Gulf Coast Ranger's Station; paddle to Indian Key. This event is a good way to have benefit for Florida SEE. [Flyer] [Facebook]

Shrimp Festival (2014-01-07)

The 56th Lions Club Shrimp Festival will take place March 2, 8 & 9, 2014 in Fort Myers Beach, including a parade on the 8th. Also on Saturday is the 22nd Annual Shrimp Festival Food Fun & Crafts Expo. [Flier]

Four Directors Added (2014-05-31)

Riverwatch added four new directors to its roster at the May 7 meeting in LaBelle. Joining the board were: Ruth Scott, Ray Judah, Greg Rawl, and Nargiza Abduvohidova. The board now numbers 15 with 6 seats still available.

Nargiza Abduvohidova (2014-05-31)

Added to the Riverwatch board of directors is Nargiza Abduvohidova. Nargiza serves as CRCA Membership Chair. She has a Master's Degree in Elementary Ed & is office manager of Alpha Epsilon Lambda, the national honor society of graduate students.

New Director: Ruth Scott (2014-06-30)

Ruth Scott is a new Riverwatch Director. Strongly concerned with environmental issues, she is always reporting on environmental topics, working with groups like Florida Clean Water Initiative and reducing her own impact on the environment. [RiverWatch Director Ruth Scott]

Swamp Cabbage Festival (2015-01-29)

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

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

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

January CRCA Newsletter (2015-02-03)

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

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

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

Wings Over Water Festival (2015-02-23)

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

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

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

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

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

CRCA March Board Meeting (2015-02-26)

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

February CRCA Newsletter (2015-02-27)

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

Historical Eco Tour (2015-03-05)

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

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

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

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

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

Riverwatch at Billys Creek (2015-03-21)

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

March CRCA Newsletter (2015-03-30)

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

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

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

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

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

April CRCA Newsletter (2015-04-30)

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

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

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

Suwannee River Wilderness Trail (2015-05-01)

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

Archaeology in an Hour (2015-05-30)

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

May CRCA Newsletter (2015-05-31)

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

August CRCA Newsletter (2015-08-31)

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

Invasive Species Clean Up (2015-09-09)

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

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

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

Wharf Walk 2015 (2015-09-17)

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

Hawk Watch at Sanibel (2015-09-28)

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

September CRCA Newsletter (2015-09-30)

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

Rotary Park Eco-Adventure (2015-10-20)

Attend the 1st Adam Strongin Kids Fishing Tournament and Silent Auction at the Cape Coral Yacht Club Park. It is open up to the age of 16.The event on Oct 25 will raise money for The Adam Strongin Camp Scholarship Fund to send children to one week of the Rotary Park Eco-Adventure. [News Press] [Adam Strongin] [Photo]

Save the Water Date (2015-10-27)

The 2016 Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference will be held at FGCU on Friday, Jan 15 with the theme "Here We Grow Again: The Future of Water Resources in Southwest Florida." Attendees include both professionals and students. Riverwatch has been a co-host of the conference since 2004. [Website]

24 Hours of Reality (2015-10-27)

Join us at Calusa Nature Center on Nov 13 for a unique virtual event with former VP Al Gore and millions across the planet. It will be a global day of action and music to celebrate progress across continents and send a clear message to world leaders: Take climate action now! [Announcement] [Event Description] [Website]

Billy Creek Clean Up Day (2015-10-27)

Join Riverwatch for a clean-up day on Billy's Creek in Ft. Myers. This Creek flows into the Caloosahatchee River near downtown Ft. Myers. Help us protect the Caloosahatchee by cleaning up Billy’s Creek on Sat, Nov 7 from 9am to 2pm. [Details]

Caloosahatchee Oct 20-26 (2015-10-30)

With no rain over the past week, Lake O regulatory releases were crucial in providing freshwater flow to the estuary following last week's lowest flow of the year. Releases from Lake O provided average flows of 60 cfs which helped slow the rapid rise in salinity at Fort Myers the past two weeks. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Conditions] [Salinity] [Lake O] [SCCF Website]

Agriculture & Wildlife Tour (2016-01-23)

This half day tour will visit a variety of farms and ranches in the LaBelle area on Jan 26 from 8am to 1pm. Participants will be guided by Master Naturalists Margaret England and Gene McAvoy who will discuss agriculture in SW Florida. The tickets are $37.92 and can be purchased online. [Details] [Get Tickets]

Everglades Action Day (2016-01-23)

Everglades Action Day is an opportunity for Floridians to meet with elected officials in Tallahassee to share the importance of Everglades restoration and what needs to happen in 2016 to make effective progress. It is a free event and will take place on Jan 28, 2016 from 8am to 4pm. Please join us! [Flyer] [Register to attend]

Wings Over Water Festival (2016-01-23)

Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District will host its Fifth Annual Wings Over Water Festival on Jan 29 and Jan 30, 2016 at Harns Marsh in Lehigh Acres. The festival provides a space where guests can discover the beauty of southwest Florida's water, land and wildlife. Admission is Free! [Flyer] [Website]

CRCA February Meeting (2016-01-31)

The Riverwatch Board of Directors will meet on February 3 from 6:30 to 8:00 PM in LaBelle at Bridge Street Coffee House (23 Fort Thompson Ave). Members are welcome to attend. Focus of the meeting will be planning for the CRCA Annual Meeting and its Swamp Cabbage Festival exhibit. [Location map]

31st Annual EvCo Conference (2015-11-06)

Everglades Coalition 31st Annual Conference is on Jan 7-10, 2016 at Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables. The conference is a largest forum for elected leaders, policymakers, scientists, students and advocates coming together to restore America's Everglades. [Flyer]

Agriculture & Wildlife Tour (2016-01-31)

County Extension Director Gene McAvoy guided a half-day tour of farms and ranches in Hendry County on Jan 26. Assisting were Ron Zimmerly and Master Naturalist Margaret England. Other CRCA members in the group of 17 included Ad Austin, Nargis Abduvohidova & Bill Comiskey. The next tour is in March. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5] [Photo 6]

An Opportunity to Imagine! (2016-01-29)

The leaders of the Imagine Solutions Conference have asked we share this exciting scholarship opportunity with non-profit leaders. The conference is fast approaching so now is the time to register and request your scholarships. The conference will be held on Feb 22nd in Naples. [Register] [Conference website]

Thanks Karen & RRRTR (2016-01-29)

Riverwatch received an $800 donation from the River Roots & Ruts Trail Run held on a rainy Jan 10 morning. Karen Bickford organized the 50+ volunteers to manage the 300+ runner event at Caloosahatchee Regional Park. Riverwatch provided 7 volunteers. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]

Is Toilet to Tap a Good Idea (2016-01-29)

Clearwater has become the first city in Florida, and one of only a handful in the US, to launch a design phase for a groundwater replenishment facility that will not only purify wastewater but inject it back underground. Tetra Tech has begun designing the $28.6M plant which could be running by 2018. [Tampa Bay Times] [Our Santa Fe River] [Florida Clean Water Network]

2015 Crushed Global Records (2016-01-29)

NOAA and NASA have both confirmed what scientists have been predicting for months: 2015 was globally the hottest year ever recorded. Not only was 2015 the warmest year on record globally, it beat the previous record, set in 2014, by a wide margin. [Climate Reality Project] [Average annual temperature] [Land and ocean temperature] [Website]

SFWMD Flood Control Action (2016-01-29)

2016 has brought extraordinary amounts of rainfall to South Florida. In response, the South Florida Water Management District has taken extraordinary actions to fulfill its mission of providing flood protection for residents and businesses within the 16 counties the agency serves. [SFWMD Opinion 1] [SFWMD Opinion 2]

Tornadoes (2016-01-25)

Florida gets an average of three tornadoes in January. Our area experienced two, one on January 9 that hit Cape Coral and another on January 15 that hit the airport/Lehigh area. A third twister struck Manatee County on January 17, killing two people there. [News-Press]

More Plastic than Fish (2016-01-24)

By 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the world’s oceans, the World Economic Forum warned on Jan 16. The study found that 32 percent of all plastic packaging escapes collection systems and finds its way into natural ecosystems, including the oceans. We must reduce the use of plastic. [CNN] [Cartoon By Cathy Cochrane] [Infographic] [Washington Post] [Al Jazeera]

River Rally 2016 (2016-01-24)

River Network is hosting its 2016 annual River Rally on May 20-23 in Mobile, Alabama. River Rally is a national conference that focuses on education, inspiration and celebration within the river and watershed community. Registration is open now. Register early to get a discount. [Brochure] [General registration] [Member registration] [Website]

Florida the Next Flint? (2016-01-23)

On Jan 21, 2016 Gov. Scott signed into law the new Water Policy Bill (SB 552), ignoring calls by environmental groups and former Gov. Bob Graham to veto the water measure. Graham called the 134-page bill a “purposeful effort to weaken protection” of state waters. Could Florida become the next Flint? [Huffington Post] [Orlando Sentinel] [Tampa Bay Times] [Miami Herald]

Caloosahatchee Conditions (2015-05-31)

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

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

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

Water Quality Warning (2015-09-18)

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

EPA Calls for Proposals (2015-09-28)

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

Wines in the Wild (2015-10-14)

SCCF invites visitors to the Wines in the Wild safari on Nov 4. The event is held at Nature Center on San-Cap Road and features a fabulous selection of wines and food. The evening includes auction items and great socializing. Proceeds will benefit SCCF's operation funds. Reservations at 239-472-2329 [Flyer] [Website]

RGMC 27th Anniversary (2015-10-14)

Keith Arnold will be the keynote speaker on the Annual Dinner celebrating RGMC 27th year. Keith will talk about the establishment of FGCU, the Arnold Committee and the Estero Bay Agency for Bay Management. The Oct 24 presentation of all its accomplishments will be brief. [Flyer]

5th Water Institute Symposium (2015-10-15)

Send your abstracts now to the 5th biennial UF Water Institute Symposium on Feb 16-17, 2016 at UF Campus, Gainesville, Florida. Symposium focuses on understanding causes of trends, cycles and extreme events and their consequences for human, agricultural and natural systems. [Flyer] [UF Water Institute]

November Riverwatch Meeting (2015-10-27)

Riverwatch November meeting is on Nov 4 at the Calusa Nature and Planetarium from 6:30 to 8PM. Important matters to be discussed. Directors, members and the general public are encouraged to attend for the good of Caloosahatchee River. Be a river watcher. We need you to keep our river healthy.

Why not Solar (2015-11-03)

Susan Glickman, Florida Director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, will address the League of Women Voters of Collier County on November 9, 2015 at their monthly luncheon meeting. The topic is "Will Florida Go Solar".The event, which is open to the public, begins at 11:45 at the Naples Hilton. [LWV] [Registration]

2016 Donations and Dues (2015-12-09)

On Nov 22 Riverwatch sent out its 2016 dues notice & donations invitation. Thank you to those who responded so generously in the first weeks. Our first year goal to support our new Waterkeeper program is to increase Riverwatch annual revenues from $10,000 to $30,000, so we need your help & support. [Letter] [Join] [Renew] [Donate]

Slow Down (2015-11-06)

Boaters will have to travel slower than 25mph after Nov 15. This is in preparation of the mass transit of manatees. These gentle animals need warmer water to survive because they have little body fat and their metabolic rate is slow compared to other animals and cant live below 68 degrees. [Sun Times]

Stable and Sterile (2010-11-28)

Seawalls make it much easier for people to live along the river but they make it hard for wildlife to live in the river. Seawalls, which line vast stretches of the Caloosahatchee, don't offer the food and shelter Florida fisheries need to survive.
[Amy Bennett Williams]

New Vue Approved (2015-11-04)

Developer says the plan will offer more public benefits than the old plan. Environmentalists claimed that it consumes public green space and would create parking and traffic congestion. However, the planning board approved the plan on Nov 4 and final decision is now with Fort Myers City Council. [The News Press] [Wink News]

More Wastewater Capacity (2015-11-05)

Lee County BOCC approve a $28 million loan application to the state revolving fund to add 2 million gallons per day of treatment to the Three Oaks Wastewater Treatment Plant which has a capacity of 4 million gallons per day. The move is to cope up with the area's future growth and demand. [News Press]

Caloosahatchee Oct 27-Nov 2