December 17, 2017

River news


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Water: Cities Cash Cow (2008-12-30)

Water management, use and protection floats an annual U.S. industry with revenue of $92 billion, according to a report from the Environmental and Business Journal. In many cases utilities have been cash cows for local governments. [News Journal]



Why Boats and Animals Collide (2008-12-30)

Researchers at FAU have laid the groundwork for a sensory explanation for why manatees and other animals are hit repeatedly by boats. Marine authorities have responded to deaths from boat collisions by imposing low speed limits on boats. [Press Release]



Watch For Agenda Hijacking (2008-12-30)

Clean Water Network says activists should guard against bad projects & promote good projects as green infrastructure or water efficiency projects. The upcoming stimulus program is vulnerable to hijacking by unsustainable development interets. [Details] [Nat.Rev.] [Obey] [Stimulus]



Comp Plan Consistency (2008-12-30)

Ralf Brookes Environmental Legal Services won a Comp Plan consistency challenge. The order is helpful to support citizens for both standing and actual consistency with comp plan policies including Future Land Use Map densities. [Details] [Final Order]



Sweet Deal Approved (2008-12-27)

A gamble to spend $1.34 billion on Everglades restoration got narrow approval December 23 by state water managers who still could face financial issues and conflicts with nearby farmers. Purchase could destroy economy in area, some say. [News-Press] [Opinion]



NS-EMA Meetings (2008-12-27)

To the attention of the NS-EMA stakeholder group, technical committee members and others: the next Technical Committee meeting will be January 16 from 1 to 5 pm. The next Stakeholder Group meeting will be January 29 from 8:30 am to 5 pm. [Details] [Agenda]



Drought Predicted for 2009 (2008-12-27)

It could be the state's fourth year in a row for drought and the eighth this decade. Sparse rainfall will persist across much of the Southeast until late spring. State officials are standing by with response plans & strict restrictions on water use [Orlando Sentinel] [Map]



Name That Governing Member (2008-12-27)

Now that the U.S. Sugar vote is behind him, will Governor Crist finally name a Lake O region representative to the SFWMD Governing Board? Candidates are: Mary Ann Martin, Joe Collins, Edward Elkowitz, Robert Hatton, & Joe Spratt. [The Ledger] [Naples News]



Bait and Switch (2008-12-26)

Objections are surfacing to a project at Porpoise Point to build a pier into publicly-owned Matlacha Aquatic Preserve. Some are concerned about the scale and impacts while others say it is a reasonable project. [Status] [Rebuttal] [Comment] [Design] [Aerial] [Meetings]



Riverwatch Newsletter (2008-12-26)

The December 2008 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archives provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [December Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



Alva Community Meeting (2008-12-26)

Bill Hammond of SFWMD is speaking about the Caloosahatchee river to Alva Inc on Monday, January 12th at 7:00 pm at the Alva Community Center. Mark up your calendar for attending this unique educational opportunity. [Web Site]



CRCA BOD Meeting (2008-12-26)

CRCA Board of Directors will meet on January 7 at 6:30 pm in Ft. Myers at Perkins Family Restaurant, Morse Shores Shopping Center on Palm Beach Blvd. For more information contact Marti Daltry. [Map]



SFWMD Agrees To Buy Land (2008-12-17)

In a 4-3 vote, SFWMD Governing Members voted to approve the $1.34 billion purchase of 185,000 acres of sugar cane and other farm land from U.S. Sugar Corporation, while leasing the same land back to U.S. Sugar for $50/acre/year for 7 years. [Palm Beach Post]



Imagine Law for the Planet (2008-12-17)

As a newly emerging field of law, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence is working to usher future Earth jurisdiction. Such change is not so far-fetched, Ecuador has already revised its constitution to include, ‘inter alia’, a chapter of rights for nature. [CEJ]



Hedging Their Bets (2008-12-17)

U.S. Sugar is unsure if the SFWMD approval of the purchase deal will result in follow-through by the state. It says that it will therefore entertain legitimate, bona fide offers from other potential buyers. So, the drama continues.
[SW Florida Online]



Caloosahatchee Budget Crisis (2008-12-16)

The failing economy and subsequent budget crunch could slow the implementation of an initiative to cleanse the Caloosahatchee River, despite unanimous support for the plan Monday from state water managers.
[News Press]



Next EPA Head? (2008-12-15)

According to PEER, Obama's nominee to head the EPA embraced policies at DEP echoing the very practices at the Bush EPA...suppression of scientific information, issuance of gag orders and threats against professional staff who dared to voice concerns. [PEER]



Fanjuls File Legal Attack (2008-12-15)

Florida Crystal's subsidiaries New Hope Sugar Co. and Okeelanta Corp. filed a motion opposing the financing that would let the SFWMD buy the 180,000-acre expanse south of Lake Okeechobee. Tey claim unfair competition. [Palm Beach Post] [Surprise, surprise]



Decision Day (2008-12-15)

Dec 16 was the deadline for SFWMD to make a decision on the U.S. Sugar purchase. Opinions varied widely with the Evergaldes Coalition, Audubon, Conservancy, and PURRE are in support. The Palm Beach Post and Riverwatch had concerns. [Palm Beach Post] [CRCA EvCo] [CRCA Discussion] [PURRE]



Student Project Affects C-43 (2008-12-12)

UF law student Kim Koleos helped draft the Water Resources Restoration Act with Ashley Henry, Richard Hamann, & Sen. Bob Graham. This might make Federal authorization for the C-43 West Reservoir easier. [WRRA] [Update] [Support]



C-43 Reservoir Absent in List (2008-12-11)

SFWMD cannot request funds to construct the C-43 West Reservoir system on the Caloosahatchee in its Congressional stimulus package wish list because the project has still not been authorized through WRDA legislation in DC. [SFWMD Stimulus Package]



Mangroves Festival (2008-12-11)

The Mangrove Action Group and the Conservancy of SW Florida invite you on Saturday, Feb 7, 2009 to come and learn the importance of preserving mangroves and associated benefits to wildlife and coastal areas. [Invitation]



Rivers Coalition Dec Newsletter (2008-12-09)

The New Year should be an exciting time for the Rivers Coalition as the campaign continues to bring back and nurture the St. Lucie estuary and neighboring Indian River Lagoon and nearshore reefs. []



Cleaning Billy Creek (2008-12-08)

For Friends of Billy’s Creek Saturday morning was the maiden voyage for a new fleet of kayaks. Purchased with a $9,000 grant the fleet allows more volunteers to sweep the six-mile creek for trash as part an ongoing clean up effort. [News Press]



CHEC Seagrass Adventures (2008-12-08)

Take a walk on the wet side! Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, Inc. (CHEC) will be conducting free Seagrass Adventure Wading Trips at Cedar Point Environmental Park from now until March. [Details]



Save Our Creeks Meeting (2008-12-08)

Save Our Creeks will hold its last meeting of the year at 10am on Dec 20 to discuss the Fort Center opening celebration, new development of Bluehead Ranch, the Cypress Knee Museum project, and the opening of the creek canoe trail to Lake Okeechobee. [Details]



Everglades Land Acquisition (2008-12-05)

SFWMD will hold a community meeting in Clewiston on Wed, Dec 10th from 6.30pm–8.30pm. The meeting will provide the public an update on the proposed purchase of US Sugar Corporation assets. [Meeting Details]



The Next Level (2008-12-05)

Reports to the new administration recommend that counties and local governments take lead on restoration efforts since their actions & inactions are major influences on the environment.
[Press Release]



Unfair Competition? (2008-12-04)

The Sugar Cane Cooperative is saying that the state buying EAA & then leasing it back to U.S. Sugar for $50/acre (rather than the appraised $220) would constitute unfair market competition by the State of Florida. [Palm Beach Post]



No Deal Yet on Utility (2008-12-04)

Lee County Management was unable to reach agreeable terms for the purchase of the North Fort Myers Utility. Alternative options for the Waterway Estate Treatment Plant will be presented to the Board of County Commissioners at their January 5th meeting to begin at 1:00 pm in the Commission Chambers.



Pay Three Times As Much (2008-12-04)

The Sugar Cane Cooperative says members would pay three times as much - an offer it argued would help offset taxpayers costs by adding $18m a year for the buy-out deal to acquire Everglades restoration lands. [Miami Herald] [SFWMD Mtg] [Do Something] [Palm Beach Post]



New Sampler Technology (2008-12-04)

New water samplers are being developed to detect very low levels of pharmaceuticals and other trace contaminants in water by using semi-permeable membranes. [USGS] [SPMD] [Report] [Clu-in] [Passive Samplers]



Celebrate the Wild Florida (2008-12-04)

Attend the Jan 10 celebration of the history of Fisheating Creek & the trail opening at Fort Center. Event includes Interpretive hayrides, fascinating stories about the animals and people connected to the waterway, guided hikes & paddling trips. [FWC Event] [Map]



Water Strategist (2008-12-04)

The Water Strategist Community is a water news website containing pertinent news from the International Boundary and Water Commission, Bureau of Reclamation, EPA, State Departments of Water Resources and many other relevant sources in the water industry. []



North Spreader Canal (2008-12-04)

NS-EMA participants held a productive Stakeholder Group meeting on Friday Dec, 5 to clarify types of projects for the spreader canal, bank and barrier. Based on the progress made, future scheduled meetings will not be needed. [Meeting Report] [Mgt Report] [Technical Summary] [DEP]



Dedication Ceremony (2008-12-02)

Martha Pierce, director of Riverside Retreat, invites all to attend the dedication ceremony for their new auditorium and classroom complex on the Caloosahatchee River on Dec 13 at 11am between LaBelle and Alva off SR78. [RSVP]



Fort Myers River Plan Rolling (2008-12-02)

The Fort Myers City Council unanimously approved a $708,675 contract with a development team to create a plan for stores, restaurants and possibly a hotel along the Caloosahatchee River. The plan is for completion in 4 years. [News Press]



Nature Park Cleanup (2008-12-01)

The Hendry/LaBelle Recreation Board and Coalition for Eco-Recreation would like to invite community organizations, youth groups, and individuals to a LaBelle Nature Park Trail Clean Up on Sat, Feb 7 from 8-10 am. [Details]



East Coast Epiphany (2008-12-01)

After badgering SFWMD officials to lift water restrictions in Oct on the heels of Aug/Sep rains, east coast residents are now beginning to understand why lawn water schedules need to be in a year-round conservation mode. [Palm Beach Post]



Harns Marsh Nature Tour (2008-12-01)

East County Water Control District will hold a Nature Tour on Wed, Dec 3 at 8 am. This 2-mile walking tour will provide an opportunity to explore nature and learn about the importance of Harns Marsh located in Lehigh Acres. [RSVP] [Details]



No Urban Sprawl (2008-12-01)

Favoring urban redevelopment over urban sprawl, Riverwatch endorsed a letter from Alva, Inc. to the Corps of Engineers opposing the proposed North River Communities development inland along the Caloosahatchee River. [Letter]



No New Developments Needed (2008-12-01)

"This recession is not only going to be bad for us. It's going to be worse than the nation's," said David Denslow, a University of Florida economist. “Florida's residential construction boom grew at twice its normal rate and "we got overbuilt." [Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau]



All Too Common (2008-12-01)

It's sad that those professionals best educated & able to act in the public interest instead often bias their work in support of exploitative development projects. But should we single out only one company in the sea of "client advocates." [Eye on Miami] [St Pete]



Obama to Rebuild EPA (2008-12-01)

Environmentalists are eager for President-elect Barack Obama to take office so that he can reverse the troubled Bush administration legacy at the Environmental Protection Agency. [US News] [EPA Regulation]



SCCF River Spotters (2008-11-26)

River Spotters are being asked to report changes in the Caloosahatchee River. A location map of SCCF RECON units and an interactive online form have been designed for recordings. Sign up to monitor your stretch of the river. [DataSheet] [Map] [Website]



Transition to Green (2008-11-25)

A coalition of progressive environmental organizations have published a road map on how the new Obama administration can improve economic, environment, and other policies to shape a more sustainable world for future generations. [Full Report]



Riverwatch Newsletter (2008-11-25)

The November 2008 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archives provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [November Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



Top Consensus Priorities (2008-11-24)

A one-page synopsis of the Water Quality Consensus priorities outlines lower cost, community-oriented improvements for Caloosahatchee water quality that if acted upon can enhance water quality and provide jobs.
[Water Quality Priorities 2009]



Nature Festival 2008 (2008-11-24)

On Nov 21 Shola Adedokun from Nigeria helped staff CRCA's exhibit at the Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival. The Caloosahatchee Estuary is included in the boundary of the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program. [Pic 1] [Pic 2] [Pic 3]



River Ride 2008 (2008-11-24)

The 12th annual River Ride was held Sunday, Nov 23. Beginning and ending at Caloosahatchee Regional Park near Alva, the event allowed 120 riders to enjoy the Caloosahatchee scenery...and burn off a few calories before Thanksgiving. [Photos]



FL Senate Required Reading (2008-11-21)

Setting a new tone, incoming Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater distributed copies of The Swamp to colleagues. The book on Everglades restoration describes environmental challenges of south FL. Atwater's speech puts sustainability as a priority. [Speech]



Five Vie For Open Seat (2008-11-21)

There are five applicants for the one empty seat on the South Florida Water Management District governing board, as the board moves toward the single biggest step in the multi-billion dollar Everglades rescue. [Details]



Parting Shots at Environment (2008-11-21)

Nov 21 was the deadline for the Bush administration to get rules onto the books before the Democrats arrive...too late to change them. Many of the rules will damage the environment or roll back existing requirements on pollution. [NPR]



Caloosahatchee Holiday Gifts (2008-11-21)

Thinking about holiday gifts? Caloosahatchee Artist, Caroline Krieger Comings, has released for some new original paintings. Contact Caroline to inquire about available or you can buy prints from Riverwatch. [Details]



Argo Ranch Purchase (2008-11-21)

Purchase of Argo Ranch by Conservation 20/20 program was approved on Nov 18. This will permanently preserve over 1,700 acres of listed species habitat, natural flowway and drinking water supply recharge area west of Babcock Ranch. [Application]



Blue Trails (2008-11-20)

American Rivers has just released Blue Trails, a new resource which has incredible potential to stimulate local economy. You’ll find practical advice on planning, building and managing for conservation as well as case studies from experienced practitioners across the country. [Website]



Ending a Flood of Waste (2008-11-19)

Smack in the middle of a groundwater shortage that had Southwest Florida officials begging people to use as little water as possible, agricultural operations opened their pumps wide and flooded millions of gallons of water wastefully over their fields. [Full Article]



New U.S. Sugar Deal (2008-11-18)

Governor Charlie Crist has announced the details of Florida's revised plans to acquire lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area from the U.S. Sugar Corporation. The deal will be signed in December if approved by U.S. Sugar and the Governing Board of the SFWMD. [Details]



Oxbow River Cruises by SCCF (2008-11-18)

Guided by Rae Ann Wessel, popular Caloosahatchee Oxbow and Riverlore Cruises explore the meanders of the historic upriver Caloosahatchee. Cruises have resumed and will continue one Sunday afternoon a month through to May, 10. [Reservation Details]



River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run (2008-11-18)

Registration now for the 6th Annual River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run to be held Sunday, Jan 11. Suited for experienced trail runners, this will be a great opportunity to experience a challenging trail with a couple hundred fellow dirt enthusiasts. [Register]



EPA Roadmap For Obama (2008-11-18)

Former EPA Administrator Carol Browner has detailed an aggressive agenda for the incoming Obama administration's EPA, which includes developing a broad plan for addressing clean energy, climate change and other emerging challenges. [Details]



Respite in a Steady Decline (2008-11-14)

Any improvement looks good after a decade of continual degradation in our river and estuary. But recent hopeful signs do not mean that the future trend of stead ecosystem decline will be reversed. [News Press] [Reaction]



Holiday Potluck Dinner (2008-11-12)

The Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association invites you to join our Holiday Potluck dinner to be held at 6:30pm on Wed, Dec 3, at the Hendry House in LaBelle. Turkey will be provided and everyone is encouraged to bring a dish to share. [Hendry House Map] [RSVP]



Junior Marine Task Force (2008-11-11)

The Lee County Marine Law Enforcement Task Force is set to hand out special items to kids who attend the Fort Myers Boat Show, 13-16 Nov. The items will direct kids to the official Jr. Officer Web page, designed to educate them about the importance of wearing life jackets. [Details]



Green Jobs Revive Economy (2008-11-11)

It is time for the new President and Congress to implement a national policy for green jobs and green energy which will result in a strong economic recovery. We can no longer afford to rely on old strategies for economic recovery. by Marti Daltry. [Opinion]



Fort Myers Boat Show (2008-11-11)

Visit the 36th Annual Fort Myers Boat Show. 13th to 16th November. Set along the Caloosahatchee River, over 800 Boats indoors, outdoors, and in-water and more than 225 Exhibitors turn downtown Ft. Myers into a Boater's Paradise. [Details]



How much is too much? (2008-11-11)

Bring your questions- How much fertilizer is too much? Come hear this timely topic and learn what the new Lee County Fertilizer Ordinance is all about at the next Cape Water Action meeting. Sat, Nov 22 from 1pm til 3pm at the Cape Coral Library. [Details]



PURRE Public Policy Director (2008-11-11)

PURRE Water Coalition has named Dan Wexler its Director of Public Policy. Wexler has been helping PURRE with state and federal government since 2007. In his new role, Wexler will also coordinate PURRE's public policy goals as we head into a new legislative session. [Announcement]



Friends of Billy Creek Cleanup (2008-11-11)

As part of the organization’s ongoing effort to restore the creek, Friends of Billy’s Creek will hold a cleanup on Sat, Dec 6, from 9am – 12pm. A newly donated kayak fleet and other boats will be available. All citizens, groups, and clubs are invited. [Details]



Big O Birding Festival (2008-11-10)

The 2009 Big-O Birding Festival is April 3-5. SW Florida's Lake Okeechobee region boasts some of the best birding and nature-based tourism the State has to offer. Plan to attend the events. [Promotional] [Form] [Big-O] [Hendry-Glades]



Name that CRCA Officer (2008-11-09)

She grew up on Sanibel Island as the daughter of the last lighthouse tender and now is a LaBelle librarian. In addition to Riverwatch, she is the founder of the local Audubon chapter. [Clipping]



Changes at Federal Level (2008-11-08)

With the changing administration in Washington, all eyes are on who will be appointed to run the Environmental Protection Agency and many other environmental and energy posts. [Details]



Mangrove Gathering (2008-11-08)

The Mangrove Gathering takes place at the Lee County Parks & Recreation Support Services Facility at Rutenberg Park, (the former Rutenberg Library) 6490 South Pointe Blvd., between College Parkway and Cypress Lake Boulevard. [Details]



2008 Nature Festival (2008-11-08)

The Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival on Nov 22, 10am-3pm, in Port Charlotte is fun and educational for adults and children alike with lectures, live animals, nature walks & more. Riverwatch always has an exhibit at the festival. Come join us! [Details] [map]



Smart Cities Save Water (2008-11-07)

Lee County Smart Growth Director Wayne Daltry works to protect SW FL water quality and rural lands by improving the way urban areas are built and managed. Daltry was involved in the Babcock Ranch, Caloosahatchee watershed plan developed by SFWMD.
[The News Press]



Clean the Creek (2008-11-07)

Friends of Billy Creek announces the LAUNCH OF ITS NEW KAYAK FLEET! Thanks to the generous support of the Claiborne and Ned Foulds Foundation Trust, we are now the proud owners of kayaks and trailer.
[FOB] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]



Amendment 4 Conservation (2008-11-07)

Passed by an overwhelming 68%, Amendment 4 exempts lands with conservation easements from property taxes & allows lands managed for water and wildlife benefits to be taxed according to use. This will help protect millions of acres. [Details]



Guest opinion: John Cassani (2008-11-06)

The SFWMD Caloosahatchee River and WPP aimed at cleaning up the Caloosahatchee Estuary is nearing completion. The cost of implementing the first three years of the plan (Phase I) has a $1.2 billion-to-$1.8 billion price tag. [News Press]



Mechanical Harvesters (2008-11-03)

Aquatic weed harvesters are fitted with paddle wheels that push them forward & pull them backward. During harvesting, the conveyor belt is lowered below the bottom of the vegetation, cuts & pulls them into the storage bin. [Details]



SFOO (2008-11-03)

Motorboat licensing courses were hosted by the South Florida Operations Office (SFOO)at W.P. Franklin Lock Recreation Area on May 6-8 and Jun 10-12. The course is designed to help educate people to operate vessels under 26ft. [Details]



Manatee Protection System (2008-11-03)

St. Lucie Lock was recently drained to install hardware for a new acoustic array manatee protection system. During this time, manatee protection screens and damaged baffles were repaired, and electrical conduits painted. [Details]



Fort Myers Clean Marina Honor (2008-11-03)

The Florida DEP and CBP have recognized the City of Ft. Myers Yacht Basin as a clean marina. The city was acknowledged for exceeding environmental regulations by providing a broad recycling program and free basin-wide sewage retrieval for customers. [Details]



Option to Protect Lee County (2008-11-03)

If adopted, Amendment 2 would ecourage preservation of environmentally sensitive land state wide by offering tax incentives. Lee County has spent more than $200 million on conservation in 11 years.
[The News Press]



Damned If You Do,.... (2008-11-03)

Some still don't understand that water conservation isn’t to be practiced on an emergency basis, but is a fundamental change in how we landscape & irrigate our homes. SFWMD seeks a long-term transformation in watering habits. [Palm Beach Post]



Argo Purchase to BOCC (2008-11-03)

The BOCC will deliberate Conservation 2020 purchase of the 1,700+ acre Argo Ranch property at their November 18th meeting. Please help this purchase effort by informing the commissioners of your support and attending the meeting. [Details]



Time to Clean (2008-11-03)

Once again, it's time to"Clean the Creek" at the end of the rainy season. Volunteers will go out in kayaks,canoes, and small boats to remove debris from the mangrove roots and shoreline. Saturday, Dec 6 at Rock Lake Resort on Palm Beach Blvd. [Details]



Great Calusa Blueway Festival (2008-10-31)

There's bad news concerning the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival. There's just no way to participate in everything that the 9-day, 75-trip, 24-clinic celebration will offer. It begins Sat, Oct 25.



Bubbling to the Surface (2008-10-30)

Cynthia Barnett, reporter & editor, wrote ‘The Century Commission's Water Congress generates some bold recommendations, but will the state listen?’. She summaried this story at the Annual Audubon/SWFCEE Environmental Breakfast on Oct 23. [Article by Cynthia]



Watershed Council on MFL (2008-10-30)

Minimum Flows and Levels (MFLs) are the rules regulating what minimum amount of water must come down rivers like the Caloosahatchee during the dry season so that the estuary maintains a proper salinity balance. Watershed Council is asking SFWMD to implement an improved MFL for the river and estuary. [Letter_1] [Letter_2] [Letter_3]



Green Works Projects (2008-10-30)

Riverwatch and other groups are appealing to Congress to include Lake Okeechobee dike repairs and other Everglades-related projects in the federal stimulus package to get the economy moving again...and in a better direction.
[Draft Letter]



Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve (2008-10-30)

Dragonflies zigzagged over the dark, slick water of Pop Ash Creek; mullet splashed; a tricolored heron rose from a cabbage palm with a ragged "krraww." Palms & oaks cast spooky shadows across the narrow creek,...
[News-Press] [Conservation 20/20]



Help on Election Day! (2008-10-29)

Any U.S. citizen in the SW Florida area can help on this election day. Glades County needs a few people to assist in staffing the polling station east of LaBelle. You can be an important part of this historic day for Florida and the nation. [Details]



CRCA Board Meeting (2008-10-27)

The next CRCA Board of Directors Meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008. CRCA Board members will meet at 6:30 pm at Bridge Street Coffee & Tea House, 23 Ft. Thompson Ave in LaBelle.



Removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift (2008-10-27)

The Cape Coral Canal technical committee (NS-EMA Stakeholders) met 8:30AM Oct 29 in the RPC Conference Room. The group considered the merits of mitigation projects for removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift. [projects]



Congressional Candidates (2008-10-25)

Florida District 16 includes Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee, St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. Learn about the candidates'positions and track records on water issues before voting.
[Tom Rooney] [Tim Mahoney] [Mahoney = 92% for Environment]



Possible EMA Project (2008-10-24)

The Cape Coral Spreader Canal technical committee (NS-EMA Stakeholders) will meet on Wed, Oct 29 at 8:30am in the RPC Conference Rm at 1926 Victoria Ave in Ft. Myers. The group will be considering merits of various mitigation projects for removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift. [Details]



Conservationist of the Year (2008-10-24)

The Audubon of Southwest Florida awarded Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham the "2008 Conservationist of the Year Award" on Oct, 23. Mayor Denham was chosen for his efforts in helping to improve water quality locally.



Riverwatch Newsletter (2008-10-24)

The October 2008 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archives provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [October Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



A Case for New Green Politics (2008-10-24)

The specter of failure is haunting American environmentalism. James Gustave Speth writes, “what’s needed is a new inclusive green politics that challaenges basic assumptions about consumersism and unlimited growth. [Article]



Connecting with Nature (CHNF) (2008-10-24)

‘Connecting with Nature’ is the message that will come to life at the ninth annual Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival on Saturday, Nov 22, from 10am to 3pm – a free day to explore, learn and enjoy the natural environment of southwest Florida. [Flyer]



Sign Up for River Ride 2008 (2008-10-21)

This is the 12th year that Riverwatch (thanks to Keith Kibbey)has organized the bike ride around the river. There are 15, 30, 40, and 62-mile course distance options. [Register]



Unintended Consequences (2008-10-21)

The estuaries of the Caloosahatchee and St.Lucie River receive water from Lake O & their local watersheds. In the St Lucie estuary (Indian River Lagoon) experts are seeing the effects of pollution in dolphin die-offs. [Details]



Candidate Positions (2008-10-21)

The election offers a choice that will affect the direction of our national policies on water quality and natural resources management. Take time to learn, compare, decide and vote.
[Obama on the Environment] [McCain on National Heritage]



CRCA Welcomes New Director (2008-10-21)

On Oct 8 CRCA elected its newest director Annette Snapp. Annette, FGCU Colloquium Coordinator, says her interest in CRCA is rooted in a desire to know more about the environmental history of the Caloosahatchee River. [Annette's Background]



18th Annual SWFWRC (2008-10-21)

The Annual SW FL Water Resources Conference will be held on Nov 7 at FGCU. This year's focus will be Planning For The Unpredictable. Sign up soon. [Details] [Web Site]



Vanishing Wetlands in Florida (2008-10-20)

A new book by Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite documents the degradation of Florida's natural resources and provides scientifically sound data of the massive destruction of wetlands that has occurred in the last decade. [Details]



Rethinking What We Are Doing (2008-10-20)

Environmental groups are asking the Corps to include ecosystem valuation in their project cost/benefit analysis. Currently the value of many ecosystem services/benefits falls outside the realm of traditional economic analyses. [Full Letter] [Highlights]



Plan Ready, Funding Not (2008-10-20)

Janet Starnes of SFWMD informed that a plan to clean up the Caloosahatchee River basin was almost ready but finding the money to implement it would be difficult. She noted much of the plan’s initial phase could be in place by the beginning of 2010. [Naples News]



Academy Gives EPA an F (2008-10-20)

The National Academy on Science says that U.S. EPA must fundamentally change its approach to managing stormwater if the country is to reverse the current pace of water pollution. [National Academy] [Associated Press] [Report]



A Talk in the Park (2008-10-20)

Ralf Brookes held a picnic lunch event to discuss and compare the Presidential Candidates' policies on the environmental and national heritage. Ralf also submitted a letter to CRCA describing Obama's policy on mercury.
[Florida Waters] [Mercury Editorial]



Hendry/Glades Better for Port (2008-10-18)

The Everglades Foundation says that placing the proposed inland port facilities in Hendry & Glades Counties is a better alternative to Okeelanta (below South Bay) where it would negatively affect Everglades Restoration. [Caloosa Belle]



Fisheating Creek Celebration (2008-10-15)

Mark your calendars for an exciting event being planned for Sat, Jan 10th, 2009, at Fisheating Creek Wildlife Management Area. Join the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission as we highlight the colorful history and culture Fisheating Creek. [Details]



Survey on Planning Decisions (2008-10-15)

Deciding how best to make land use decisions is a key question. Professors Tom Tyler and David Markell have launched this study in an effort to examine views about how land use decisions should be made and the role that citizens should play. [Details]



Restoring Mangrove Shorelines (2008-10-13)

Bob Riley has designed a system to help replant estuary river banks and coastal shorelines with native mangroves. The PVC tube gives the new plants a fighting chance to establish themselves again the forces of wind and waves. [Pic1] [Pic2] []



The World is Not Their Oyster (2008-10-13)

In Lake Okeechobee the underwater plants, starved for light by the dirty water that rushed into the lake after Tropical Storm Fay's floods, are in trouble. That's bad news for the fish that hide and breed in the underwater vegetation. []



Monday Water Quality Talks (2008-10-12)

Rae Ann Wessel, SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director, began a weekly discussion program emphasizing the importance of water quality to not only restoring but maintaining our major waterways. [CaptivaCurrent]



CRCA to FL Supreme Court (2008-10-12)

The Florida Supreme Court has requested a condensed version of the CRCA brief. Andrew Dickman, representing CRCA and others, has appealed the overturning of a lower court ruling that halted construction of the 22-story tower The Vue. [Brief]



TMDL meeting (2008-10-09)

For those who may not have been able to make the last TMDL meeting, below is a link to the presentations, courtesy of Nathan Bailey at DEP. If asked for a password just hit ok and it will launch.



The October WC meeting (2008-10-09)

The October Watershed Council meeting will be on the 16th at 2:00. Our featured speaker will be Ms. Janet Starnes of the SFWMD. Janet will be giving us an overview of the Caloosahatchee River Watershed Protection Plan. [Details] [MapQuest]



Museum Of Natural History (2008-10-09)

SW FL is well represented in the Museum of Natural History in Gainesville. Prominent are displays on estuary science, Calusa tribe, & local paleontology. It's definitely worth a visit...and it's free. [mammouth] [Calusa] [butterflies] [Museum]



Before The Commisioners (2008-10-03)

Life in our estuaries is in peril due to the excessive freshwater discharges from Lake O, said Martin BOCC in urging the Corps to cease discharges until the Lake level is determined to pose a threat to health & safety.
[Letter] [Resolution]



Sweet & Sour Debate (2008-10-01)

An analytical debate on the merits of sugar or any farming in the Glades starts with deciding if the food yield is worth the loss of a soil resource (muck subsidence / oxidation) that took tens of thousands of years to create. Both writers miss this.
[Rich Campbell] [Gaston Cantens]



NSEMA Stakeholders Meeting (2008-10-01)

NSEMA Stakeholders and those interested in the Cape Coral Spreader Canal issues are invited to the NSEMA meeting on Wednesday, October 29, 2008 from 8:30 am to 5 pm. [Details]



Definition of Insanity.... (2008-09-30)

Einstein said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. FL lawmakers should consider this when reading the Florida Trend article about beach renourishment in era of sea level rise.
[The Florida Trend]



Science Grads Rule the Waves (2008-09-30)

The enormous power of the sea has long been a source of awe. Now serious efforts are under way - led by British engineers - to harness some of the energy surging around our shores. Currents like the Gulf Stream can provide electrical power. [TimesOnlain]



The Second Biennial Review (2008-09-30)

The National Research Council Committee on Independent Review of Everglades Restoration Progress (CISRERP) released a report titled Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Second Biennial Review, 2008. It is critical of the pace of progress. [Report]



Florida Citrus Collapse (2008-09-30)

The popular name, greening, bluntly describes the effects of the disease, which first deforms the fruit of the infected tree, causing it to grow green and bitter, making it useless. The killer itself is a difficult-to-detect bacterium.
[Florida Weekly]



Effective Anti-depressant Dose (2008-09-30)

Rhonda Roff offers a preface to the controversial comments of Panagioti who discusses power plant & Everglades politics and the compromises struck by various environmental groups. [Rhonda Roff] [Panagioti]



Free Delta Lady Boat Trip (2008-09-29)

You are invited to a free boat trip on Saturday, Oct 4 out of Getaway Marina on the Delta Lady which will go to across San Carlos Bay to Point Ybel and then Punta Rassa and returning to the Getaway. For reservations please call 239-466-3600. [Details]



Water Congress Finances (2008-09-29)

The Legislature should restore funding for building reservoirs, desalination plants & water sources other than underground aquifer. State lawmakers cut the $60-million fund from the budget this year. [] [Concensus] [The Ledger]



Corps Misses Flow Data (2008-09-28)

The Corps of Engineers missed measuring the first large flow event in years at Moore Haven (S-77) from Lake O to the Caloosahatchee. Ortona and Franklin measured discharge but the actual lake data is missing. Perhaps the data will be found. [S-77] [S-78] [S-79] [Current]



Riverwatch Newsletter (2008-09-28)

The September 2008 CRCA newsletter is available online. This marks a full year of the new newsletter system. Older newslettes back to 1995 are available in the archive. And you can sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [August Newsletter] [Archive]



Caloosahatchee Movable Feast (2008-09-27)

Faculty, graduate students and an undergrad from Florida Gulf Coast University and the University of South Florida were looking for areas where juvenile fish feed and move with inflow of fresh water.



Native Plant Sale (2008-09-26)

The semi-annual plant sale will be held on Oct 18, 9am-2 pm. Free parking and free admission. Manatee Park Hwy 80. Thousands of affordable native plants available with free gardening and landscaping advice. Numerous local native nurseries participate. For information call 543-9910. [FNPS Website]



Good Guided Events (2008-09-24)

Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program is sponsoring the following paddling events this fall for National Estuaries Days: Matlacha Pass Paddle on Oct 4; and Cape Haze Paddle on Nov 16. [Details]



Bush Proposes More Pollution (2008-09-24)

A new GAO report to Congress shows that some huge livestock farms produce more raw waste than large cities. In it's typical bizarre logic, the Bush EPA has proposed eliminating waste control rules on big farms and feedlots. [Associated Press] [Chicago Trib]



Not One Damn Drop! (2008-09-24)

Rural Florida counties react defensively to proposed uncompensated water transfers to urban centers. Despite opposition, a plan for water transfers is expected to resurface at the Council of 100's Florida Water Conference in Orlando, Sep 24-25. [Articles] [Recommendations] [Agenda]



Critical TMDL Meeting!!!! (2008-09-24)

Plan to attend the DEP meeting to discuss Caloosahatchee TMDLs on Wed, Oct 1 at the SFWMD office in Ft. Myers. This is extremely important to regional water quality. Come support demands for proper pollution limits. [Announcement]



Yacht Club Beach Contaminated (2008-09-24)

High bacteria counts caused the closing of the Cape Coral Yacht Club beach. Enterococcus bacteria can come from local waste discharges from boats or from sewage sources in other parts of the river. No other Caloosahatchee beaches are monitored. [News Press]



Appeal to Supreme Court (2008-09-24)

Riverwatch and other plaintiffs have appealed the recent ruling that asserts CRCA does not have "standing" to challenge the Ft. Myers approval of The Vue, a 27-story tower planned on improperly-sold Centennial Park land. [Analysis] [Appeal] [Court Order]



What to Do With The Land (2008-09-23)

In response to a Christian Science Monitor article about the U.S. Sugar buyout, Riverwatch director John Capece argues that moving agriculture out of state does not solve ecosystem problems locally or globally. [Response Letter] [CSM Article]



Inland Port Site Proposal (2008-09-23)

A joint meeting between Hendry County and the Cities of Clewiston and Labelle on the South Florida Inland Port Project will be held on Oct 2 to discuss merits of the proposed AirGlades & Hilliard sites. [Details] [Sites Map] [Panther Areas]



SCCF River Spotters (2008-09-23)

This photo taken at the confluence of Hickeys Creek and the Caloosahatchee river clearly highlights the difference between the dark tea colored water common in the upper river system and the turbid (muddy) water washing into the river from the creek. [Details]



Everglades Restoration Update (2008-09-22)

Audubon last Thursday urged the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) to move ahead with the acquisition of land in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) under Governor Crist's "River of Grass" initiative. [Details]



Appellate Decision Against EPA (2008-09-20)

Federal appellate court has rejected a request from EPA to delay the agency's effort to overturn a lower court ruling subjecting water transfers in the Florida Everglades to clean water permit requirements. [InsideEPA] [11th Circuit]



Deal for Everglades (2008-09-19)

The $1.7 billion buyout, scheduled to be completed in early 2009, may also prove to be a financial boon to the state’s remaining sugar superpower, Okeelanta/Florida Crystals owned by the Fanjul family. [TheNewYorkTimes] [Graphic]



Environmental Breakfast (2008-09-19)

Cynthia Barnett will speak at this year's Eco Breakfast, organized by Audubon of Southwest Florida and the Southwest Florida Council for Environmental Education. This has evolved into the area's premier annual environmental networking event. [Details]



Free Plants (2008-09-18)

After winning a yard makeover two years ago, Sue Baldwin wanted to add natural habitat and greenery to the canal behind her Cape Coral home using a method funded by a micro-grant from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program. [Details]



Possibilities for Plan 6 (2008-09-18)

Despite having dismissed the Plan 6 Flow Way as impractical for many years, SFWMD is now considering three restoration plans that would embody the core of Flow Way solution – reconnecting Lake O to the Everglades. [Miami Herald] [Opposition]



A Year of Progress (2008-09-18)

On Tuesday, Sep 23, the Corps of Engineers cordially invites you to participate in a discussion of Regulatory Hot Topics. You will enjoy a full day of interaction with Corps project managers. [Agenda]



Clearer Rules, Cleaner Waters (2008-09-17)

Congress needs to move quickly to approve the Clean Water Restoration Act — a bill that would reaffirm the broad federal protections that it intended more than 30 years ago. Both chambers have held hearings, and a lot is at stake.
[The New York Times]



Riparian Buffers (2008-09-17)

If phosphorus is the greatest pollutant of concern in SW FL then an evaluation of landscaping soil ability to trap P is an essential screening tool for buffer design. Such methods developed decades ago are still not widely used. [Details]



DEP about TMDL Concerns (2008-09-17)

Clean Water Network of Florida, SCCF & Conservancy submitted a list of concerns regarding how DEP is determining pollution limits (TMDL's) for the Caloosahatchee. Let them know we want proper TMDL's. [Memorandum] [Letter]



Rivers Coalition Sep Newsletter (2008-09-17)

The St. Lucie Rivers Coalition has released their September newsletter. They present evidence of the work of Killer Discharges, which are destroying our estuary life and ecosystems after Tropical Storm Fay and fears of additional storms. []



Watershed Council (2008-09-16)

SFWMD Presentation on C-43 Minimum Flows and Levels Implementation Status. John Mulliken, Division Director, Planning & Resource Evaluation Division and Peter Doering, Sr. Supervising Environmental Scientist. [Details] [Location] [Map]



Upcoming Meetings (2008-09-16)

On Sep 19, join us for our nest meeting for an afternoon packed with presentations about Lake Okeechobee? the Liquid Heart of Florida. Speakers include DEP, SFWMD, the Corps, U.S. Sugar, and others.
[Overview] [Agenda]



NAMC 2008 (2008-09-16)

The North American Migration Count in Florida is sponsored by Florida Ornithological Society, and is supported by local Audubon Societies, local bird clubs, and other interested organizations. Everyone can participate. [Details]



Save a Breakfast Date (2008-09-15)

The 11th Annual Audubon/SWFCEE Environmental Breakfast on Oct 23. Plan to attend to hear Cynthia Barnett, Florida Trend Reporter and author of Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern Unite States.



Tarpon Bay Cruise (2008-09-15)

On Saturday, October 11, Tarpon Bay Explorers will be holding a fundraiser cruise to benefit the PURRE Water Coalition - right on the water that is threatened by the pollution PURRE is working so hard to solve. Riverwatch will participate. [Invitation]



Taking Fish Off The Menu (2008-09-15)

Kerry Trueman asks, steak or salmon? Millions of menu-mulling diners ask themselves this question every day. Fertilizer pollution of coastal waters is taking fish off the menu of many people.



Ceitus Boat Lift Meeting (2008-09-13)

The EMA group, led by Dr. Tom Taylor, met on Sep 12 to discuss the many technical issues of the watershed that drains to the Cape Coral Spreader Canal System, including the water quality, salinity and habitat issues of Matlacha Pass. [Agenda]



Crist Endorses Ethanol Plant (2008-09-13)

Gov. Charlie Crist has endorsed a plan to build an ethanol plant on land that the state is trying to buy from U.S. Sugar for Everglades restoration.
[St. Pete Times]



2008 Water Congress (2008-09-13)

Sanibel Mayor Mick Denham will represent the Florida League of Cities as a voting delegate to the 2008 Water Congress, Planning for Florida's Water Future to develop a set of specific sustainable water use and supply action steps. [Press Release]



Fish Gasping for Breath (2008-09-12)

USGS reports that fishes that once were abundant are now disappearing, with nearly 40 percent of all species in jeopardy, according to the most detailed assessment of the conservation status of freshwater fishes in the last 20 years. [USGS] [Press Release]



Caloosahatchee Art & Artists (2008-09-10)

Caloosahatchee artist Caroline Krieger Comings uses her art to promote Riverwatch efforts to protect the River. Visit the Showdown link, view her latest works, & support her efforts to enhance public awareness through art. Art makes for great gifts. [Art Showdown]



No Kidding, No Phosphate! (2008-09-10)

Companies like Plant Health Care have begun to spring up offering improved lawn and agricultural products like PHOSPHATE-FREE fertilizers to help meet requirements of the new Lee County Fertilizer Ordinance.
[PHC 15-0-3] [Ricky Bass, PHC]



Happy Filter Marsh Day! (2008-09-07)

City & county leaders and environmentalists, including Friends of Billy Creek cofounder Mary Rawl, came together on Sep 6 in east Fort Myers for the groundbreaking ceremony of what will soon be Billy's Creek Filter Marsh Park. [News Press]



Smoking Gun? (2008-09-07)

Removing Ceitus Boat Lift may have caused the recent die-off. When the spreader canal was properly maintained, runoff flowed through the mangroves & dumped somewhat evenly throughout Matlacha Pass. Not now. [Question] [Lock]



Walton Explains Die-Off (2008-09-06)

Albert Walton of DEP in Punta Gorda answers an inquiry about an odd die-off in Matlacha Pass after the runoff of Tropical Storm Fay. Rapid salinity changes after a prolonged drought followed by heavy rains is the likely cause. [Photo] [Explanation] [Gray Blob] [News Press]



13.6 and Still Raining! (2008-08-26)

Lake O is poised to move from severe drought to above average water level just 10 days after Tropical Storm Fay hit. By Aug 29, Lake O will exceed 14.2 ft - 3 feet more than a week ago & reaching the average level for this time of year. [Lake O] [Miami Herald]



The Vue Rehearing Denied (2008-08-25)

Unless appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, a ruling by the 2nd District Court of Appeals reverses the circuit court ruling quashing The VUE (Plan A for a 27-story tower partially on Centennial Park property) approved by City of Fort Myers. [Court Order] [Analysis]



Riverwatch Newsletter (2008-08-25)

The August 2008 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archives provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [August Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



CRCA BOD Meeting (2008-08-23)

CRCA Board of Directors will meet on September 10 at 6:30 pm in LaBelle at Bridge Street Coffee House. This will be the 2nd Wednesday, not the normal 1st Wednesday. For more info contact Marti Daltry. [Previous Meetings]



Billy Creek Groundbreaking (2008-08-23)

Councilman Warren Wright invites CRCA members and the public to the groundbreaking ceremony for the Billy Creek Filter Marsh Park, on Sat., Sep 6 at 10am. This project will enhance the water quality of Billy Creek and the Caloosahatchee. [Design] [Parking] [Invitation]



Offshore Oil Drilling (2008-08-23)

We are urging everyone to call Rep. Connie Mack and Sen. Mel Martinez, urging them to vote on renewal of the moratorium on offshore oil drilling when Congress reconvenes in Sep and to write letters to the editor as well. Your support is important. [Phone Script] [Letter] [Web Site]



Reviving the River of Grass (2008-08-21)

SFWMD restoration goals are to clean the water before it reaches the Everglades and store enough water to minimize harmful discharges to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and estuaries. [SFWMD]



Community Meetings (2008-08-21)

The Governor Office of Tourism, Trade & Economic Development will host a series of meetings in Clewiston, LaBelle, & Moore Haven, Aug 25-28 discussing post-sugar employment and business opportunities. [Details]



CWA Meeting (2008-08-21)

Cape Water Action meeting is on Saturday, August 23 from 1pm to 3pm at The Oasis Middle School, 3507 Oasis Blvd in Cape Coral, Florida. The meeting is free and open to the public. [Details] [Map] [Web Site]



CWRA Chances are Good (2008-08-21)

Congress needs to adopt the Clean Water Restoration Act. But with no Florida Republicans co-sponsoring, it will be impossible to override a presidential veto in 2008. With a new presidential, chances for its signature in 2009 are good. [The New York Times]



Total Ecosystem View (2008-08-21)

The Arthur R. Marshall 2008 summer interns Danielle Almeida, Leah Chalhoub, Jannyck Gonima, Jennifer Hobson, Sara Hutton, Rachel Scarafia have developed the Top Ten Science Needs and Gaps presented at the GEER conference. [Details]



Sen. Graham Opinion (2008-08-21)

Senator Bob Graham has mobilized his Center for Public Service at UF to draft the National Water Restoration Act, which seeks to separate out water quality restoration projects from general WRDA projects. [PalmBeachPost] [Graham Center]



DEP Online Dock Permits (2008-08-21)

The Florida DEP in coordination with the US Army Corps of Engineers has expanded the existing online self-certification process for certain small, private single-family docks. You can apply and get approval online. [Press Release] [Apply Online]



Change in Rate Structure (2008-08-21)

Utility revenues are dropping parallel with decreases in water consumption by customers. Lee Smart Growth is suggesting that bonded costs (infrastructure) should be built into the base fee, not into the per gallon fees. [Wayne Daltry] [Palm Beach Post]



Getting Over The Ick Factor (2008-08-21)

Astronauts drink fully recycled water and now the concept is coming down to earth. Los Angeles and San Diego which both rejected potable reuse, have raised the idea once again, as have, for the first time, DeKalb County, Ga. and Miami-Dade Co., Fla. [Article]



Mangrove Symposium (2008-08-21)

You are invited to join Mangrove Symposium on Sep 22 from 9am to 2pm at Rutenberg Park, 6490 South Pointe Blvd, Fort Myers. To register contact Pam Abbott: 239-533-7523 or fill out the registration form. [Details] [Registration Form]



NAMC 2008 (2008-08-21)

You are invited to participate in the 3rd annual Glades Hendry North American Migration Count to be held on Saturday Sep 20. For details contact Margaret England at or 863-517-0202 (cell), 863-674-0695 (home). [Details]



Court Case of EPA (2008-08-20)

A long series of federal court rulings that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been derelict in protecting the water quality of the Everglades is prompting calls for a probe of the agency's regional operations. [PEER News]



Fay Fills Lake O (2008-08-20)

Tropical Storm Fay raised Lake O water levels 0.6 ft in a single day to 11.8 ft. On Aug 23 it reached 12.8 ft. Achieving 13.0 feet moves the lake out of drought status. 4 to 12 inches of rain fell on the Lake O basin on Aug 19. [Aug 19 Rain] [Lake O] [Week Total] [Track]



Dead Zones Go Global (2008-08-18)

Dead Zones in coastal waters - regions of ocean so deprived of oxygen that most marine life cannot survive - are spreading worldwide at an alarming pace. This decade alone, dead zones have increased by about a third to 405. [Rueters]



CRCA & Save Our Creeks (2008-08-17)

Riverwatch is a member of Save Our Creeks which will meet at Fisheating Creek Campgrounds on Sat, Sep 13 at 10AM to discuss the ecotourism plan for the region, including a 50-mile long canoe trail of international caliber. [Invitation Letter] [CRCA Membership] [Fundraising]



Paying off the Polluters (2008-08-14)

Within six years, U.S. Sugar would cease to exist, and its property would be converted into wetlands and holding ponds to help restore the natural flow of water back into the ailing Everglades. [Creative Loafing News]



Sugar Deal (2008-08-13)

The purchase of 187,000 acres of Everglades Agricultural Area land from U.S. Sugar is potentially the best thing that ever happened to the South Florida environment, but potential is not necessarily reality. [Naples News]



Rainfall Hole Over Lake (2008-08-12)

The South Florida Watershed Journal, produced by Bob Sobczak, explains why Lake Okeechobee generally receives less summer rainfall than other parts of south Florida. [Details]



Billy Creek Filter Marsh (2008-08-12)

The ground-breaking ceremony for the new Billy Creek Filter Marsh will be in September. The facility, funded by SFWMD and Lee County, designed by ECT and built by Lodget Construction will clean stormwater runoff. [Marsh Schematic] [Sign]



NRDC on American Beach (2008-07-31)

The water at American beaches was unsafe for swimming last year with the second-highest number of beach closing and advisory days ever, according to the 18th annual beach water quality report released today by the Natural Resources Defense Council. []



BRP Management Plan (2008-07-31)

Babcock Ranch Preserve Management Plan dated July 17, 2008 that was presented at the BOT Cabinet Aides meeting on July 23rd. This plan and its exhibits will be posted at: Schedule is available on the upcoming BOT meetings. [BRP Schedule] [News Press]



Blind Eye on Everglades (2008-07-30)

In a ruling Tuesday from Miami, U.S. District Judge Alan Gold ordered the EPA to review water pollution set for the Everglades. He says the EPA must determine whether they meet federal requirements. [PalmBeachPost] [] [PEER]



Algae Art Again (2008-07-29)

Our river again takes on the appearance of a color pallet as an algae bloom paints its waters. The occurrence of algae is now settling into a pattern of multiple blooms each and every year. [Photos] [Fort Mayers Salinity]



Blueway Paddling Festival (2008-07-29)

There is only one month left to enter the Calusa Blueway Paddling Festivals first-ever photo contest, Shooting the Blueway. The contest is completely free and open to amateur photographers of any age, photos taken from a canoe along the GCBP Trial. [Photo Press Release] [Web Site]



Lake Slowly Recovers (2008-07-28)

Lake Okechobee recovery from its long-running water crisis has received an assist, with a third more rain than the historical average for the first three weeks of July. Through Wed, Jul 23, average rainfall across the SFWMD was 6.62 inches. []



River Working Team (2008-07-28)

The Caloosahatchee River Watershed Protection Plan (CRWPP) Working Team faces a due date of Aug 1 to finalize the comment phase of the plan development. Please submit your comments to Janet Starnes at SFWMD. [Section 3] [Chapter]



GEER Conference (2008-07-28)

The GEER Conference on Mon, July 28 will be presenting the Top 10 list of GEER SNAGs, as well as the top 10 list of Everglades Federal Policy Needs where science and policy for restoring the missing link is at the top of the lists. [Letter] [Topography]



U.S. Sugar Negotiation (2008-07-28)

Negotiation deals U.S. Sugar and Everglades Restoration, but experts say growing cane sugar in Florida would never have been possible if the state government had not drained the Everglades in the first place. [Impactnews] [PalmBeachPost] [Excerpt] [Web Site]



Minimum Flows & Level (2008-07-25)

Riverwatch has endorsed a letter developed by the Natural Resources Committee and Board of the Southwest Florida Watershed Council dealing with the issue of the MFL Rule for the Caloosahatchee and associated Reservation. [Letter]



Estuary - Fresh & Tannic (2008-07-25)

Inspection of waters at Edison Bridge in Ft. Myers on July 23 shows that the Caloosahatchee has become dark with tannins as runoff from rains washing off tannins from the watershed. The salinity of the estuary is also very low.



No to Phosphorate, Why? (2008-07-25)

UW-F INC. is pleased to announce a joint project with the RFA to reduce nutrient pollution in Florida marshes, streams, rivers and coastal estuaries, will be working toward a common goal of No Phosphate urban turf fertilizer products statewide. [Press Release]



Old Farming Methods Kill (2008-07-25)

This year the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is likely to be the largest on record and growing U.S. corn production is a primary cause. Global conditions will continue to deteriorate unless farming systems change dramatically in coming decades. [Ens Newswire] [NaplesNews]



Home Depot Bulb Recycling (2008-07-24)

Home Depot, the nation's second-largest retailer, announced that it will take back old compact fluorescents in all 1,973 of its stores in the United States, creating the nation's most widespread recycling program for the bulbs. [Home Depot]



Billy Creek Filter Marsh (2008-07-24)

The ground-breaking ceremony for the new Billy Creek Filter Marsh will be in September. The facility, funded by SFWMD & Lee County, designed by ECT, and built by Lodge Construction will clean stormwater runoff flowing to the creek. [BC Filter M Park]



Algae - Phosphorus Link (2008-07-23)

The excess nutrient content of water, both nitrogen and phosphorus, has long been known to trigger algae blooms. Other factors such as temperature and PH can also affect algae blooms. [Pubs acs] []



Riverwatch Newsletter (2008-07-23)

The July 2008 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archives provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [July Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



Window Dressing (2008-07-22)

As agricultural land use intensifies, BMPs seek to minimize the resulting rise in nutrient runoff & habitat degradation. As billions are allocated to land purchases, state & federal agencies are investing only tiny fractions of this in BMP research. [The Ripple Effect]



SFWMD on Weir (2008-07-22)

Construction is nearly complete on a mammoth concrete weir intended to help keep water from overwhelming Lake O flood control structures. The weir is located on the Kissimmee River just to the north of where the river enters the lake. [Sun Sentinel]



U.S. Sugar Deals (2008-07-22)

Details of the 187,000-acre purchase of EAA lands remains under wraps. The State and U.S. Sugar Co. must reach an agreement before the 75-day negotiating period ends in September, according to Randy Smith of SFWMD. [TCPalm]



Fair Price? For Whom? (2008-07-21)

Hendry Co Darrell Harris asks how the state can afford to buy U.S. Sugar when people in Hendry can not afford to drive down the road to get something to eat. He points out how teachers and state workers are getting laid off. [New Times Broward-Palm Beach]



Red Drift Algae (2008-07-21)

Red drift algae, known as rhodophytes, have littered portions of shoreline between Fort Myers Beach and the north end of Bonita Beach. Red drift algae should not be confused with red tide; they are harmless to humans than red tide. [News Press]



Disagreement With EPA (2008-07-21)

Five environmentalist organizations have filed legal action against the federal government, demanding new measurable standards for pollution-fueled algae blooms in waterways. This legal action could have national implications. [Tallahassee]



Everglades Restoration (2008-07-21)

SFWMD officials warned a federal judge Thursday, a lingering lawsuit threatens to cut off funding needed for restoration projects. They say the lawsuit could hurt the borrowing power of the SFWMD. [Sun Sentinel] [PalmBeachPost]



Sugar Deal Not Sweet? (2008-07-21)

Gov. Crists plan to buy U.S. Sugar for $1.75 billion has been described by Fla newspapers as bold, ambitious, and grand. It will conceivably rid the Everglades of the lions share of its pollution. [Miami New Times] [PalmBeachPost] [News Yahoo]



CRCA BOD Meeting (2008-07-21)

CRCA Board of Directors will meet on August 13 at 6:30 pm at the Perkins Restaurant at Morse Shores Shopping Center (694-4499) on Palm Beach Blvd., (SR80) For more information contact Marti Daltry. [Map] [Previous Meetings]



Submit Your Recipes (2008-07-19)

Caloosahatchee Cookbook invites you to share your favorite recipes, including picnic & boating favorites. Include your culinary secrets in the fundraiser cookbook. The sooner you submit, the better your chances of being included. [Form] [Online Form]



Watershed Protection Plan (2008-07-18)

Janet Starnes will convene two meetings for the Caloosahatchee River Watershed Protection Plan on Monday, July 21. From 10:00 am to noon is the Water Quality Assessment Meeting and from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm is the Working Team Meeting. [Agenda]



No Sugar for Clewiston (2008-07-18)

Clewiston, population 7,300 a company town, & its primary employer are to shut down operations under the plan to sell US.Sugars 187,000 acre to the state. The locals are angry & exasperated to still-unplanned mammoth act of environmental engineering. [Time.Com]



Pine Island Stalwart (2008-07-18)

Phil Buchanan of Pine Island has been leading the regional coalition of environmental groups challenging Cape Coral dismantling the coastal spreader canal water quality treatment system. Riverwatch expresses its confidence in the efforts of Phil. [Letter]



Historic Lawsuit Over Algae (2008-07-18)

Three SW FL groups (Sierra Club, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and Environmental Confederation of SW FL) represented by EarthJustice filed a lawsuit in a Tallahassee federal court requiring EPA to create explicit WQ standards on algae blooms. [News-Press] [Naples News]



SFWMD on Birds Relief (2008-07-17)

The Everglades is home to "tens of thousands" of wading birds. The SFWMD oversees the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan projects. These projects can be redesigned may be better for birding. [News Press]



SOC Annual Meeting (2008-07-17)

Save Our Creeks Board and Annual Membership Meeting is on August 9th at 10 am. It's time to elect new officers and Board Members. If you are willing to serve, plan to nominate yourself. For more information call Ellen at 239-992-5455. [Flyer]



Riverwatch Refiles on The Vue (2008-07-17)

Riverwatch and other plantiffs are filing for a rehearing of the lawsuit they initially won halting The Vue tower plans. The ruling that favored the Riverwatch position was overturned by an appeals court on technical issues of standing. [Motion] [News Press] [Press Release]



Changing Landscapes - Political (2008-07-16)

U.S. Sugar Corps plan to sell its land to clear a path for Everglades restoration signals. U.S. Sugar and its allies in the sugar cane and sugar beet industry have poured millions into political campaigns, its lobbyists held away in the Legislature. [Sun Sentinel]



FEMA Flood Maps Online (2008-07-16)

Lee Co. has put FEMA Flood Insurance maps online. Because upstream development and drainage increases downstream flooding, new areas are designated as flood-prone. Nearly 19 square miles of new interior floodways will face development restrictions. [Flood Maps]



Caloosahatchee Riverway (2008-07-16)

At the July CRCA meeting, Transystems' Forest Michael showed ideas for the Caloosahatchee Riverway project proposal for Glades and Hendry Counties. Riverwatch will consider supporting the idea.
[Caloosa Belle] [Photo Gallery]



BMP Report for Caloosahatchee (2008-07-16)

Dr. Del Bottcher of Soil & Water Engineering Technology (SWET) recently completed a report on Nitrogen & Phosphorus reduction strategies for the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. SFWMD is taking comments on the report. [Questions] [Report] [Comments]



Is Florida the Sunset State? (2008-07-15)

South Florida is experiencing an ecological and hydrological meltdown. The Everglades ecosystem now hosts 69 threatened or endangered species, and its rookeries and fisheries have crashed. Massive algal blooms are turning Florida Bay into pea soup. [Time.Com]



Gulf-Atlantic Greenway? (2008-07-15)

Lee County already has Right of Way for a greenway and blueway to Hendry County. Some now look to the possibility of a corridor all the way from the Gulf to the Atlantic along the Caloosahatchee, Lake Okeechobee and St. Lucie or to Palm Beach. [AJC.Com]



Sugar Deal Vs. Restorations (2008-07-15)

SFWMD is in the midst of a monumental land deal. But what does this mean for the 16 counties taxpayers bankrolling the district? And what about water quality in the C-51 canal? Water managers might have to postpone other reservoirs and cleanups. [] [Time.Com]



Clean Water Act Online Course (2008-07-15)

The goal of the Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters. The River Network organization has created an online course to teach people all about CWA and its enforcement. []



Collateral Damage (2008-07-14)

The C-43 West Reservoir project expected to improve water quality in the Caloosahatchee River and along Lee County coastline might not receive more state money needed for construction. [News Press 1] [News Press 2]



Read My Lips...No New Taxes! (2008-07-14)

Water managers vowed on July 8 to close the $1.75 billion deal for the U.S. Sugar Corp without hiking taxes on South Florida homeowners, but the big buyout will come at the cost of delay for other Everglades projects. [Miami Herald] [Island-Reporter]



PEER on U.S Sugar (2008-07-10)

SFWMD will purchase 300 square miles of U.S. Sugar land which might form the core of a flowway. Decades ago the Corps conducted analysis of a flowway from Lake O, rejecting it due to what it called Insurmountable Hydrological Barriers. [PEER News] [News Release]



PURRE Representative on HAB (2008-07-10)

A representative of PURRE traveled to Washington on during the week of July 4 to attend a hearing in Conrgress on Harmful Algal Blooms to help educate the subcommittee and members on the issue. [Washington Post] [Naples News]



Comment on Draft Report (2008-07-09)

SFWMD is providing drafts on the Caloosahatchee Research and Water Quality Monitoring Plan, Chapter 1-3, for your review. Please use the attached files to provide comments by July 18 to & [Chapter 1-3] [Chapter 7-2] [Chapter 7-8]



Turning Algae to Oil (2008-07-07)

CRCA battles algae blooms, but algae can be used to clean sewage or agricultural runoff. U.S. scientists suggested companies grow algae biomass for processing and find a cost-effective way to separate algae from water.
[Herald Tribune]



Algae Blooms a Global Problem (2008-07-03)

Chinese local officials have mobilized thousands of people to clean up an algae bloom that stretches along their coastline, threatening to impede the Olympic games. People everywhere faces the challenge of nutrient runoff and warming temperatures. [Herald Tribune]



Pure Supports Legislation (2008-07-01)

The PURRE Water Coalition commends Senators Nelson and Snowe for their leadership on the Harmful Algal Bloom and Hypoxia Amendments Act of 2008. PURRE will continue to work hardly to get this bill passed and on the appropriations in the future. [Details]



Clean Water Act Lawsuit (2008-07-01)

Earthjustice attorney David Guest filed suit in U.S. Circuit Court in Atlanta to challenge the Bush administration latest attempt to weaken the Clean Water Act they transfer dirty water – from canals contaminated by urban or agricultural pollution. []



Spreader Canal Study (2008-07-01)

In 2003, Jim Beever and Bob Chamberlain produced a report on the Cape Coral Spreader Canal system, pointing out how development in the watershed has dramatically altered flow into the spreader flowway. [Details] [Report] [Web Site]



The Real Story (2008-06-30)

Need for the EAA Reservoir A-1 is uncertain given the US Sugar deal. The secret land deal negotiations probably motivated the suspension of the A-1 project a month ago, not the NRDC lawsuit as SFWMD claimed. [Sun-Sentinel] [Orlando-Sentinel] [Tampabay]



Press on with Lawsuit (2008-06-30)

Is it time to halt the Rivers Coalition lawsuit over St. Lucie water pollution? The answer is no, said Leon Abood, chair of the environmental group. The sides are given until Aug 8 to finish discovery in the case with a status report due Aug 18. []



Fallout for Rural Counties (2008-06-29)

While coastal media focus on the potential environmental benefits of the US Sugar land sale, the rural papers reflect the shock & angst of a population staring into an uncertain future. [Hendry Glades Pg 1] [Page 3] [Page 4] [Page 6]



Lee 4th Worst in State (2008-06-28)

22 of the 80 Lee County sewage plants send sewage into area water bodies, even after warnings from DEP. The violations earned Lee 4th place out of the 67 counties, although this ranking assume other counties fully report their violations. [Report] [Table] [Notice]



Court Overturns Vue Ruling (2008-06-28)

An appeals court overturned the decision that halted construction of The Vue, citing an improper ruling on standing. This requires refiling of the case, although the reality of the improper transfer of NPS-funded land remains. [Ruling]



Projects Downsize (2008-06-27)

Paying $1.75 billion for the assets of US Sugar could leave SFWMD strapped for cash to pay for other projects. Some projects will be blended together, some eliminated completely. Officials believe projects like the C-43 reservoir need to continue. [Naples News] [Guardian UK]



The River in Distress (2008-06-27)

Blue green algae bloom is turning the Caloosahatchee River into a sewer. It has never been in such distress. Public health, safety & welfare are at risk, says Bill Gross, a spokesman for Alva Inc., chairman of Survivors of SR 80. [News-Press] [News-Press]



Sole Does Not Need It All (2008-06-26)

Gov. Crist's recent idea about purchasing U.S. Sugar Corp. took everyone's breath away. But the deal Crist proposed, formally unveiled June 27, is now being hailed as the answer to jump-starting the stalled $10-billion Everglades restoration project. []



Deal Too Good for U.S. Sugar (2008-06-26)

The sale of U.S. Sugar's holdings to the South Fla. Water Management District closes in Nov 2008. Included in the sale are newly completed sugar mill, the largest in the world; the largest bulk citrus processor in the U.S.; railroads and building. [] [NYTimes] [Tampabay]



Ceitus Boat Lift EMA Meeting (2008-06-26)

The first meeting of the North Spreader Canal Ecosystem Management Agreement (EMA) stakeholders working group will take place on July 8 from 10am to 3pm at the SW FL Regional Planning Council, 1926 Victoria Ave #364, Ft Myers. [Details] [Web Site]



Riverwatch Newsletter (2008-06-26)

The June 2008 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archives provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [June Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



SFWMD Member Resigns (2008-06-26)

SFWMD Governing Board Member & US Sugar executive Malcolm (Bubba) Wade has announced his resignation from his SFWMD oversight position. This was a condition of the land sale agreement between US Sugar and SFWMD. Gov. Crist will name a replacement. [Palm Beach Post]



Best Bang for the Buck (2008-06-26)

SFWMD estimates source control measures will account for 75% of N & P load reductions. These include Ag. & Urban Best Management Practices, Statewide Stormwater Rule, Source Control Regs, Land Application of Residuals, & FL Yards & Neighborhoods. [Water Quality Report]



End of US Sugar? (2008-06-25)

Gov. Crist announced a $1.75 billion deal to buy the U.S. Sugar Corp including 187,000 acres. It will extinguish a powerful 77-year-old company with 1,700 employees and deep roots in South Florida's coal-black organic soil. [] [News-Press] [News-Press]



Keeping the Organization Afloat (2008-06-24)

CRCA Director Ron Zimmerly is the second member this year to support Riverwatch at the $250 annual level. Ron serves as Hendry County Director for Grants & Special Projects and president of the Port LaBelle Unit 4 Property Owners Association.



Recognition for Ellen Peterson (2008-06-24)

Ellen Peterson, 84, has led on many Caloosahatchee, Lake O, and most notably, Fisheating Creek issues. She dedicated more than four decades to fighting battles to preserve nature and give the public access to the natural environment. [News-Press]



Land Preservation Program (2008-06-24)

Lee County officials are promoting a new, only 18 months reservation Legacy program to help entice property owners with selling environmentally sensitive land to the County, especially in the midst of a slumping real estate market. [News-Press]



Land Swaps for Plan 6? (2008-06-24)

With the acquistion of all US Sugar land, the state will have the ability to create land swaps needed to consolidate properties for the Plan 6 flowway system between Lake O and Everglades. [Crist PR] [Map] [Owners] [Sugar PR]



Meet the Creek (2008-06-23)

Meet the Creek event of Billy Creek held to celebrate the granting of non-profit status on Saturday, Jun 7th was a great success. Friends of Billy's Creek group is responsible for removing garbage from the Fort Myers waterway. [News-Press]



Hometown Democracy Update (2008-06-23)

FL Hometown Democracy is hoping to qualify its constitutional amendment for this year's election. They filed a federal lawsuit to overturn numerous actions by the Division of Elections & other opponents blocking their ballot certification. [Details]



U.S. Sugar Bails Out (2008-06-23)

Going far beyond the flowway proposal to acquire 60,000 acres, US Sugar will sell all 185,000 of its EAA holdings to SFWMD for $1.7 billion or just over $9000 per acre, with the deal unfolding over 5 years. [Shock] [Sun Sentinel] [Palm Beach Post]



Hendry House Hosts (2008-06-22)

The Captain Francis A. Hendry House next to the LaBelle Nature Park and the Caloosaahatchee is the perfect venue for community events, like the recent visit of Congressmen to discuss river issues. [CaloosaBelle] [Gallery] [SundayNews]



125 Water Summit Delegates (2008-06-21)

The Century Com. will convene a state water summit Sep 25-26 to recommend steps for long-term water conservation, use and supply plan for environmental, ag. & public consumption purposes.
[Invitation] [Steering]



Seeking Input on Alternatives (2008-06-21)

Forest Michael of Transystems will discuss ideas for C-43 water storage at the July 9 CRCA meeting in LaBelle after a July 3 WRAC presentation in West Palm Beach.
[Input Request] [Concept] [Wrac Agenda] [Web Site] [Location]



DEP Water Budget Cut (2008-06-21)

In addition to suffering dramatic budget cuts, the TMDL funds of the DEP Watershed Resources Management Division have been held back this year. All this in a time when TMDL issues are critical throughout the state.
[DEP V1-I2] [Budget News] [DEP V1-I1]



Lobbying for Green Issues (2008-06-19)

Conservancy of Southwest Florida Natural Resources Policy Manager Jennifer Hecker discussed the issue of the Key Southwest Florida environmental projects at the Action Day in Washington, DC June 18th. [] [Web Site]



Cassani on Blooms (2008-06-19)

John Cassani shared his opinion on the recent News Press article on the algae blooms in the Caloosahatchee River. He points out that the problem is worse than many realize, given their limited historical perspective.
[Letter to Editor]



South Flowway Concept (2008-06-18)

Hal Valeche officially endorses the flowway concept to move water south from Lake Okeechobee instead of east and west to the degraded estuaries. Valeche presented his position in a paper provided to the Rivers Coalition. [Force NewsLetter] [Web Site]



Downward Slide (2008-06-18)

Despite the green reputation of Gov. Charlie Crist, pollution enforcement in FL continues to decline, according to an analysis of the latest state statistics released by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). [Details]



Vision for EAA (2008-06-18)

Audubon and other groups have a vision for an improved Everglades Agricultural Area which profoundly affects Lake O, coastal estuaries, the Everglades & Florida Bay as well as the Glades Communities. [Details] [About Lake O]



1600 Miles in a Canoe in 1882 (2008-06-18)

In 1881-82 Kirk Monroe wrote a journal during his harrowing journey in the sailing canoe "Psyche" 1600 miles through Florida waters. Page 15 (77) starts the Caloosahatchee leg that continues to Lake O and the Kissimmee. [Story]



Water Off Limits (2008-06-17)

South Florida water managers plan to keep water in newly restored Kissimmee River marshes off-limits to farms and growing communities. New rules would reserve water for fish and wildlife and set a "baseline" for water usage. [Sun-Sentinel]



Big Algae Bloom (2008-06-17)

The big algae bloom is showing no signs of going away from the Caloosahatchee River and scientists are warning not go in the water. The bloom has forced the closing of the Olga water treatment plant. Meantime, experts say the algae is not poisonous. []



FDEP Newsletter (2008-06-17)

The FL Dept. of Env. Protection has a new communication tool to keep the staff and watershed stakeholders informed about ongoing activities within the TMDL/watershed management and restoration program. [Letter] [Newsletter] [Web Site]



Best Water BOCC in Florida (2008-06-13)

In 2006 Lee County directed their Natural Resources staff to create an ordinance that would help reduce the excessive nutrients from flowing into our rivers and the Gulf. The strongest ordinance in Florida was adopted May 13, 2008. [News-Press]



EPA on the Side of Polluters (2008-06-13)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that Florida's controversial practice of pumping polluted water from farms and suburbs into the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee is none of the federal government's business. [Miami Herald]



Algae Returns to the River (2008-06-12)

Blue-green algae is back in the Caloosahatchee River. We are aware of it, and we’re concerned, said Susan Sanders, spokeswoman for the SFWMD. Can we tell what the cause is? No. But we’re following up on potential causes. [News-Press] [Caloosa Belle]



Saunders on the Environment (2008-06-12)

During a recent town hall forum, Florida State Senator and Congressional candidate Burt Saunders talked about taxes, environmental issues at Shell Point. Approximately 200 Shell Point residents in Ft. Myers gathered to hear him. [Island-Reporter]



Pea Soup River (2008-06-11)

The water contrast upstream and downstream of Franklin Lock is dramatic. The algae bloom is so thick that boats leave trails in the water. Flow at Townsend Canal is vigorous, which is where the bloom starts. [] [Photo Gallery]



Silver Lining to Lake Crisis (2008-06-10)

Water levels in the Lake O are 9.52 feet, 3 feet below normal for the beginning of the wet season; large portions of the lake are dry and parts of the dry lake bed are on fire. Despite Okeechobee's long low levels, things are not all bad at the lake. [News-Press]



Trichodesmium Bloom (2008-06-10)

Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation along with the City have verified and are tracking a Trichodesmium erythraeum bloom in the area, Beach, Gulf and Bay. They are evaluating next steps.
[Details] [Bloom Microscopic View]



Green Jobs Postings (2008-06-06)

Kelly J. Drey-Houck, at the Upper Guyandotte Watershed Association shares environmental job posting sites information, hoping this will be useful to other environmental organizations and job applicants. [Letter] [Job Posting Responses] [Job List]



CRCA BOD Meeting (2008-06-06)

CRCA Board of Directors will meet on July 9 at 6:30 pm in LaBelle at Bridge Street Coffee House. This will be the 2nd Wednesday, not the normal 1st Wednesday. For more info contact Marti Daltry. [Agenda] [Previous Meetings]



Draft Report Released (2008-06-05)

RWA completed the Hendry County land use study with an eye towards integrating agriculture, ecosystems, and development. It proposes a broad set of recommendations designed to guide planning towards balance. [Report] [Appendix]



Caloosa 80 Concept Plan (2008-06-05)

At the Alva Inc. May meeting the developer presented his concept for mining of sand to form a 20-foot deep, 50-acre lake, to be followed by the development of a Class A motor coach resort with a clubhouse and 372 units. [Details] [Alva, Inc.]



Nelson on Energy & Water (2008-06-03)

Hosted by Gulf Citrus Growers in LaBelle on May 29, Senator Bill Nelson talked about water & energy. Citizens raised the issue of repairs to the Lake O dike and the need for WRDA projects. Nelson discussed proposed offshore oil drilling in Florida. [Caloosa Belle]



Crist Recommends The Swamp (2008-06-02)

Potential VP nominee, FL Governor Charlie Crist, says that he recommends a book about the battles to restore the Florida Everglades, Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie by former Washington Post reporter Michael Grunwald. [Tampa Bay] [The Swamp]



New Fertilizer Ordinance (2008-06-02)

The new restricted nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizer application period that began June 1. The restricted application period directly coincides with the 4-month rainy season, Jun 1 through Sep 30. [Press Release] [Ordinance No. 08-08]



Fight for Everglades Reservoir (2008-06-02)

Rep. Connie Mack visited LaBelle with other leaders lobbying for the 10,491-acre reservoir east of Ft Myers in Hendry County. It’s part of the huge Everglades restoration plan, which the federal government has only recently begun to fund as promised. [News-Press]



Indian River Lagoon Cleanup (2008-06-02)

Congressman Tim Mahoney and candidates Gayle Harrell & Tom Rooney discussed differences in paying for the cleanup of the Indian River Lagoon and drilling off Florida's coastline at the Republican Women's Club dinner, May 22 at Finz Waterfront. [TCPalm]



$50,000 to PURRE (2008-06-02)

Royal Shell Vacations and Royal Shell Preferred Properties, have announced that they will donate $50,000 to PURRE this year. [Island-Reporter] [Royal Shell Vacations] [Royal Shell Preferred Properties] [PURRE]



Glades Co. Emphasis on Dike (2008-06-02)

At the meeting with Chairman Oberstar of the U.S House Infrastructure Committee, Glades County Commissioner Russell Echols emphasized the need to accelerate Corps repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike around Lake Okeechobee. [Echols Comments]



New York Times & U.S. Sugar (2008-06-01)

The New York Times picked up on the case against U.S. Sugar officials, including Mott Foundation officers, that alleges employee shareholders were defrauded of retirement income. [Mott Foundation] [Stacked Deck] [Local Story] [Hendry-Glades] [NYT Video]



Congressmen Discuss River (2008-05-28)

U.S. Rep. Tim Mahoney hosted Reps. Jim Oberstar & Connie Mack for a Caloosahatchee River restoration discussion in LaBelle on Wed, May 28 then toured toured Lake O & the Herbert Hoover Dike to study repair efforts. [News-Press] [PalmBeachPost]



Lawsuit Halts Project (2008-05-28)

Natural Resources Defense Council filed a lawsuit asserting the SFWMD and the Army Corps did not provide documents that guarantee the project will use treated water primarily to help the Everglades. Construction stopped after the lawsuit. [News-Press]



Creeks Dedication (2008-05-28)

Local citizens, county officials and environmental reps dedicated the Caloosahatchee Creeks Preserve at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 20. Conservation 20/20 senior supervisor Cathy Olson emphasized that this was their first project with amenities. [N. Ft. Myers Neighbor]



River Islands Land Use Change (2008-05-23)

Proposed new Land Use Program Policy 1.4.2. seems to be written more for properties on barrier islands, not for properties like William Island that are in the midst of development. It is important to set up a more applicable performance standard. [Details] [Map]



Fortune and Flame (2008-05-23)

Nobody would have imagined that once watery wilderness called the Everglades would get so dry and that it would burn out of control. History's bill is coming due for a century of bad decisions, and we haven't yet figured out how to pay it. []



CRCA BOD Meeting (2008-05-23)

CRCA Board of Directors will meet on June 4 at 6:30 pm at Perkins Restaurant in East Fort Myers. Meeting details will be posted as soon as they are available. For more info contact Marti Daltry at president09 [Previous Meetings]



Caloosahatchee Protection Plan (2008-05-22)

Janet Starnes of SFWMD is leading the effort to develop alternatives for water quality goals in the Caloosahatchee watershed. Four alternatives will be considered with a draft plan scheduled for release in October 2008. [Agenda] [Details]



New EPA TMDL Database (2008-05-22)

EPA released a new database/Web site for water quality assessment and total maximum daily loads information. The site, known as ATTAINS, reports the status of TMDL actions to restore impaired waters. [Details] [Web Site]



Alternative Levee Design (2008-05-22)

SZS Consultant's, Inc. is a worldwide expert on the use of pilings to support structures in soils with poor bearing strength. They are recommending to the Corps of Engineers an alternative design for the reconstruction of the New Orleans levees. [Letter] [Stong Levees]



Riverwatch Newsletter (2008-05-21)

The May 2008 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archives provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [May Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



$63,000 a Day and Counting (2008-05-17)

SFWMD stopped work on the EAA Reservoir costing taxpayers $1.9 million a month. Is it a legitimate reaction to legal constraints or an attempt to use public opinion to shake off a troublesome lawsuit? [Charlotte Observer] [Design] [AP] [Water] [Miami Herald] [Sun-Sentinel]



Farm Bill & Water Programs (2008-05-16)

Rep. Tim Mahoney voted to pass the Farm Bill while Rep. Connie Mack did not vote. One provision creates a new Ag Water Enhancement Program (AWEP) addressing water quality & quantity. [Press Release] [TC Palm] [Florida Impacts] [House Vote]



5 Feet by 2100 ????? (2008-05-16)

On the heels of a wake up call given by Dr. Wanless at the January 2008 conference of the Everglades Coalition, SFWMD has begun to look at sea level rise implications for South Florida. [Sun Sentinel] [Wanless]



Fertilizer Ordinance Passes! (2008-05-14)

After a long year of citizen and organizational efforts, the Lee County Commission adopted a strong fertilizer ordinance to address local water quality issues. CRCA thanks Com. Bob Janes and others for the historic accomplishment. [News Press]



Oberstar & Clean Water Act (2008-05-14)

U.S. Rep. James Oberstar (D-MN) continues to gather support for legislation to protect national water quality through the Clean Water Restoration Act. Rebecca Wood of American Rivers recognized Oberstar for his dedication. [Am Rivers] [Oberstar]



Congressional Visit to Hendry (2008-05-14)

On May 28 US Rep. Tim Mahoney hosts Rep. James Oberstar (committee chair over WRDA and Corps projects) for a tour highlighting District 16 water issues in an effort to marshal federal support for regional infrastructure projects. [Press Release] [Location Map]



CWA Public Meeting (2008-05-13)

Thirty residents of Cape Coral, including Lee Commissioner Bob Janes attended the meeting of Cape Water Action. Bill Hammond delivered featured presentation at this gathering funded by a grant from Charlotte Harbon NEP. [Photo] [Letter]



Give and Take over Babcock (2008-05-10)

Debate continues over development in the Babcock Ranch area of Charlotte & Lee Counties. Wayne Daltry, director of Smart Growth in Lee County raised issues of transportation, wildlife, and costs of development to Lee County taxpayers. [Florida Weekly]



Water-quality Credit Buys (2008-05-10)

Water polluters in NE FL will be able to buy and sell water-quality credits to compensate for some kinds of environmental damage. A credit system was approved last week by the Florida Legislature - but only for the lower St. Johns River. [Times-Union]



Projects Funding Denied (2008-05-10)

About $1.9 million worth of water management projects will fall on the shoulders of Cape Coral taxpayers after the state turned down funding. City was looking for $20 million in funding 4 projects in 2008. The Legislature turned down funding for all. [News-Press]



SWFWC May Meeting (2008-05-10)

The Watershed Council meets on May 15 at 2pm. This meeting will focus on a discussion of the possibility of forming a single water resource advocacy organization in Southwest Florida. The meeting is open to the public [Details] [SWFWC Web Site]



Fires on Okeechobee (2008-05-08)

Fires on the edges of Lake Okeechobee rage along the western shore. Fires release nutrients through the ash left in their wake. What effect this might have on Lake nutrient levels is uncertain.
[News-Press] [Sun-Sentinel] [Photo]



Reservoir to Help Everglades (2008-05-08)

Around South Florida vast sugar cane fields, earth-moving equipment are laying the foundation for a mammoth reservoir bigger than Manhattan designed to revive the ecosystem of the River of Grass. [Associated Press]



New Directors and Officers (2008-05-08)

Riverwatch has selected the 2008-2009 board members and officers. First time directors include Joanna McKasy and Leo Mayne. Joining Marti Daltry of N. Ft. Myers (right) in a new co-presidency arrangement is Mary Ruth Prouty of LaBelle (left). [New Team]



Algae Viewed From Space (2008-05-08)

New pictures from SKY2 over Lake O captured something that should not be there. Blue-green algae has conservation leaders concerned. Rae Ann Wessel of SCCF said it is a blatant warning sign of a system out of balance. []



1st Annual Monitoring Forum (2008-05-07)

1st Annual Monitoring Forum is on Jun 3-5 at the Bayfront Hilton in St. Petersburg. The Forum focuses on coastal nutrient; improving data comparability. Registration by May 16 is required for attendance.
[Details] [Registration Documents]



Cape Coral Mayor Defended (2008-05-07)

Cape Coral citizens wrote responsed to an editorial written about Mayor Feichthaler on April 21 by Mark Stephens, thus accusing The News-Press of trying to disparage their good mayor. The city insists on Ceitus Boat Lift removal. [News-Press] [Issue History]



Earth Day at Koreshan (2008-05-06)

Earth Day celebration hosted by Sierra Club on Apr 19 was a big success. The event, one of several in the area celebrating Earth Day, drew hundreds of people. Among them were Riverwatch's Marti Daltry and Lois James. [Naples News]



New Regional Email List (2008-05-06)

Riverwatch members are invited join the new regional email list called EVSWF. The list is open to all those interested in environmental issues of SW FL and is moderated by Paul Holmes of Peace River Audubon.
[Link to List] [Moderator]



Request for Help (2008-05-06)

North Florida water quality activists have issued a statewide request for assistance. Please read the attachments and send an email to the Governor and DEP Secretary Mike Sole stating your concerns.
[CWN Request] [CWN Web Site]



2008 Legislative Session (2008-05-05)

Florida lawmakers ended their legislative session on May 2. Budget problems dominated the session. Among the key issues is the approval of a $300 million a year bill that would extend the Florida Forever land-buying program until 2020. [News-Journal]



Finally, Success (2008-05-05)

State lawmakers have passed the Clean Ocean Act that bans ships sailing from Florida ports from dumping their partially treated waste off shore. Now Gov. Charlie Crist should sign the measure and make it law.
[Florida Today] [Video]



Meet the Creek (2008-05-05)

Friends of Billy’s Creek, a 501(c)3 organization is pleased to invite you to a fun Eco-event Meet the Creek on June 7th, 2008 from 11am to 2pm at Rock Lake Motel 2937 Palm Beach Blvd. Bring the whole family!
[Flyer] [Web Site]



Fertilizer Preemption Failure (2008-05-05)

Fertilizer Preemption bill – HB1267 and SB2352 died in committee on April 22. These bills would have kept local governments from passing local ordinances more stringent than a state model. [Details] [Consumer Fertilizer Preemption]



Time for Permanent Change (2008-05-04)

Floridians have demonstrated their willingness to reduce water use during times of adversity. But should it all go down the drain when the water shortage is over? Hardly. It is time to adopt permanent changes in water use habits. []



Earth Week in the Park (2008-05-02)

Special thanks to Courtney Moberly, Phil Pelletier, Mayor Paul Pulleti, Margaret England and many others for organizing the first ever Earth Week in LaBelle. Over 800 students participated in educational activities Apr 22-25 at Hendry House. [Photos] [Album]



Runoff Reduction Method (2008-05-02)

Pam Rowe & Tom Schueler of the Center for Watershed Protection presented the Smart Watershed Benchmarking Tool, a self assessment tool to help local communities meet their water resource goals.
[Details] [User Manual]



CWA Public Meeting (2008-05-02)

Cape Water Action meets on May 10 from 1-3:45pm at The Epiphany Episcopal Church, 2507 Del Prado Blvd. in Cape Coral. Speakers will be Dr. Bill Hammond and Kraig Hankins. For more info call Mary Ann Parsons at 239-340-9879. [Details] [Cape Water web site]



Canoe and Kayak Regatta (2008-05-02)

Join the 13th Annual Estero River Canoe and Kayak Regatta on May 3. The course includes 4 miles recreational or 10 miles competitive. A famous end-of-series picnic lunch also included! Register now! [Details] [Online Registration]



Fouled Florida Waters (2008-05-01)

The Florida Wildlife Federation, the Sierra Club and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida sent a letter to the EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson notifying the EPA of their intent to sue the agency in 60 days for failing to uphold the Clean Water Act. [Naples News]



Restoring Habitat (2008-05-01)

The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) launched an experimental Tape Grass Seeding Project to help restore and enhance aquatic habitat in the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. [Details]



Wastewater Files to Go Online (2008-05-01)

Most Floridians are blind to the pollution happening next door. That is changing as the DEP begins a project to transfer its files online for public access. Environmentalists say that accessible records will improve the watchdog role of the public. [News-Press]



Stormwater Treatment Rule (2008-05-01)

The Florida DEP is in the process of making changes to the Florida statewide stormwater treatment rule, an effort that is long over-due. EPA has written a comment letter to DEP in which they outline a number of concerns. [Details] [EPA Comments]



Thanks, Doc! (2008-05-01)

Dr. John Geake and Ellen Hawk Geake have renewed their Riverwatch membership at the Corporate ($250) level under the name Riverside Glades Medical Center. Riverside is the only medical office in Glades County. [Riverside]



Algae Blooms on Lake O (2008-04-25)

Recent rains appear to have triggered new algae blooms on Lake Okeechobee and on the Caloosahatchee. Algae is again appearing at the Caloosahatchee Olga water plant, but at lower levels than seen in Pahokee & Clewiston. [Report] [Pics]



Earth Day for Congressman (2008-04-25)

Tim Manhoney, the Caloosahatchee - Okeechobee - St.Lucie Congressman emphasized energy, agricultural wastes, solid wastes, water, and Everglades restoration in his Earth Day activities. [Details]



Cape Coral Intent (2008-04-19)

Riverwatch & other petitioners are insisting upon restoration of a structure to divert water through the spreader canal system. In settlement negotiation, Cape Coral Mayor Eric Feichthaler declined to agree to any reconstruction. [News-Press]



Action Alert (2008-04-17)

This is a critical time period for the Clean Water Restoration Act (HR2421 & S1870), amending the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to clarify the jurisdiction of the United States over waters of the United States.
[Details] [Library of Congress]



Restrictions Remain for Farms (2008-04-17)

Two months of drenching rains have eased the regional drought. The relaxed limits would take effect Apr 18. However, farmers around Lake O would have to continue with their existing 45% reductions. []



St. Johns on 2008 List (2008-04-17)