December 16, 2017

River news


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New STA on Ranch (2009-12-30)

A former ranchland is being converted into a 2000-acre wetland that will clean stormwater runoff bound for Lake Okeechobee. A new S-650 pump station in Martin County will supply the STA, largest north of the Lake. [Ripple Effect]



Incompatible Lake Uses (2009-12-30)

Up-and-down water levels has all but wiped out the Lake Okeechobee's apple snail population - the primary source of food for the snail kite whose population dropped from about 3000 birds to 700 during the past 15 years. [Sun Sentinel]



Utilities Lobby for Water Waste (2009-12-29)

Randy Brown is chairman of the Southeast Florida Utility Council that is asking the FL Legislature to reverse the SFWMD year-round lawn watering rules. Utility income depends on people wasting water, so utilities oppose SFWMD conservation rules.
[TC Palm] [SE FL Utility Council]



No Good Alternatives for Ceitus (2009-12-28)

Rebuilding of the Ceitus Boat Lift will not be of significant environmental benefit; however, it is better than a sham agreement so watered down as to be of even less environmental value than the Barrier. So says activist attorney Phil Buchanan. [Final Document Assessment] [Dec 09 Report]



Where Are We Now? (2009-12-27)

The world's largest empty pool, a massive 26 mi2 reservoir to reduce Lake Okeechobee excess estuary flows, sits high and dry in the Everglades, after taxpayers invested $280 million building it. SFWMD blames lawsuits but there are other reasons. [Orlando Sentinel]



December Newsletter (2009-12-23)

The December 2009 CRCA newsletter is available online. It highlights the recognition of Keith Kibbey for creating the River Ride in 1996. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [PDF Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



Hendry County Hiking Group (2009-12-23)

The formation of a new Florida Trails Association (FTA)sub-chapter is in its early stages and you are invited to join them. An orientation meeting is being held Feb 6 in Moore Haven. The advantages of joining FTA will be introduced. [FTA]



PURRE Annual Making-up (2009-12-22)

Last week, PURRE Chairman Michael Valiquette addressed the Lee County Legislative Delegation at Edison State College. His message was one of both gratitude to local legislators for progress that’s been made and a request for help. [PURRE Water Coalition]



Manatee Deaths (2009-12-21)

2009 has been the worst year on record for FL manatees with 419 deaths. Lee Co leads the way in deaths of the endangered mammals with a total of 56 - 18 from boats & 38 from other causes. A very high number of young manatee died in 2009 - 114. [News Press]



NSEMA Findings & Conclusions (2009-12-21)

The NSEMA Stakeholder Group outome report (Finding and Conclusions) is now available for review. It's the result of a year-long process of meetings and discussion over the Ceitus Boat Lift issue. A final decision may still be months away. [NSEMA] [Report]



Marco Island Cistern Program (2009-12-21)

DEP is allowing City of Marco Island residents to convert old septic tanks into water supply cisterns. The tanks are first cleaned, sterilized then sealed. Other design modifications allow the tanks to augment home water supplies. [Cistern Design] [Policy] [Lamplight Letter] [Info] [Valve] [Max Valve]



14th Panther Killed (2009-12-21)

The death of a Florida panther on Dec 17 on Interstate 75 — the 14th panther roadkill in 2009 — is prompting concern from state wildlife officials. Drivers should be on the lookout for the endangered cats, especially at sundown. [Naples News]



East Coast vs. West Coast (2009-12-21)

East coast cities are looking to keep water in Lake O for east coast drinking water and crop irrigation. West coast interests want enough freshwater from the lake to keep sea grasses and coastal estuaries healthy. A balance has to be found. [Naples News] [News Press ]



Red Tide Bloom (2009-12-18)

A red tide bloom that is strong enough to cause fish kills and cause coughing among beachgoers has been detected off the coast of Sarasota County, near Nokomis beach. Boaters, beachgoers and lifeguards have yet to spot any fish kills. [Herald Tribune]



Water Classification Revision (2009-12-18)

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has received many useful comments and suggestions regarding revisions to the surface water classification system. A public workshop is planned on Jan 7 in Tampa Bay for the rule revisions. [Details]



Alternative to Use Changes (2009-12-17)

The Clean Water Network of Florida and the Conservancy of SW Florida, along with other organizations, is writing to request that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection consider alternatives to the proposed designated use changes. [FDEP Letter] [SCCF Letter]



CWN Unveils New Website (2009-12-17)

The Clean Water Network unveils the launch of the Clean Water Network's new and improved website. CWN now has a much more user-friendly and attractive site, an improved members-only section where information can be found on workgroups and much more. [Stormwater] [Web Site]



Caloosahatchee Needs Ignored (2009-12-17)

The Caloosahatchee Estuary needs fresh water to survive. On Dec 9 the Governing Board of the SFWMD summarily dismissed the opportunity to make critical releases to the Caloosahatchee. Lee County Commisioner Tammy Hall voiced concerns for the river. [Tammy Hall] [News Press Editorial]



Ocean Policy Task Force (2009-12-16)

President Obama’s Ocean Policy Task Force released its Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning on Dec 14 for a 60-day public review and comment period. It offers an integrated approach to managing uses and activities. [Details]



Information on Canals (2009-12-16)

The SFWMD seeks scientific references on the ecology, water quality and public uses of canals in South Florida. This request is part of an on-going effort to gather the best available science to aid in the development of numeric nutrient criteria. [Eco Voice]



Water Pollution Attacked (2009-12-16)

Rivers Coalition presented its case against discharge pollution in a hearing in Washington, on Dec 16. Although no decision was made, pivotal arguments were narrowed down in the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund’s riparian rights. [TCPalm]



Kissimmee River Comeback (2009-12-15)

An almost day-and-night biological change met passengers on Dec 11 as the pontoon boat entered the restored section of the Kissimmee River from the C-38 canal. So far, the largest river restoration project in history is working. [News Press 12.11] [News Press 20.11]



SFWD OKs Pump Station (2009-12-14)

The governing board of the South Florida Water Management District gave the final nod on Dec 10 for the construction of a pump station at the future Lakeside Ranch Stormwater Treatment Area, that will help clean up Lake Okeechobee. [TCPalm]



South Florida Water Fights (2009-12-14)

A drier than usual start to the November-to-May dry season prompted renewed regional squabbling over how to divvy up water stored in Lake Okeechobee — South Florida's primary backup water supply. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel]



SFWMD Public Meeting (2009-12-14)

On Dec 16 the SFWMD will hold a meeting on the management of lake releases at the District office in Fort Myers at 2301 McGregor Blvd from 10 - 4. Local attendance is very important to consider biological impacts to the Caloosahatchee. [SCCF Agenda]



2010 River Rally (2009-12-11)

On May 21 to 24, Snowbird, Utah will play host to the 11th National River Rally. It's a national training on water issues that will bring together federal and state resources, grassroots needs and community ingenuity. [River Network] [Website]



Fertilizer Ordinance (2009-12-10)

The Snook Foundation considers stopping fertilizer application from June 1 through September 30 to be the backbone of meaningful, effective fertilizer management. It supports a strong fertilizer ordinance for Cape Coral. [Snook Foundation]



2010 Kabler Award to Cassani (2009-12-10)

John Cassani is the recipient of 2010 Everglades Coalition Kabler Award to be presented on Jan 9. He receives this prestigeous award in recognition of his vision and commitment to retoration efforts in the Caloosahatchee and Big Cypress watersheds. [Kabler Award ] [Details]



America’s Waters Coalition (2009-12-09)

On Dec 8, an alliance representing more than 30 organizations came together with lawmakers from across the nation to launch America’s Great Waters Coalition, representing 9 of the largest water ecosystems in 27 of the lower 48 states. [National Wildlife Federation] [Waters Coalition]



Tamiami Trail Gets a Lift (2009-12-08)

An $81 million project to restore fresh water flows to the Everglades beneath Tamiami Trail began on Dec 4. The one-mile long elevated roadway will be the largest construction project in the history of the National Park Service.
[News Press] [The Miami Herald]



Chinese Mystery Snail Invasion (2009-12-08)

A new exotic species could be crawling its way across Southwest Florida. It’s the Chinese mystery snail — and the biggest mystery about them is what their spread could mean for native ecosystems. So far there have been no reports of the snail in Collier County’s estuaries. [Naples News]



New Website on the Everglades (2009-12-07)

A new website devoted to the “matters of Everglades” has been launched. It is intended as an information source, particularly focusing on technical and scientific aspects of Florida Everglades where knowledge has markedly developed since 2000. [Website]



Champions of the Everglades (2009-12-07)

Mark D. Perry, executive director of Florida Oceanographic Society, accepted the second annual "Champions of the Everglades" Award on behalf of the Everglades Coalition in Nov. The Award is given by Arthur R. Marshall Foundation. [TCPalm]



Florida Panther Update (2009-12-07)

The December Florida Panther Update is now available on-line. See photos of and read about the first two panthers captured this season in BCNP's Addition Lands. [Newsletter]



CRCA Christmas Dinner Success (2009-12-07)

On Dec 6, CRCA members and friends enjoyed a holiday season party. Keith Kibbey was awarded a certificate of appreciation for creating the River Ride in 1996 and his continued organizing of this successful annual event. [Photo Gallery]



Everglades Cleanup Time (2009-12-03)

The state is negotiating tougher Everglades pollution standards with federal agencies, but insists it is making progress on cleanup. At the same time, they're urging a federal judge overseeing the progress not to declare them in violation. [The Miami Herald]



Clean Water Network (2009-12-02)

DEP is attempting to skirt federal law by creating new water designated uses without developing associated water quality standards. The Clean Water Act states EPA cannot approve new designated uses without these pollution limits. [Clean Water Network] [Naples News]



Bacteria Link with Red Tide (2009-12-02)

NOAA research found that a type of bacteria provides a necessary element for the algae that cause red tide to blast into a frenzy of reproduction. In the distant future, the discovery may point to a way to stop a bloom or diminish its effects.
[The Tampa Tribune]



Lake Okeechobee Pulse Release (2009-12-02)

The United States Army Corps of Engineers published the pulse release schedule for the Lake Okeechobee release for the Caloosahatchee estuary. It starts on November 25. [Pulse Release Schedule]



Lee County Buys 428 Acres (2009-12-02)

Nov 20, the Lee County Conservation 20/20 Program acquired 428 acres in the Density Reduction/Groundwater Resource Area (DR/GR). Keeping this land as open space protects a groundwater recharge area and preserves a wetland system that purifies waters. [Eco Voice]



Water - a Local or State Asset? (2009-12-01)

Speaker-designate Dean Cannon says that the state must recognize and plan for future water demand, but that's something that the state has shown no desire to do and it's something unlikely to begin now.
[The Florida Times-Union]



Riverwatch Nov. Newsletter (2009-12-01)

The November 2009 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. [PDF Newsletter] [Archive]



Lake Okeechobee Run-Off Case (2009-12-01)

The Rivers Coalition and the Army Corps of Engineers are gearing up for a hearing Dec 4 in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C., to determine the course of billions of gallons of water in South Florida. [TCPalm]



CRCA Holiday Potluck (2009-11-30)

Due to the inclement weather which is now forecast to not move out until late today, Saturday, CRCA Holiday Potluck has been postponed for one day to Sunday, Dec 6 in North Ft. Myers starting at 3:30 pm. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow! [Invitation]



Everglades: Next Step (2009-11-19)

Efforts along the Kissimme river and in Southwest Flordia, where 55,000 acres of former wetlands known as the Picayune Strand are being restored, allowed an immediate rebound of wildlife. To build on these successes, the next steps must be taken. [Opinion Jacksonville]



Historic EPA Settlement (2009-11-17)

On Nov 16 a federal judge in Tallahassee approved a historic consent decree which requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set legal limits for the widespread nutrient pollution that triggers harmful algae blooms in Florida waters. [Common Dream]



Climate Behind Health (2009-11-17)

The climate bill won’t come to the full Senate until after health care and financial reform legislation, said Sen. John Kerry, who is trying to negotiate a bipartisan compromise on the cap and trade proposals. [Politico]



New Manatee Speed Zone (2009-11-17)

Florida manatees are on the move, seeking warm-water sites to spend the winter. That means boaters must be cautious. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) changes seasonal speed zone signs in mid-November on many waterways.
[Wink News] [WZVN-HD]



Gulf of Mexico News (2009-11-16)

Research results released recently by the University of Maryland and SCCF was published in the Gulf Of Mexico Alliance (GOMA) newsletter (p.6). Lyngbya is a "hairy looking" Harmful Algae Bloom that remains toxic even after it dies. [GOMA Newsletter]



Chesapeake Bay Cleanup (2009-11-16)

Nov 9, the Federal government announced the outlines of a new effort to help restore the seafood and wildlife in the nation's largest estuary: the Chesapeake Bay. It targets the root causes of the trouble: runoff, especially from farm. [NPR]



Cape Coral Fertilizer Ordinance (2009-11-13)

Stakeholders met in early Nov to address the concerns of some industry representatives regarding SB 494, the landscape fertilizer bill signed by Governor Crist in June. Attendees voiced the needs for more stringent fertilizer management stantards. [Sierra Club] [Naples News]



Do we Clean Water or not? (2009-11-13)

The "Polluters Pay to Play" groups have started a campaign that is not based on facts. Earthjustice responds to their attack on clean water for florida citizens. They challenge the decade-long delay in setting limits for nutrients pollution. [NPR Report]



Conference on Sustainability (2009-11-13)

The University of Florida program of Natural Resources and Sustainability in Lee County is coordinating a conference titled “Managing Climate Change with Sustainable Initiatives” Dec 4, from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, in Fort Myers. [Details]



Opposition to EPA Standards (2009-11-13)

Nov 12, opponents of federal water quality standards for nutrients in Florida waterways raised their level of opposition. They don't want to pay more taxes. Earthjustice responds to their attack on clean water for florida citizens. [Florida Environment] [Earthjustice]



Charge Made Against ECWCD (2009-11-12)

ECWCD is wisely planning for Lehigh Acres water management needs to protect residents and the Caloosahatchee. But some residents are reluctant to pay the cost. The East County Water Control District (ECWCD) respond to the critics. [Lehigh Acres Citizen ]



Year-Round Irrigation Limits (2009-11-12)

Nov 13, the South Florida Water Management district voted unanimously to enact three-day-per-week watering restrictions the year-round standard. They gave up the initialy planned twice-a-week watering, convinced by oponents of this proposition. [Sun Sentinel] [Naples News]



New S.R. 29 Project Comments (2009-11-11)

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) conducted an alternatives public workshop for the new S.R. 29 Project Development and Environment (PD&E) study Nov 5, 2009 at the LaBelle Civic Center. The State solicits your comments until Nov 16.
[Southwest Florida Online] [Details]



Cape Coral Wastewater (2009-11-10)

The City of Cape Coral this year recycled all of its wastewater, Public Works Supervisor Chuck Pavlos said. The city has come close in the past, but this is the first year the city has reused all of its water. [News Press]



Dry Wet Season in Southwest (2009-11-10)

An average of 42.16 inches of rain falls at Page Field during the wet season; this year’s wet season total was 33.42 inches, 8.74 inches below average. Nonetheless, Southwest Florida water supplies are in good shape. [News Press] [News Press]



Let State Shape Everglades (2009-11-09)

The Palm Beach County Commissioners allow themselves to be used by large landowners and rock-mining interests. They are not qualified to determine where to draw the line between commerce and the environment. That requires a regional perspective, and only the state can provide it. [Palm Beach Post]



Corps Requests Comment (2009-11-09)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has released a Draft Decomp Physical Model Environmental Assessment (EA) & Design Test Documentation Report (DTDR). It is now available for public review and comment. [Eco Voice] [Report]



Green Carpet Canals in the Cape (2009-11-06)

Many Cape Coral canals are completely carpeted by aquatic weeds - the result of excess nutrients in the water. Cape Coral continues to drag its feet on enacting a fertilizer ordinance - a measure they should have adopted years ago. [Photo Gallery]



Sustainable Biofuels Research (2009-11-06)

Edison State College, the UF Institute of Food & Agricultural Sciences, and Intelligentsia International received a nearly $1-million grant to investig biofuels in Hendry County. It will bring much economic development to the rural area.
[Naples News] [Project Poster]



John Ruf World Champion (2009-11-06)

John Ruf won the 44-boat, open fleet contest over 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist Paul Tingley (CAN) and 2009 IFDS Disabled Sailing World Champion Thierry Schmitter (NED). The 2.4 mR World Championship was held on the Caloosahatchee in Ft. Myers.
[US Sailing Team] [Previous posting]



Moore Haven Riverfront Design (2009-11-06)

With the help of Forest Michael, landscape architect, the Moore Haven Main Street organization is planning a new Riverfront district with restored historic buildings. The city recently rebuilt its riverfront docks in the downtown area. [Sketch] [Web Site]



Corps Awards $53 Million (2009-11-05)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a $53 million contract to begin the next phase of the Picayune Strand restoration in eastern Collier County. A groundbreaking ceremony is set for early Jan. 7, according to the Corps of Engineers. [US Army Corps of Engineers] [Naples News]



CRCA Wants a New Boatlift (2009-11-05)

At their meeting, Nov. 3, CRCA board approved the motion to reinstall the boatlift on Cape Coral Spreader Canal and to maintain it. The alternative proposed by Cape Coral and DEP does not guarantee water quality. [Oct. 7 Minute]



Charlotte Harbor Festival (2009-11-05)

Nov 21, the "Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival: Connecting with Nature" will be held at Charlotte Sports Park at 2300 El Jobean Rd.(S.R. 776), Port Charlotte. It is a day to explore, learn and enjoy the natural environment of southwest Florida. [Details]



LaBelle Heritage Museum (2009-11-04)

Cindy Miller, the speaker scheduled for The LaBelle Heritage Museum's Nov. 5 meeting, has been unexpectedly called out of town. Thursday's program will be "The Caloosahatchee River: As It Was" at City Hall starting at 7 o'clock. [Details] [Web Site]



Venus Victory Celebration (2009-11-04)

To celebrate victory against the Eagle Training Center, Save our Creeks invites all the people who worked hard to protect this area to celebrate the First Venus Victory Celebration, Nov. 7, at 12 am, at the Venus Clubhouse. [Invitation] [Details]



Rural Lands Committee Meeting (2009-11-04)

Oct. 23, the Hendry County Rural Lands Committee Meeting meet to discuss the Rural Overlay Map. Patrick Vanasse, from RWA Inc., presented overview and options for Sending Lands and Receiving Lands. [Oct. 23 Minute] [Previous Minutes]



Victory for Wood Storks (2009-11-02)

Audubon celebrates federal District Judge Jose Martinez's decision to revoke the wetland destruction permit for the Mirasol development, two golf courses and 799 homes, located in the Cocohatchee Slough which emanates from Corkscrew Swamp. [Audubon] [Naples News] [News Press]



Red Tide Event (2009-11-02)

Dead fish haven’t started piling up on Lee County beaches, but counts of the red tide organism have reached lethal levels, and water conditions are favorable for increasing concentrations. Oct 30, samples had 300,000 cells/liter at Sanibel boat ramp. [Details] [News Press]



Hendry County - EC (2009-11-02)

In Clewiston, Oct. 30 the fifty plus member Everglades Coalition welcomed the Hendry-Glades Audubon Society to membership. Hendry county will also be the site for the 10,000 acre Berry Reservoir which will supply water to the Caloosahatchee Estuary. [Eco Voice]



Vanishing Florida Butterflies (2009-11-02)

The mystery of disappearing butterflies and how to shelter and attract the fluttering beauties will be the focus of the ninth annual Southwest Florida butterfly conference Nov. 7 in Fort Myers. Butterflies expert, Marc Minno is among the speakers. [News Press]



World-Class Event (2009-11-02)

World, national and Paralympic champions will be among 48 sailors competing on the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers, Nov. 2-6, in the 2.4-metres boats World Championship, hosted by the Edison Sailing Center. [News Press]



PURRE Focuses on Local Level (2009-11-02)

The PURRE Water Coalition is concentrating its attention on the local level. “It’s time to focus our efforts on our own backyard, the Caloosahatchee watershed and estuary, particularly in Lee County,” said PURRE Chairman Michael Valiquette. [PURRE Water Coalition]



Fishing is on Fire (2009-10-30)

Fishing in the near-shore Gulf is on fire with migrating pelagic fish. Crappie remain scarce as inland waters remain unseasonably warm, but anglers on Lake Okeechobee have been staying busy with good numbers of bass and bluegill. [News Press]



Board of Directors Meeting (2009-10-29)

CRCA Board of Directors will meet on Nov. 4th at 6:30 pm at Bridge Street Coffee & Tea Company, 23 Ft. Thompson Ave., LaBelle (near Forrey's Grill). For further information, contact Annette Snapp:



River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run (2009-10-29)

The 7th Annual River, Roots & Ruts Trail Run is scheduled for Jan 3 at Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva. Registration for the half marathon and 2-person relay is now open online. The run is limited to 300 persons to assure a good time for all. [Registration] [Details]



Greenway Along Able Canal (2009-10-29)

Drainage officials are taking tentative steps to work with Lee County to create a greenway for walkers and joggers along the Able Canal in Lehigh Acres. It would follow the district's right of way and be paid for with county impact fees. [News Press]



Audubon Meeting in LaBelle (2009-10-29)

Dr. John C. Ogden, noted ornithologist, author, and researcher will speak at Hendry-Glades Audubon at 7 p.m. on Nov. 9 at Dallas Townsend Agricultural Extension Building located at 1085 Pratt Blvd. Labelle. [Details]



Call for Protection of Panthers (2009-10-29)

A team of scientists is calling for improvements to a plan to protect the endangered Florida panther in eastern Collier County. Scientists say habitat loss continues to threaten the survival of the panther south of the Caloosahatchee River. [Naples News]



Property Tax Exemption (2009-10-27)

With the enactment of Ch. 2009-157, L.O.F., (HB 7157) the 2009 Legislature provided a property tax exemption for lands perpetually dedicated for conservation purposes. The report looks at how the Legislature could encourage land conservation. [Report] [Eco Voice]



Oppose Near-shore Drilling (2009-10-27)

Offshore oil is a sticky subject. Opponents speak of change of Florida’s image from the nation’s playground to its utility room. Proponents promise jobs, tax revenue and more. A petition can be signed to protect Florida's beaches. [News Press] [Petition]



The Inland Port Site? (2009-10-27)

The Port of Palm Beach board decided Wednesday to wait until Dec. 17 to make a decision, calling for the competing sites to submit business plans to show why they should be chosen. Those plans are due by Dec. 10. An opportunity for Hendry County. [TCPalm] [PalmBeachPost]



Cape Coral Spreader Canal (2009-10-27)

The Cape Coral North Spreader Ecosystem Management Agreement Stakeholders Group & other participants met Oct 9 in Ft Myers. The meeting report is now available. Next meeting is Nov 16 at the SFWMD Conference Room from 8:30 to 5:00. [Report]



Colonel on the Caloosahatchee (2009-10-26)

Colonel Alfred A. Pantano, the new District Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, was introduced to the Caloosahatchee on Oct 8 on a field trip with SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director Rae Ann Wessel. [Details]



Inland Port Meeting (2009-10-26)

The Hendry County BOCC would like a meeting to be held in the City of Clewiston at the John Boy Auditorium in regards to the South Florida Inland Port or Intermodal Logistics Center. The goal is for the State and Region to create a win-win! [Karson Turner Letter]



Conservancy Letter on RALS (2009-10-26)

The Conservancy of Southwest Florida submitted a detailed comment letter on the Rural and Agricultural Land Study to the Hendry County Committee, Oct 16. Recommendations focus on the TDR (Transfer of Development Rights) program components. [RALS Meeting Minute] [Letter]



Get Your Bikes Ready (2009-10-22)

Get your bike ready for this year's River Ride! Distance options are 15, 30, 40, 62 miles - allowing the most and less athletic riders to participate. The event will start from Caloosahatchee Regional Park on Sunday, Nov 22.
[Register Online] [Registration Form]



SFWMD Partnering Session (2009-10-22)

The South Florida Water Management District Lower West Coast Service Center management team invites consultants and members of the regulated community who conduct business with their agency to a partnering session, Nov 4, in Fort Myers. [Details] [Web Site]



American Indian Arts Festival (2009-10-22)

The Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum hosts the 12th Annual American Indian Arts Celebration (AIAC) on the Seminole Indian Big Cypress Reservation, from Nov 6 to 8. Many activities are planned, including, a children’s craft corner and dance demonstrations. [Details]



Junior Olympic: Sailing Results (2009-10-22)

Eliot Caple of the Naples Sailing Center was among the winners during the weekend’s U.S. Junior Olympic - the River Romp - on the Caloosahatchee River in North Fort Myers.The event is the second largest youth regatta in Florida and one of 22 Junior Olympic sanctioned events for the 2009-10 season.



Junior Olympic on the River (2009-10-22)

Eliot Caple of the Naples Sailing Center was among the winners during the U.S. Junior Olympic - the River Romp - on the Caloosahatchee River, Oct 18-17. The second largest youth regatta in Florida and one of 22 Junior Olympic sanctioned events! [Naplesnews]



Inland Port Argued (2009-10-21)

Commissioners for the Port of Palm Beach could vote as early as Oct 21 for the Inland Port project near Lake Okeechobee. While backers see a chance to create rural jobs, many in the shipping community wonder if the plan can work.
[Sun-Sentinel] [Oct 2009 posting]



Oxbow & Riverlore Cruises! (2009-10-21)

Join SCCF for a riverboat adventure on the Oxbow and Riverlore Cruise, to experience the historic Caloosahatchee. This guided monthly cruise explores the meanders of the historic upriver Caloosahatchee. [Details] [Agenda]



Supporters of Everglades (2009-10-21)

In a recent survey of registered voters conducted on behalf of the Everglades Foundation, results show that support remains strong for the state’s plan to purchase 73,000 acres of land from US Sugar for Everglades restoration. 75 % support it. [Everglades Foundation]



10 County Coalition (2009-10-20)

Following two presentations, the 10 County Coalition is interested in advocating for new SFWMD projects - Lake Hicpochee & Lake Clewiston, and is considering a draft resolution for their next quarterly meeting on Dec 4. [Memo] [Details]



New Chair at FGCU (2009-10-20)

Naples resident Judy Sproul has established the Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management at Florida Gulf Coast University. Cutting-edge research will positively impact the environment in Southwest Florida. [Details]



Zip Line Over Alva Park? (2009-10-20)

A zip line ride for Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva could attract more visitors and promote conservation. Oct 20, a Lee County park advisory board voted 5-2 to recommend to the state a zip line attraction be allowed. [News Press Oct 20] [News Press Oct 21] [News Press Oct 28]



F.S. Water Resources (2009-10-19)

The Florida Legislative Committee on Environmental Preservation and Conservation released an interim report regarding water resources, Oct 15. The report reviews the history of Chapter 373, Florida Statutes, and makes recommendations. [Report]



Sea Levels in U.S. East (2009-10-19)

Sea levels rose as much as 2 feet higher than predicted this summer along the U.S. East Coast, surprising scientists who forecast such periodic fluctuations. The immediate cause of the rise has been solved, but the underlying reason remains a mystery [National Geographic] [Gulf stream effect]



Calusa Blueway Festival (2009-10-19)

Lee County's recreational water event, the fourth annual Calusa Blueway Paddling Festival, began Oct 23 and many events will be centered in Cape Coral until Nov 1. The Calusa Blueway is promoted as the nation's premier canoe and kayaking destination. [News Press] [Details]



Clean Water Act Blocked? (2009-10-19)

At long last, The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is agreeing to set legal, enforceable limits on the nutrients that are poisoning Florida’s public waters. Now the state’s biggest polluters are trying to get out of complying. [TCPalm] [St Petersburg Times]



350 Global Event (2009-10-19)

Oct 24, the Annual Florida native plant sale 350 will take place in Fort Myers. The sale is part of a global effort to raise awareness about the significance of heightened carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. 350 refers to the max CO2 level. [News Press] [Flyer] [Details]



Caloosahatchee Bridge Options (2009-10-17)

A new bridge in or East of LaBelle is being planned. Options include Birchwood Pkwy in Port LaBelle, the existing SR 29 route through downtown LaBelle, or on Forrey Drive between the two. A public forum is scheduled for Nov 5. [News Press] [Florida DOT Project Site] [Meeting Announcement]



EPA News Release (2009-10-16)

Oct 15, EPA administrator announces plan to retool and reinvigorate Clean Water Enforcement Program. It seeks to improve the protection of the nation’s water quality, raise the bar in federal and state performance and enhance public transparency. [EPA] [Web Site]



Cape Coral EMA (2009-10-16)

The mayor, whose removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift caused an uproar and legal action, says Cape Coral & DEP can fix the problem without replacing the lift. These are the same groups that claimed the lift removal would improve water quality. [Daily Breeze] [Former Mayor] [Response] [2008 posting]



Everglades Policy and Law (2009-10-15)

Nov 12, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence hosts a policy and law workshop that explores innovative means of protecting and managing the commons, specifically Florida Bay and the Everglades. It is open to the public. [Details] [Web Site]



Taxes for River Cleanup (2009-10-15)

Nutrient levels in Lake Okeechobee are 4 times the state's legal limit, affecting the Caloosahatchee. Lee County has two cleanup projects, one in North Fort Myers and one in San Carlos Park. They cost hundreds of thousands of $ in grants and taxes.
[2 News Online]



River Romp Youth Regatta (2009-10-15)

More than 250 young sailors will take to the water Oct 17-18 at the River Romp Sailing Regatta in Lee County. It’s the second-largest youth regatta in Florida and a multiclass junior Olympic competition sanctioned by the U.S. Sailing Association. [Details]



No Offshore Drilling Bill (2009-10-14)

Lee County commissioners don't want drilling offshore within 25 miles of the county’s beaches. They unanimously voted to oppose any effort to allow exploratory drilling, specifically opposing a bill in the Florida Legislature that would allow it. [Naples News]



Everglades Funding Cut (2009-10-14)

U.S. Senator George LeMieux, upon learning of a $34 mil. cut to Everglades funding in the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water funding bill, highlighted the cut impacts on the ongoing restoration of the Indian Lagoon and the Site 1 Impoundment projects. [Eco-Voice] [CERP Projects]



Citrus Groves Decimated (2009-10-14)

Drought, freezing weather and a fatal disease have savaged Florida's $9 bil. citrus industry, causing output to drop to its lowest level in three years, the government and industry analysts said Oct 9. The second lowest output over the last decade! [Reuters]



Water Report (2009-10-14)

Robert V. Sobczak, National Park Service hydrologist at Big Cypress Nat’l Preserve, produces the quarterly technical report. Information and ideas presented are intended to illuminate the unfolding saga of south Florida’s water cycle. [Report]



Ocean Policy (2009-10-14)

The White House Press has released its Ocean Policy. An Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force (Task Force) has been created to better meet the nation's stewardship responsibilities for the oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes. [Details]



Everglades Report (2009-10-14)

Oct-Sep Everglades Report gives the latest news and information on the noteworthy initiatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with many partners, to restore central and south Florida's natural environment. [Report]



Chiquita Lock Opened (2009-10-14)

After a series of tests revealed no problems, the Chiquita Lock opened for business on Oct 14. The lock, which allows thousands of boats to pass through from the Caloosahatchee River to Cape canals each year, broke at the start of October. [News Press]



350: Climate Action (2009-10-13)

Naples has organised a week of actions called Naples Leading the Way to Sustainability. It kicks off Oct 24, the international day of Climate Action, and ends Nov 1. There are already over 2,000 rally's in over 140 countries! [Flyer] [Details]



Crystals Corp. defeated (2009-10-12)

Politically powerful Florida Crystals Corp. was dealt a blow Oct 9 by state environmental regulators, who said the inland port the sugar company wants built on its land south of Lake Okeechobee would interfere with Everglades restoration.
[Palm Beach Post] [Map]



Creating a Green Region (2009-10-12)

On behalf of Ken Heatherington, executive director of the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, the public is invited to attend the FREE Creating a Green Region workshop and expo, on Oct 17, in Punta Gorda. [Invitation] [Details]



Return Bass tags for $ (2009-10-12)

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and the University of Florida need assistance with a statewide largemouth bass research study.The public can help this year-long project. [Details]



Algae Bloom Kills Crabs, Fish (2009-10-09)

Recently, PURRE Public Policy Director Dan Wexler has noticed an abundance of dead crabs and fish on the beach. He asked Rob Loflin, the Director of Natural Resources for the City of Sanibel, about this.
[PURRE Water Coalition] [web site]



Panther Update (2009-10-09)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) published their “Annual Report on the Research and Management of Florida Panthers: 2008-2009”. You can learn about the status of Florida panther from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. [Details]



Snook Foundation Dinner (2009-10-08)

The Friends of Inshore Fishing 2009 Banquet and Auction will recognize Dr. Phil Buchanan for his hard work in community service and environmental issues. You are invited to attend on Oct 24 at 6 pm in Punta Gorda. Reserve now!



Training Center Defeated (2009-10-08)

The Highlands County Board of Commissioners denied the request by Southern Farms to change the zoning from Agriculture to Agriculture/Training Center PD. The Eagle Training Center has been stopped for at least six months. [Highland 1] [Highlands 2] [Highlands 3] [Details]



New Designated Uses of Waters (2009-10-07)

The Clean Water Network of Florida and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida oppose the prospective creation of new designated uses for Florida waters by the Department of environmental protection (FDEP). [Letter to the Commissioners]



Okaloacoochee Forest Day (2009-10-07)

On Oct 10, from 10 am to 2 pm, the state forest visit day will be held at the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest in Hendry County located approximately 12 miles southeast of Labelle just east of SR 29 on County Road 832. [Flyer]



19th Annual Water Conference (2009-09-29)

The 19th Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference will be held Nov 20 at the Royal Palm Yacht Club in Ft. Myers. Dr. Don Duke of FGCU is this year's organizing committee chair. [Flyer] [Details] [Agenda] [Register]



Fishing Tournament (2009-09-29)

You are cordially invited to the Friends of Inshore Fishing Charity Banquet, and Tournament in Punta Gorda, October 23-25. At the event you'll be able to get a T-Shirt or print of your own with the work above, signed by the artist, Rick Powers. [Details] [Web Site]



CRCA BOD Meeting (2009-09-29)

The CRCA Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at Perkins in North Fort Myers at 6:30 pm. All members and guests are invited to attend.
[Details] [Map]



September Newsletter (2009-09-29)

The September 2009 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. [PDF Newsletter] [Newsletter Archive]



Sugar Deal to Supreme Court (2009-09-25)

Gov. Charlie Crist's mammoth land deal with the U.S. Sugar Corp., a $536 million bid to restore the Everglades, is headed to the state Supreme Court due to an appeal by the Miccosukee Tribe and Florida Crystals sugar company. [Palm Beach Post]



SCCF Water Issues (2009-09-24)

The “adaptive protocols” to manage Lake O water levels are critical to the Caloosahatchee, which suffers from insufficient water during the dry season & too much water during the wet season, both conditions fail to sustain healthy seagrasses. [More Info...]



Coalition Meeting (2009-09-24)

On Sep 25 Forest Michael, Landscape Architect presented his concept for marsh and lakes restoration at a meeting of the 10-County Coalition, attended by commissioners of Glades, Hendry, Lee and other south Florida counties. [SW FL Blogspot]



Spreader Canal Agreement (2009-09-24)

A state-appointed group of local government officials, experts and environmental activists are now drafting a binding agreement that aims to protect the city’s canals and surrounding estuaries after failure of the Ceitus Boat lift and spreader canal. [New Press]



SW Florida Not Wet Enough? (2009-09-24)

As SW FL heads toward tourist season, water managers are concerned the area has received below-average rainfall during the rainy season. Page Field received 25.7 inches of rain from May to Aug - 5 inches below normal. Lake O is also below last year. [New Press]



Lake O Bad & Getting Worse (2009-09-23)

Water pollution in Lake O has reached new record levels and threatens to get worse, according to EPA data cited by Ann Hauck, president of the Council of Civic Assoc. & Jerry Phillips, director of PEER. [PEER Press Release] [Email Report] [xls] [2006 Release] [2009 Release]



Panther Crossing at River (2009-09-23)

A petition has been filed with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity calling for the protection of 4,860 square miles of panther habitat – roughly 3 million acres, much in the Caloosahatchee watershed. [Press Release] [Habitat Map]



Wexler Report on HAB Hearing (2009-09-22)

Dan Wexler, water issues lobbyist for PURRE, reported on a Congressional hearing of House Science & Technology Subcommittee on Energy & Environment to draft new legislation titled The Harmful Algal Blooms and Hypoxia Research and Control Act of 2009. [Wexler/PURRE Report]



River Ride 2009 (2009-09-22)

It's time to register for this year's River Ride. Distance options are 15, 30, 40, & 62 miles. This year you can register and pay online. The event will start from Caloosahatchee Regional Park on Sunday, Nov 22. [Registration Form] [Register Online]



Bridge At Lee-Hendry Line (2009-09-21)

Two possible locations for a new bridge over the Caloosahatchee are being discussed as a replacement for the old Ft. Denaud swing bridge. One option is on the Hendry-Lee County line and the other farther east. Deadline for input is Sep 25. [Details]



Higher Sugar Land Prices? (2009-09-21)

World sugar prices, normally well below US prices, are now close to US prices, partly due to the diversion of corn syrup and sugarcane to ethanol production. Will this affect appraisals of EAA sugar lands for future purchase plans for the Everglades? [Palm Beach Post]



Transexual Fish (2009-09-21)

The USGS has documented the rivers where endocrine-active compounds are creating sexually-confused fish. A large percentage of male bass have acquired feminine characteristics. They suspect industrial and pharmaceutical chemicals are the culprit. [Daily Green] [FWC Bulletin]



Green Tips Contest (2009-09-21)

The Florida DEP is sponsoring its first ever green tip contest as part of National Pollution Prevention Week 2009, Sep 21-27. Tell DEP how you help protect Florida's environment at home, at work or at school. [More Info...]



A Changing Watershed (2009-09-21)

Land development speculation along with citrus canker and citrus greening outbreaks is transforming land use patterns in Hendry County. Citrus acres declined 4% from 2008 to 2009. Hendry County still ranks 1st in number of trees. [The Ledger]



New York Times Series (2009-09-18)

The New York Times recently published a series titled Toxic Waters. The 3rd article in the series focuses on animals wastes contaminating drinking water supplies. The series shows how water quality issues are very similar throughout the USA. [Article 3] [Series Link] [Article 1] [Article 2]



The Moon And High Tide (2009-09-16)

Autumn tides, always the strongest of the year, are slightly higher than normal tides in the region’s waterways, causing water to stack up along marinas and seawalls. The tides are nearly a foot above normal and the culprit is the moon [TC Palm]



Wrong Policy Affirmation (2009-09-15)

Today, the Florida Cabinet can affirm that growth at any cost is the wrong policy for this overbuilt state. At issue is a case that would have allowed a Marion County landowner to build 20 times the number of homes allowed on 400 acres NW Ocala. [Palm Beach Post]



Weed Killer Debate (2009-09-14)

For decades, many people have relied on the popular weed killer atrazine to protect their crops, golf courses and manicured lawns. But atrazine often washes into water supplies and has become among the most common contaminants. [New York Times]



Clean Water Laws Neglected (2009-09-14)

Jennifer Hall-Massey knows not to drink the tap water in her home near Charleston, W.Va. Her youngest son has scabs on his arms, legs and chest where the bathwater — polluted with lead, nickel and other heavy metals — caused painful rashes. [New York Times]



Billy's Creek In Drizzle (2009-09-14)

On a drizzly Saturday morning, about 50 volunteers fanned out through the trees along Billy’s Creek armed with heavy work gloves and large plastic trash bags to pick up garbage that has accumulated in and around the creek over the decades. [News Press]



Riverwatch Outing Invitation (2009-09-14)

Come join Riverwatch at our Sep 19th outing as we join with Friends of Six Mile for a day to remember! Special guests Dr. Charles O’Conner & Cindy Bear will be in attendance to guide us on an adventure through an area normally closed to the public. [Details]



Gators In Florida (2009-09-14)

Nobody has an accurate idea of how many alligators are in Florida, but they have more than recovered from being an endangered species, as they were in the 1950s after years of uncontrolled harvest. [TBO]



Boatable Is Not Fishable (2009-09-11)

FDEP has not given up trying to protect Florida’s polluters. They are at it again with a slightly sneakier approach. They are proposing new categories such as “fishable/splashable” and “fishable/unswimmable” an effort to avoid cleanups. [Clean Water Network]



Cape Coral Canal Meeting (2009-09-11)

The NSEMA Stakeholders will continue work on the consensus report at their Oct 9 meeting. The report looks at alternatives to reinstallation of the Ceitus Boat Lift in Cape Coral with the goal of mitigating the failing spreader canal system. [More Info...]



$3.2 Million Land Purchase (2009-09-11)

Highlands County Commissioners agreed to spend $3.2 million to purchase land owned by caladium farmers east of lake Placid during a meeting of the Special Districts last Tuesday. This affects Lake O and Caloosahatchee waters. [News Sun]



Everglades Expanded Mining (2009-09-11)

Environmental concerns are growing for plans to expand rock mining almost 600 additional acres west of U.S. 27 in southwestern Palm Beach County, an agricultural area targeted for Everglades restoration. [Orlando Sentinel]



Property Taxes Budget (2009-09-10)

South Florida water managers approved a $1.5 billion budget plan that avoids a property tax increase next year while including a half-billion-dollar Everglades restoration land deal with U.S. Sugar Corporation. [Sun Sentinel]



Dumping From Lake O. (2009-09-08)

Lake Okeechobee's water is no longer being dumped out to sea, although the floodgates on South Florida's backup water supply may be reopened if it continues to swell. [Palm Beach Post]



Florida Seegrass Beds (2009-09-08)

The Snook Foundation is working to reclaim 10% of our lost juvenile gamefish habitat in 10 years, and stopping the loss of any additional habitat, such as natural tidal creeks, mangrove shield and seagrass beds.
[Navionics Solution Info]



Creature Comforts (2009-09-08)

In Wisconsin several dog deaths in 2008 were due to blue-green algae poisoning, according to Kent Van Horn, DNR migratory waterfowl biologist. Potential algae is present in lakes, marshes, ponds and ditches across the U.S., particularly in FL. [Natural Res. Mag.]



SW Florida In Wet Season (2009-09-04)

Lake O water levels were at 14.2ft on Sep 4 compared to 14.4ft a year ago. To keep the lake between 12.5 & 15.5ft and because of insufficient storage capacity, the Corps of Engineers releases water down the Caloosahatchee & St. Lucie rivers. [NEW-PRESS]



$4.0 Million Oyster Shells (2009-09-03)

It is a stimulus project aimed at stimulating oysters. Over the years, Lake Okeechobee water releases killed the oysters. The project will be dropping oyster shells for another year. The goal is to get the waters back to what they were. [CBN12]



Low Grade On Gulf Cleaning (2009-09-03)

Florida needs to go back to school when it comes to living up to the federal Clean Water Act. The state was given a D+ on the network’s “Clean Up Your Act!” report card grading the five Gulf of Mexico states. [Detailed Info...]



Filter Marsh Site Cleanup (2009-09-03)

The Friends of Billy's Creek (FOB) will assist the City of Ft Myers and Wright Construction in a littoral planting & cleanup of debris on the site of the new Filter Marsh project on Sep 12. All citizens, groups, and clubs are invited. [Information]



Riparian Rights Postponed (2009-09-01)

Citing a need for more legal briefs, a federal judge has postponed a hearing on the Rivers Coalition Defense Fund's federal lawsuit seeking to stop polluted discharges into the St. Lucie estuary. [Detailed Info...]



Sawfish Rule Impacts (2009-09-01)

The Sawfish Rule becomes effective Oct 2. It requires federal agencies consult NOAA Fisheries Service before approving activities such as dredging or dock building, that may adversely affect sawfish critical habitat. [News Press]



Water Quality Study (2009-08-31)

Lee County has adopted a fertilizer ordinance. But do the ordinances really help reduce phosphorus pollution? A Univ. of Michigan study says that fertilizer restrictions can have a beneficial effect on water quality. [More info...] [Storm Water] [Report]



Highland Lakes Standards (2009-08-31)

A consent decree signed last week by the EPA and Florida Wildlife Federation will require farmers and cities to tightly monitor the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that run into lakes, creeks, rivers and the ocean. [More Info...]



Friendly Letter to Feds (2009-08-31)

Martin County wrote to the Federal Government as a reponse to the Rivers Coalition lawsuit to stop the Army Corps of Engineers discharges from Lake O, stating that Federal government & Martin County both need to protect waters. [More info...]



Riverwatch August Newsletter (2009-08-31)

The August 2009 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. [PDF Newsletter] [Archive]



Lawsuit Postponed (2009-08-28)

A federal court hearing on the Rivers Coalition’s lawsuit over discharges from Lake Okeechobee has been postponed to give lawyers more time to research issues. The Coalition is sueing the Corps of Engineers over degradation of coastal estuaries. [More info...]



FAQs To DEP Rulemaking (2009-08-28)

DEP is changing its Designated Uses and Classification System that establish minimum water quality standards for water bodies. Some fear that it is an effort to lower standards to avoid clean ups. [Detailed Info...]



Bob Graham Book Release (2009-08-28)

At a time when the United States it citizenry engageed in ecological and other issues, Bob Graham has authored America, the Owner's Manual gives a road map on what it takes for individuals to influence the political system.
[B. Graham Interview] [Book Content]



South Florida Ecosystem (2009-08-28)

Land acquisition Strategy (LAS) is critical to South Florida Ecosystem restoration efforts. Its purpose is to describe the land acquisition needed for ecosystem restorations that are Federally and/or Non-Federally funded.
[LAS Draft Report] [Mitigation Map]



World Water Week (2009-08-28)

A meeting was held in Stockholm, Sweden, last week to discuss the world’s water issues. We had been experiencing the worst drought in recorded history. Lake O has now reached its healthiest state in years, but we could face devasting consequences [TCPALM.COM]



HGAS Newsletter (2009-08-27)

Celebrating 50 years of Audubon conservation work, the Hendry-Glades chapter now delivers their regional plan & vision through an electronic newsletter. More and more chapters are taking advantage of this medium, thereby saving paper, time & money. [Newsletter.pdf]



Lake Hicpochee Discussion (2009-08-27)

The 10 County Coalition meets Sep 25 to discuss economic development, ecotourism & natural resource based concerns for Hendry, Lee, & Glades Counties. Forest Michael will present a restoration concept for the Lake Hicpochee & Diston Island. [More Info]



CHNEP Science Forum (2009-08-27)

CHNEP Science Forum is scheduled for Wednesday, Sep 9 from 9:15 am to 12:00 noon at Charlotte County Eastport Office, 25550 Harborview Rd. in Port Charlotte. For additional information a representative can be reached at (941) 764-4507. [Details]



Ocean Cleanup (2009-08-27)

Ocean Conservancy's 24th Annual International Coastal Cleanup is Sep 19, 2009 at a beach, waterway, lake, or stream near you! Sign up to join a worldwide movement of ocean-lovers who are turning the tide on ocean trash. [Details] [Sign Up to Clean Up!]



Next CRCA BOD Meeting (2009-08-27)

The CRCA Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, Sep 2, 2009 at Bridge Street Coffee House in LaBelle at 6:30 pm. All members and guests are invited to attend.
[Details] [Map]



River Coalition Claim (2009-08-27)

The coalition, a group of Treasure Coast environmental groups, fishing clubs and homeowners associations, is behind a suit filed by 22 waterfront property owners claiming the discharges have polluted the estuary and the Indian River Lagoon. [Explanation]



Major Hurdle Cleared (2009-08-26)

Gov. Charlie Crist's controversial land deal with U.S. Sugar cleared a major legal hurdle Wednesday -- but with a spending cap that could make it difficult for water managers to buy more sugar fields in the future. [More info...]



$533 Million Still Needed (2009-08-26)

The fight to control fresh water releases into our estuaries hit a snag. The C-43 construction project has not even started. Plans for a water reservoir are set to go, test cells have been built, but there is no money to move further. [More info...]



New Waterways Grass (2009-08-26)

Luziola subintegra, an aggressive aquatic grass from Mexico, Central and S. America and Caribbean, was discovered in Lake O in 2007 and then in the Caloosahatchee River in Aug 2009. Is this the start of a new infestation? [News-Press] [News Press 2]



Nutrient Polluting Limitation (2009-08-26)

The US EPA has agreed to limit how much nutrient pollution is allowed to foul Florida's waterways, a move likely to change everything from how suburban lawns are fertilized to how stormwater runoff and sewage are treated. []



Port Dream A Pipe Dream? (2009-08-26)

A reality check for those who believe that an inland port would produce jobs to save the Glades communities comes in state objections to a proposal by Florida Crystals. The Palm Beach Post and DCA question the project. [More info...]



HAB Committee Nomination (2009-08-26)

START is pleased to announce Dr. Michael Parsons, Associate Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in Ft. Myers and member of the START Bonita Springs/Ft. Myers Beach chapter, has been elected to serve on the National HAB Committee. [More Info]



Riverwatch July Newsletter (2009-08-26)

The July 2009 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.
[PDF Newsletter] [Archive]



ECWCD Manager Explains (2009-08-19)

David Lindsay, manager of the East County Water Control District explains the role of the district and what effect their work has on the lives of the citizens of the area through issues of water quality. [Lehigh Acres Citizen] [ECWCD Home]



Florida DEP Workshops (2009-08-18)

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recently initiated measures to improve the system for establishing water quality standards. To inform interested people about the complex issue, DEP also started a series of workshops. [Detailed Information]



Access to Imperial River (2009-08-18)

Visitors & residents in and around Bonita Springs will have a new access points to launch kayaks or canoes for tripd on the Imperial River. SFWMD and the City of Bonita Springs agreed on the respective leasing contract. [News-Press]



Draper Ends Campaign (2009-08-18)

Eric Draper announced that he will end his campaign for state agriculture commissioner after raising over $35,000 in the first month of his campaign. He will now focus on his work with Audubon, one of the largest environmental groups in Florida. [Postonpolitics] [TampaBay]



Bill on Waterfront Property (2009-08-18)

The Florida House of Representatives filed HB 73 - Working Waterfront Property, specifying the various different requirements for this kind of property. Because of its effect on coastal areas, waterfront tax exemption has been of interest to many. [Original Filed Version]



Small Businesses Meeting (2009-08-17)

SBDC held a town hall meeting in Clewiston to discuss economic indicators for Hendry and Glades counties in light of the water-quality-driven transformations to the region's agricultural economy. [Speakers and Details]



Babcock Ranch Funds (2009-08-17)

Funds collected by the Babcock Preservation Partnership will assist Lee County with trail construction, signage and ranch management on the former Babcock lands, now called Bob Janes Preserve. [Article news]



Watershed Council Meeting (2009-08-17)

Dr. George J. Hochmuth, UF/IFAS Assoc. Dean spoke at the Aug SWF Watershed Council meeting. He described lawn health and nutrition. He showed research demonstrating how fertilizer blackout periods can create unintendent water quality problems. [More Info] [Dr. Hochmuth]



Lake O Condition Improved (2009-08-17)

Lake Okeechobee may be at its best in the last 10 years. In the NW shallows, population of different species of animals and plants grows and algae forms the base of a complex food chain. A good Lake O is a step toward a better Caloosahatchee. [News-Press]



Collins Appointed...Finally (2009-08-14)

Given the long delay in appointing Joe Collins to replace Bubba Wade on the SFWMD Governing Board, Florida legislators should consider setting a deadline for the Governor to fill important vacancies such as SFWMD positions.
[Palm Beach Post]



C-139 Farmers Over Limits (2009-08-14)

Farmers in the agricultural land in the region southwest of lake Okeechobee, known as the C-139 drainage basin, failed to meet the phosphorus limits. In fact, the levels in the region are more than twice as high as they are allowed to be. [SunSentinel]



Filter Water in Billy Creek (2009-08-14)

In a joint project between the SFWMD and Ft. Myers, a weir at Billy Creek is used to divert polluted water into a lake where sediments then settle to the bottom and pollutants are filtered by shoreline vegetation. Later the clean water moves back. [News-Press] [Billy Creek Map]



UF Master Naturalist Class (2009-08-14)

In its Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) UF-IFAS offers an education program for adults interested in increasing their knowledge on several subjects on Environmental Interpretation and Conservation Science. [Details and Registration]



EAA Farmers Meet Limits (2009-08-14)

Due to best management practices (BMPs) and the use of green technologies in several Storm Water Treatment Areas, the phosphorus reduction levels for 2009 are again better than the 25% required by law. Monitoring results show a 68% reduction. [Sierra Club Archive] [Just The Facts]



NS-EMA Group Meeting (2009-08-14)

Facilitators have been working on reflecting the stakeholders' conclusions and putting together recommendations to deal with the Cape Coral Spreader Canal and Ceitus Boat Lift removal issue. [Cape Coral Mitigation] [Meeting Notice] [Information]



Hickey Creek Programs (2009-08-13)

The Sep program at Hickey's Creek offers several opportunities to spend time outside. During guided walks for example, exotic wildlife which make Florida so unique can be discovered. There is also an Astronomy program for hobby astronomers. [Lee Co Parks & Rec]



Lake Okeechobee Pollution (2009-08-13)

In a guest opinion delivered to News Press, Sam Poole informs the readers about the pollution of Lake Okeechobee and the main sources of that problem which is not the backpumping of water from fields in the south but pollution from northern basins. [News-Press]



Smart Angler! (2009-08-13)

The Newsletter of the Snook Foundation provides necessary information to shape the future of many inshore species and maintain their habitats. Awareness of declining populations are of extraordinary importance. [The Snook Foundation] [What you can do]



USACE Releases Water (2009-08-13)

The US Army Corps of Engineers began a 4-day continuous release to both northern estuaries on Thur, 23 July. The target flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary is 450 cfs, to the St. Lucie Estuary a flow of 200 cfs. [USACE News Release]



Estero Bay Symposium 09 (2009-08-13)

On Mon, Sep 28, the Estero Bay Watershed Symposium will provide a public forum to inform about and discuss important issues regarding hydrology, water quality and habitat protection. Renowned experts are confirmed as speakers. [Details and Registration]



Regional Park Events (2009-08-13)

The XTERRA TRIATHLON at Caloosahatchee Regional Park will be on April 18. Locals and visitors have a great choice of events and activities at the Park through May 2010. [XTERRA TRIATHLON] [Lee Co Parks & Rec] [River, Roots & Ruts] [Triathlon]



No for Cape Coral Utility (2009-07-23)

After a series of public meetings in regards of Cape Corals utility expansion, July 23rd was the final of them in which two of the three council members supporters voted No on the $281 million utility project. [News-Press] [Wink News]



Tap Water Wins (2009-07-20)

Bottled water is not necessarily better than filtered tap water. Actually the reverse might very well be true. Since bottled water is managed by the FDA, and tap water by the EPA, the degree of quality enforcement is lower for bottled water. [News-Press]



July 25 at Fisheating Creek (2009-07-20)

CRCA members: Since our last July 4th meeting was cancelled due to weather conditions, we are going to join the Save our Creeks meeting on July 25. Please RSVP if you would like to canoe in the Fisheating Creek, so we can provide the canoes! [Agenda Details]



Cape Coral Utility Pt.2 (2009-07-20)

Strong dissent was voiced by residents at the second Cape Coral utility meeting concerning plans to provide North Units 1-8 with water and sewage pipelines. A final meeting is set for July 20. [News-Press] [Details] [More Info]



CRCA Board Meeting (2009-07-20)

CRCA will be holding their next Riverwatch meeting on Wednesday, August 12. Our guest speaker, Win Everham, will discuss river issues in Texas and how it compares with SW Florida and our water issues. [More Info]



Inland Port for Hendry/Glades (2009-07-20)

On July 18, Marti Daltry organized a tour of proposed sites for the inland port facilities in Hendry County. Attending were representatives of Sierra Club, Audubon, Everglades Foundation, SCCF, the Collins Center, and Riverwatch. [Summary] [Naples Daily News] [Photo Gallery]



Clams Indicating Hypoxia (2009-07-17)

SCCF Marine Lab Research Scientist Dr. Rick Bartleson studied dead clams and mussels found along the Caloosahatchee near Cape Coral. The main reason for this incident seems to be the freshwater releases into the River due to recent storms. [SCCF Update]



NACo Voting on Clean Water (2009-07-15)

Attention supporters of clean water! We need to call and email our commissioners in the NACos Environment Committee and urge them to vote YES on the "Clean Water for All" resolution before July 23rd! [NACo]



What are Riverkeepers? (2009-07-15)

George Jones from the Indian Riverkeeper spoke to the SW FL Watershed Council on July ??. He explained the Riverkeeper prograam, history of the Waterkeeper Alliance. Various groups are working to create a Riverkeeper program for the Caloosahatchee. [Details]



FDEP Watershed Network (2009-07-14)

Newsletter Volume 2, Issue 1 from the Watershed Network is already available. News about the budget for TMDL Water Quality Restoration, new Seepmeters for water quality on benthic sediments, and more info on the quality of our waters and watersheds. [HTML FDEP Newsletter]



Suit Against Sprawl (2009-07-13)

A group of local governments had started a sue against Governor Crist and the Florida Legislature because of they had passed a growth-management law that opponents bash as a developer-relief act. [Tampa Bay]



Phosphorus from Sludge (2009-07-13)

Disposal of sewage sludge (biosolids) in the Lake Okeechobee watershed continues in spite of a policy of no phosphorus fertilizing of pastures. Biosolids can be less polluting than commercial fertilizers, but it still adds phosphorus to the soils. [Audubon]



FWS: Hamilton s Record (2009-07-10)

Documents from PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility)look into history of the new Fish and Wildlife Services Head: Sam Hamilton. What was found is a dangerous record of placing developers over wildlife. [PEER]



Closed Door Water Decisions (2009-07-10)

The plan to place a system of pipes across FL to transport water from water-rich areas into water-poor areas was stopped by the public 5 years ago. Now thanks to SB 2080, only 5 executive directors of the Water Districts will have the final say. [The Ledger]



National Marina Day (2009-07-09)

Sheila Turregano invites everyone to celebrate National Marina Day on August 8, 2009 at Legacy Harbour Marina, 2044 West First Street in Fort Myers. Call 239.461.0775 for event details. [announcement]



Managing Lake Okeechobee (2009-07-09)

Paul Grosskruger, commander of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Jacksonville District explains the dilemmas of being in charge of holding water in Lake O. as opposed to releasing water to protect the Herbert Hoover dike and SF residents.
[TC Palm]



Sharks Comeback! (2009-07-09)

Summer 2009 seems to be an active shark season. Researchers from the Mote Marine Laboratory caught a record 80 sharks from eight species (bull, blacknose, lemon, and more) in four days last month during the lab's quarterly shark-tagging trip.



Ft. Myers Riverfront (2009-07-09)

A plan with a new 200-room convention hotel, expansion of the adjacent Harborside Event Center & creation of an inlet and ponds that bring the Caloosahatchee river into downtown are the keys, planners say,to economically stimulate Ft Myers downtown. [News-Press Editorial]



Boating Safety (2009-07-09)

The Caloosahatchee was patrolled on the July 4th weekend by Sanibel,Cape Coral and Ft Myers police depts., the U.S. Coast Guard and FL Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who participated in a program on safety and FL boating law compliance. [News-Press]



New Algae in Sanibel (2009-07-08)

Sanibel’s Biologist James Evans, confirmed that the algae found in Sanibel beaches is not red drift algae but a brown algae, Saggassum, commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico. It was probably brought due to strong northwest winds, not nutrients.
[PURRE] [Magnetic Newsletter]



Permanent Conservation (2009-07-08)

Drought-driven emergency water conservation actions have remained in place since March 2007. SFWMD has proposed making the limits permanent. However, in improperly designed utility systems, the consequences of stopping the pipe flow can be negative. [Sun Sentinel]



Eco-Café Gathering (2009-07-08)

Every two months, the Mangrove Gathering offers a nice place to socialize with live music, coffee and tea with delicious delicacies, wireless internet, informational displays and organizations, "green" market, and lots of current local information. [Details]



Response to SB 2080 (2009-07-07)

The law gives 5 people (SFWMD Directors) authority over issuing state permits for wetlands destruction and water consumption. However the directors say they still want to keep the process public as before,although now that would be against the Law... [Tampa Bay]



Sewage Water Investigated (2009-07-07)

Starting July 1st, the Department of Environmental Protection will have to look into the water quality and sewage water facilities in a 1 mile radius of any beach affected by a no-swimming advisory..thanks to leadership by Sanibel Mayor Mic Denham. [News-Press]



Sink Positive Toilets (2009-07-07)

Sink Positive, essentially a toilet-lid sink, conserves water and encourages hand washing. The device ensures clean water to run through a spigot before filling up the toilet, after every flush.
[Mursfreeboro Post]



Fading Sugar Deal Fervor (2009-07-07)

The original $1.75 billion for 180,000 acres south of Lake O. has been downsized to a patchwork of 73,000 acres for $536 million. Although the protection of the Everglades is of national and international importance, the funding is still lacking... [Marco News]



S.B. 2080 Passed into Law (2009-07-03)

Gov. Crist has signed into law Senate Bill 2080, relating to water resources. The law gives powerful permit granting authority to the 5 executive directors of the water management district, taking the governing members out of the process. [Articles on Crist and SB 2080] [Madfloridian Journal]



Non-motorized Boating Session (2009-07-03)

FWC has added an additional and final public non-motorized boating community listening session to be held in the southwest region of the state in Punta Gorda.Join us Monday, July 27th, from 6:30-8:00 p.m. at the Charlotte Harbor Conference Center. [Session Notice]



July 4 Picnic Washes Out (2009-07-03)

Riverwatch has cancelled its planned picnic at Fisheating Creek on July 4. Recent rains have flooded the reserved campsites. Rains have pushed the water up from 4.5 to 6.5 ft and from 350 to almost 1800 cfs. We will try again on July 25.



FL Parks Fees Go Up (2009-07-01)

The Florida Park Service has raised state park day-use entrance fees for vehicles with two to eight people an average of $1 to $3. Single-occupant vehicle fees has gone from $3 to $5 statewide. Annual passes, individual and family, went up a 50%. [News-Press]



Filling SFWMD Vacancies (2009-06-30)

Joe Collins, engineering manager for Lykes Brothers, Inc., has been appointed as one of the 3 new SFWMD Governing Members. He is experienced in design, permitting and operation of surface water management systems for agriculture. [Sun-Sentinel]



Save Our Creeks Meeting (2009-06-30)

On July 25, Save Our Creeeks will start their meeting at 12:00pm at the Fisheating Creek Campground screen room. Charles Sobczak will the guest speaker. Also, the Settlement Agreement Advisory Board will meet from 10am-12pm. [SOC and SAAB Meeting Details] [Save Our Creeks]



More than Backpumping... (2009-06-30)

The 11th Court of Appeals ruled that the SFWMD wouldnt need special permits to backpump polluted waters into Lake O. Although that is bad, it will be good if more attention were paid to farmland and suburban runoff coming from north of the Lake. [News-Press Editorial] [News-Press Jun 23] [Cartoon]



Riverwatch Founder Passes (2009-06-30)

Laura O'Brien Church passed away Saturday, June 27. Laura was a CRCA founder & its lead educational projects organizer in the group's early years. Laura was an inspired teacher who cared deeply about her students and the environment.
[Memories] [Services] [News Press]



Endeavor Green Cruised (2009-06-30)

On June 21, the 24-foot electric-hybrid family pleasure boat, Endeavor Green, left home port in Tampa bay several days earlier, and stopped at rivers Edge motel in LaBelle, and River Forest Yatching center in Ortona. [Caloosa Belle]



Children, Summer & River (2009-06-30)

As summer vacation goes on, and temperatures go extremely hot, children are defeating the heat (and boredom) with the good company of River Caloosahatchee. [News-Press] [News-Press ]



Riverwatch June Newsletter (2009-06-26)

The June 2009 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 PDF Newsletter] [June HTM Newsletter] [Archive]



Crist May Choose Port Location (2009-06-25)

Governor Crist may have the final say whether an inland port transportation & shipping hub is placed in the muck regions of the EAA or in a more ecologically benign location. Politics rather than ecological/economic considerations might be first. [Palm Beach Post]



ACES Passed the House (2009-06-25)

The American Clean and Security Act passed the House floor with a 219-212 vote. Now it heads to the Senate. Please show your support for this important piece of legislation, contact your Senators and let them know that we need this bill into law! [] [Contact your Senator] [Full Bill Text]



North Cape Coral TMDL (2009-06-24)

The proposed Total Maximum Daily Loads for the Coral Creek watershed (including Sanibel & the North part of the Cape Coral Spreader Canal System) will be discussed at a meeting July 6 at 2pm, 2201 Placida Rd., Englewood.
[TMDL Report for Coral Creek]



The Bottom Line (2009-06-22)

John Folks of the Florida Office of Ag. Water Policy describes the constraints faced by farmers in meeting environmental regulations. He outlines criteria that must be met for a solution to be viable for farmers. [Lessons Learned Paper]



Tap Water Database (2009-06-22)

The Environmental Working Group's National Tap Water Database compiles EPA data about water utilities through 2003. The AWG data is useful for historical, but not current issues. DEP also posts utility data to the web. [Water Database]



New Corps Colonel in Jax (2009-06-22)

On July 24, Colonel Alfred A. Pantano, Jr. will assume command of the Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. His prior service includes Executive Officer of the 1st Armored Engineer Brigade in Baghdad.
[Pantano Bio]



Tamiami Skyway Comeback (2009-06-22)

The Federal District Court has lifted the injunction against a bridge on Tamiami Trail. If the bridge is done, the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie esturies will benefit by having the excess Okeechobee waters going south into ENP. [SCCF News] [Court Decision] [Coalition]



EPA Funding and Incentives (2009-06-19)

The 5th EPA webcast in the green infrastructure series, that include Funding and Incentives, and Brownfiedls Redevelopment will be about how to deal with stormwater without it coming into contact with contaminated or compacted soils. [EPA Flyer] [Registration]



Triclosan Found in Dolphins (2009-06-19)

Triclosan - a bacteria killing agent used in personal care products - is accumulating in rivers, estuaries, harbors and a lagoon from South Carolina and Florida. 31-23% of aquatic animals are contaminated with it. [EnvironmentalHealthNews] [Journal]



S. 787 Amended (2009-06-19)

The U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee passed an amended version of the Clean Water Restoration Act. They also passed the Clean Coastal Environment and Public Health Act of 2009 and the Sewage Overflow Community Right-to-Know-Act. [CleanWaterNetwork]



Wastewater Residuals Fertilizer (2009-06-19)

The practice of spreading wastewater plant residuals on farms is controversial. It can provide crop fertility with less potential for nutrient runoff. But there is also the issue of heavy metals that vary based on the wastewater source. [Fact Sheet] [Biosolids Rules] [Sentinel] [DEP]



Coalition for our Waters (2009-06-19)

More than 100 conservation leaders from all over the country were in New Orleans to launch the Restore America s Great Waters campaign. Their purpose is to get congressional authorization for individual projects and funding. [TheTimes-Picayune]



Watershed Council Discussion (2009-06-19)

On June 29, SFWMD Governing Board Members & senior staff members, including Deputy Exec. Director Ken Ammon, will be discussing LOSA Water Availability, Rule/Consumptive Use Permit Renewals, Caloosahatchee Basin, Reservation Rule Status, and more. [Details]



Yes to American Clean Energy (2009-06-18)

Congress will soo vote on groundbreaking legislation that would decrease greenhouse gas pollution and protect communities and natural resources from climate change. Global warming has the potential to deveastate our shorelines & estuaries. [Petition] [RiverAlert]



Study for Control of Algae (2009-06-18)

Divers have been collecting algae 14.8 miles southwest of Redfish Pass as part of a study to answer questions about massive algal blooms that pile up on the beaches of Lee County. The study is also looking at sea urchins in the control of algae. [News-Press]



Restoration of Willow Lake (2009-06-15)

The SFWMD, Army Corps of Engineers, and representatives of the landowner agreed on the restoration of the lake and swamp. A total of 19.08 acres will be placed in a permanent conservation easement and made available for passive recreational use. [Eagle Quest Opinion]



Water Restricitions Eased (2009-06-15)

South Florida water managers agree on easing but not ending the watering restrictions imposed last month on sugar cane growers and other farmers.



In Need of Capital Projects (2009-06-15)

The East County Water Control District revenues are lower than in previous years. The District protects water reserves through drainage, conservation, mitigation, and other methods in Lehigh Acres and the western portion of Hendry County. [News-Press]



Have Your Eco-Voice Heard! (2009-06-11)

The Environmental Voice of Southwest Florida has launched It is a great tool to stay informed on local, regional, and national environmental issues and events. The site complements the successful email list.
[] [New Eco-Voice Web Site]



Opposition to New Project (2009-06-11)

Developers are planning on a new 79-acre housing Estate project on the Caloosahatchee. 58 houses would be built, with well and septic systems, and even a new bridge and roads off of River Road 78 for private access. [Letter from Deb Arnason]



Drugs in Our Waters (2009-06-11)

While most attention focuses on nutrient pollution, pharmaceuticals also pollute our waters. These chemicals can interfere with biology via the endocrine systems of fish and humans alike. More control on pharmaceutical disposal is crucial.
[Palm Beach Post]



Harns Marsh Phase I (2009-06-11)

The ceremony for the 578-acre preserve was held on June 10. This State and Federally-funded project will improve water quality, aquifer recharge, and flood protection in the Orange River & Caloosahatchee watersheds.



No Conservation Taxes (2009-06-11)

Even though the most expensive land conservation plan of Floridas history will be taking place during 2010 fiscal year (1.4 billion budget), SFWMD expects property prices not to drop more than 12%, therefore it won't need to raise its taxes. [Palm Beach Post]



Clean Vessel Act Grants (2009-06-11)

The CVA will provide money to 28 states to help keep their waterways clean. The funds will help with the construction and installation of sewage pumpout facilities and floating restrooms, to purchase pumpout boats, and provide educational programs. [Joshua Winchell]



Important Water Issue Update (2009-06-10)

Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation sent a letter to Governor Crist urging the veto of SB 2080. If you would like to contact the Governor, his e-mail is; tel:850-488-7146; fax; 850-487-0801.
[SCCF letter]



CRCA 4th of July Picnic! (2009-06-10)

Join CRCA-Riverwatch this 4th of July to celebrate Independence Day and our beautiful rivers! Picnic is at Fisheating Creek (7555 US Highway 27 North,FL 33944) at 11:00am for all CRCA members & their guests. [More Info] [Fisheating Creek Resort]



Fun and Educational Canoe Trip (2009-06-10)

Friends of Billys Creek will sponsor a free canoe/kayak trip June 20 at 9:00 am at the Creek pavilion at the Rock Lake Resort, 2937 Palm Beach Blvd., Ft. Myers, FL 33916.
[Billys Creek]



Harns Marsh Phase I (2009-06-09)

The East County Water Control District will be holding a ceremony on June 10th, to celebrate the first Federal stimulus project in Southwest Florida. $350,000 are from a Florida State CBIR grant and $1.45M from the FDEP. [ECWCD Press Release]



Lee Wastewater Discharges (2009-06-09)

Lee County Commissioners are contemplating connecting Waterway Estates to the N Ft Myers Utilities or Cape Coral system to stop wastewater discharges into the Caloosahatchee River. The solution won't be cheap. [News-Press]



Organize for River Cleanups! (2009-06-08)

Attention all environmental concerned citizens and children on summer vacation! June is National Rivers Month! Here is a great opportunity to spend time in the outdoors, and give back to our environment. [Announcement] [American Rivers]



The Sprawl Governor (2009-06-08)

Governor Crist seems to be dumping his green credentials in favor or catering to potential big donors for his upcoming Senate campaign. He approved legislation that will promote sprawl development throughout the state. [NewsJournalOnline]



Manatee Grass on Beaches (2009-06-08)

Higher than normal amounts of white manatee grass has been accumulating in the shores of Sanibel and Captiva beaches. Although the grass itself might not represent any serious problem to the water, some people wonder about the cause. [NaplesNews] [SCCF] [Manatee Grass Info]



Eco-Friendly Voyage (2009-06-08)

On Tuesday, June 16 the 24ft Endeavour Electric Hybrid will set off for a seven-day cruise. The 250-mile journey will use less than $2 per day of electricity. Proceeds from Endeavour Greens voyage will be donated to What About Blue. [Endeavour Green] [What About Blue]



Willow Lake Restoration (2009-06-05)

The 2007 destruction of Willow Lake was the biggest environmental atrocity of Pine Island history. Unfortunately, restoration enforcement by Lee County and SFWMD officials has not been very effective...or taken seriously. [SFWMD Update] [News Press]



Earthjustice Case Overruled (2009-06-05)

The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overruled a 2006 Miami District Court decision requiring SFWMD to get special NPDES permits before backpumping farmland polluted waters into Lake Okeechobee. [Miami Herald] [WTPV] [The Ledger]



Hail to the New Chief (2009-06-05)

Dr. Annette Snapp, FGCU Professor & Colloquium Coordinator, was elected as the new CRCA President at the June 3 board meeting in North Fort Myers. Congrats to Annette and a sincere thank you to our past-presidents, Marti Daltry & Mary Ruth Prouty. [New Board]



Crist Record Found Lacking (2009-06-04)

Despite a pledge to toughen anti-pollution enforcement, the DEP under Governor Crist has not properly enforced regulations or collected fines, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). [PEER Press Release]



Kayakers v. Power Boaters ???? (2009-06-04)

Some power boaters think that they are battling kayakers for area waterways. The fact is boating regulations are designed to protect wildlife (fish, manatees, etc.) and plant life that these wildlife require to live. It is not about kayakers. [Power Boater Letter]



Only Water Will Limit Growth (2009-06-04)

Road traffic and water supply were the two primary hurdles developers faced in proposing new subdivisions. With Crist removing the road criteria only water supply can limit unchecked sprawl.
[Palm Beach Editorial]



No Change in Ecological Tone (2009-06-02)

If confirmed, Sonia Sotomayor would replace Justice Souter on the US Supreme Court. Souter joined Ginsburg and Breyer in supporting a ruling by Sotomayor in the 2007 Riverkeeper v. EPA case. Six justices voted to overturn the ruling. [] [Overruling decision]



Earthjustice Endorsement (2009-06-01)

The Supreme Court nominee knowledge and service as a federal trial and appellate court judge, provide invaluable perspectives for deciding environmental protection and related issues, as reflected in her 80-page Riverkeeper v. EPA opinion.
[Sotomayor Opinion] [Georgetown Blog] [Earthjustice]



Good River News (2009-06-01)

Salinity levels are dropping in the upstream portions the Caloosahatchee Estuary. Heavy rains are helping beneficial freshwater species, such as tape grass, to increase in numbers and temporarily reduce the potential for oxygen depletion.



Replacing Cape Coral's Boat Lift (2009-05-29)

The City of Cape Coral would have to build large reservoirs or filter marshes to protect the northwest waterways from canal discharges. Environmentalists had met with city, county and state officials to replace the Ceitus Boat Lift and dam. [News-Press]



Lake Hicpochee Restoration (2009-05-28)

The Lake Okeechobee Protection Program is considering an alternative plan to restore Lake Hicpochee water storage wetland capacity. The H1B project has three modifications. H1B-Mod3 seems to be the most promising and cost effective. [Evaluation of Alternatives]



From Alva to Yale to China (2009-05-22)

Steve Rawl who learned to crew on the Caloosahatchee at Alva recently traveled with the Yale University Crew team for a regatta preceding the Dragon Boat Racing Festival in Chengdu, China. [Yale Bulldogs] [News-Press]



Riverwatch Newsletter (2009-05-22)

The May 2009 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 PDF Newsletter] [May HTML Newsletter] [Archive]



Algae Bloom Season (2009-05-21)

With the onset of this year's rainy season obervers watch to see if we will revisit what is becoming another annual tradition - algae bloom season. Algae thrive when the weather warms & rains wash nutrients into the river.
[Photo 1] [Photo 2]



Lehigh Water & Sewer Issues (2009-05-21)

Switching Lehigh Acres residents from septic tanks to central sewers may be good for water quality in the Caloosahatchee watershed, but it's hard on the wallets of Lehigh residents. [News Press]



Rainy Season Starts Early (2009-05-17)

Recent rainfall suggests that South Florida's rainy season has started earlier than normal (May 11 vs May 20). It remains to be seen if the early start will help overcome the current moisture deficit. [SW FL Online]



New Candidates for SFWMD (2009-05-16)

The SFWMD board seat made vacant by the resignation of Bubba Wade has new nominees, including Lee County Smart Growth Director Wayne Daltry. Other new names are Roger Hatton, Bruce Hendry, Joanne Semmer, Greg Stuart, & Robert Wilson. [List]



Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid (2009-05-16)

Governor Crist needs to veto a bill passed by the Florida Legislature that would put the power to approve wetlands destruction in the hands of WMD executive directors. JD Alexander added the amendment to create this authority.
[St. Pete Times]



Pulse Flows Persist in Drought (2009-05-16)

Despite the drought now broken, Corps of Engineers and SFWMD managers continued the Lake Okeechobee water flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary. In past years the estuary was denied these essential salinity-balancing waters. The new policy is welcome.
[Flow Calculations] [Graph]



Cowboy Poet Hank Mattson! (2009-05-16)

After the conclusion of business and food at the annual meeting of the Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association, Cowboy Poet Hank Mattson entertained the group with his stories and artifacts of Florida history [Photo Gallery]



CRCA Award for Joe Frank (2009-05-16)

Member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Joe Frank, received a recognition award from Riverwatch at the CRCA annual meeting in appreciation of his service to the organization. CRCA thanks Joe & the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. [Award] [Photo Gallery]



New Board of Directors (2009-05-16)

The Caloosahatchee River Citizens Assoc. elected its 2009-2010 board of directors at its May 2 annual meeting. Officers will be elected at the first board meeting on June 3 in Ft. Myers. Mary Ruth Prouty has served as co-president with Marti Daltry. [Photo Gallery]



June Board Meeting (2009-05-16)

The CRCA Board meets Jun 3 at 6:30 pm in the North Ft. Myers Perkins Restaurant at 13620 N Cleveland Av. Directors will elect Riverwatch officers for the next year. This will be Marti Daltry's last meeting as president after 2 years service. [Map]



Harns Marsh Groundbreaking (2009-05-16)

On Jun 10 the East County Water Control District holds its ground breaking ceremony for the Harns Marsh retention & treatment facility. This marsh is the headwaters of the Orange River, contributing 50–70% of the flow from Lehigh Acres. [Announcement]



Spreader Canal Draft Report (2009-05-16)

A first draft of the report has been released on the removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift on the Cape Coral Spreader Canal system. Janicki Environmental produced the study. The report will be discussed at the next NSEMA Stakeholders meeting. [Draft Report]



Lee Environmental Ed Gone (2009-05-16)

Rick Tulley & Cindy Bear have announced that the Lee County K-12 Environmmental Ed program has lost its funding. The program is well known for accomplishments such as the Monday Group, its classroom programs, & field trips.
[Tulley & Bear] [History] [News Press]



U.S. Sugar Deal Approved (2009-05-14)

SFWMD Governing Board approved a new strategy to acquire lands from the U.S. Sugar Corporation with unprecedented restoration opportuni- ty for the Everglades. About 73,000 acres of lands would be initially purchased, in the south of Lake O. [Mail]



Caloosahatchee River Bridges (2009-05-14)

For information on Caloosahatchee River drawbridges policies, contact the LaBelle (SR 29) bridge tender at 863-674-4664 or the Ft. Denaud (SR 78A) bridge tender at 863-675-2055. Lock operations information is available from the Corps of Engineers. [Moore Haven Lock] [Ortona Lock] [Franklin Lock]



Nutrients Sabotage Restoration (2009-05-13)

The Rivers Coalition (St. Lucie River) sent a presentation by Dr. Paul Gray to Governor Crist. The presentation highlights the challenge of reducing nutrients flowing into Lake Okeechobee and other state waters.




The EXTERRA TRIATHLON will take place at Caloosahatchee Regional Park, on June 21 from 6 AM to noon. For more information contact Kelly Williamson, at or 239-693-2690. [Mail Xterra Triathlon]



Clean Water Act (2009-05-13)

Senators Nelson and Martinez have not yet signed on as co-sponsors to the Clean Water Restoration Act. We need their support on this very important federal legislation that affects Florida. The Riverwatch board has officially endorsed the CWRA. [Mail Clean Water Act]



Water Ranching (2009-05-11)

Agencies and farmers are beginning to experiment with water ranching. But they also need to include, long-term storage contracts, conservation easements, & market valuation of water so many can participate.
[Article Highlands Today]



Cape Coral Spreader Canal (2009-05-11)

The NSEMA Stakeholders will meet to discuss the Ceitus Boat Lift (Cape Coral Spreader Canal) issue on May 26 at 8:30 AM in the SFWMD office at 2301 McGregor Blvd in Ft. Myers.
[NSEMA Message] [Map]



Save Our Creeks Meeting (2009-05-11)

All Are Welcome! Save Our Creeks Board Meeting, Saturday, May 23 at 10 am in the Screen Building at the Fisheating Creek Campground near Palmdale on US-27. New mambers are welcome to join & attend.
[E-Mail] [Membership Form]



Finding The Happy Medium (2009-05-06)

Dry conditions have led to low ground water levels and an overly saline Caloosahatchee River. User groups want the water "just right" having the right mix of fresh and salt water, writes Lee County Commissioner Tammy Hall. [News_Press_090506]



New HAB Legislation (2009-05-06)

New Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) legislation introduced in the US Senate last week by Sen. Nelson & others would support HABs research, forecasting and monitoring. It will also help people detect, control and mitigate coastal HABs and hypoxia events. [Mail_Purre_090506]



Hendry County Committee (2009-05-04)

On Apr 21 the Hendry County Rural Lands Com. discussed how to retain & redistribute development density contained in lands purchased by the state & federal government. On May 5 they discussed water ranching & other topics. [Apr 21 Minutes] [May 5 Minutes]



Stakeholder Group Meeting (2009-04-30)

The April NS-EMA Stakeholder Group meeting will be hold on Thu, Apr 30, at the S. FL Water Management District in Ft. Myers. Without request, there will not be conference phone available. [Agenda]



Lockage Time (2009-04-29)

The WP Franklin and St. Lucie Locks initiated restricted lockage times on Apr 20 until May 5. This is due to low water conditions in Lake O. All mariners are advised to check current conditions if navigating the Okeechobee Waterways. [Notice]



Nitrogen Removal Study (2009-04-28)

CH2MHill completed a study of nitogen removal methods for the Ortona Boma Grove to treat Caloosahatchee waters. They recommend a diversified set of wetland & agricutural treatment systems. [CH2MHill Report] [Agricultural System]



Boat & Drainage Canal Opened (2009-04-28)

After a tree-pllanting project to mitigate the water quality impacts, DEP allowed Ortona residents to remove a weir holding back stormwater runoff and blocking their boat access to the river. [Caloosa Belle]



Riverwatch Newsletter (2009-04-28)

The April 2009 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. [April PDF Newsletter]
[Archive] [April HTML Newsletter]



Earth Day 2009 (2009-04-26)

On Apr 25 CRCA members participated in various Earth Day events, including an educational festival in LaBelle at Barron Park and the Sierra Club Earth Day festival at the Koreshan Center in Bonita Springs.
[Photo Gallery]



Lehigh Water Restictions (2009-04-26)

As all South Florida is suffering from a severe dry season, Lehigh wants people to save water whenever possible. The sandstone aquifer under Lehigh is very low because of a multiyear drought. [The News Press]



Drilling Well Offshore (2009-04-26)

A bill now going through the Florida House would allow drilling in Gulf of Mexico coasts less than 10 miles from Florida beaches. It would give the governor and cabinet power to lease sea bottom for oil and gas drilling. [The News Press]



Giant Step Backwards (2009-04-26)

On Apr 24 the Florida Legislature acted to dilute the growth management laws in a effort to help developers tired of the recession. The action was part of a general initiative in the Legislature to gut growth regulations. [The News Press]



EPA: Clear as a Fishbowl (2009-04-26)

Lisa Jackson, head of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency told all EPA staff to adopt new guiding principles for the EPA - transparency and openness. The memo outlines how staff should implement the many aspects of EPA duties. [Memorandum]



Pulse Flows to Estuary (2009-04-26)

On April 17 the Corps of Engineers halted water flow from S-79 (Franklin Lock) to the Caloosahatchee Estuary. They had resumed pulse flows in late March to maintain an average flow of 280 cfs at S-79 since Mar 1. [Summary] [Flow Status] [Lake O] [SCCF Salinity]



Frontline: Poisoned Waters (2009-04-26)

PBS recently broadcast a Frontline documentary titled Poisoned Waters. The show investigates how pollution is killing fish, mutating frogs, and threatening human health. [PBS Website]



FYN Rainbarrel Workshop (2009-04-26)

University of Florida's "Florida Yards & Neighborhoods" (FYN) program (Lee County Extension Service) celebrated Earth Day by having a Rain Barrel Workshop at the Eco Living Center at Rutenberg Park. [Report]



State Lawn Fertilizer Law (2009-04-17)

A bill in the state legislature would ban applying lawn fertilizers that contain phosphorous unless a soil test determined a need for it. Homeowners dump thousands of pounds of fertilizer on their lawns and gardens every year. [SF Sun Sentinel]



River of Grass Workshop (2009-04-16)

SFWMD holds a 2 day River of Grass workshop in their office of Ft Myers on Apr 16-17, starting at 10am both days. It will be an opportunity to review the 10 different conceptual designs for Everglades restoration. Public Comment is welcome. [Announcement]



Reservoirs as Antidotes (2009-04-16)

Water Management Districts (SWFWMD & SFWMD) are considering reservoirs as a cure for all that ails us. Skeptics say that it won't solve anything, and all our water storage problems stem from society's destruction of Florida's wetlands. [Herald Tribune]



Stream Cleanup in Ft Myers (2009-04-14)

Sponsored by the city of ft Myers and the CHNEP, The Friends of Billy’s Creek and the Lee Paddlesports Alliance will organize a stream cleanup at Shady Oaks Park from 9am until noon on Apr 18. Over 100 volunteers are supposed to help. [Announcement]



Water Restrictions Info (2009-04-14)

Groundwater and surface water supplies are low throughout South Florida. Water restrictions are now in effect. On their website, SFWMD explains the various restrictions by region and what each of us can do.
[SFWMD Website]



Just Move the River (2009-04-13)

In seeking a new redevelopment plan for downtown Fort Myers, some are suggesting moving the river a block farther south. (Actually it's just building a long inlet from the shore to Bay St.) But who would pay for such a project is unknown. [News Press]



Preserving Rural Areas (2009-04-13)

A soon to be announced plan is forecast to pay farmers not to sell their lands to developers. Building housing on farm property that is too near farmland has led to unreasonable complaints around the state about agricultural dust, smells and noise. [News Jacksonville]



First Solar-Powered City (2009-04-10)

Sid Kitson plans a solar-powered city at Babcock Ranch. Babcock was where Kitson sold the state lands that should have been excluded from development anyway. The state thus subsidized sprawl. Is this solar pitch sincere or another sprawl scam. [New York Times] [Time] [Promo Video]



CRCA Annual Meeting (2009-04-08)

The CRCA annual meeting will be at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva on Sat, May 2 at 11am. Riverwatch will elect their board of directors. For food and entertainment, $10 for non members & free for members. [Details] [Map] [Lodge]



Green Training (2009-04-08)

Lee County's Dept. of Natural Resources now requires all professional landscapers to be trained in the Florida Green Industries best management practices for the protection of water resources. [Mail]



Port LaBelle Marina (2009-04-07)

Port LaBelle Marina, Inc. announced on Mar 31 that their Glades County application for land use change has been approved by the state Department of Community Affairs. New housing and commercial projects are planned. [SW Florida Online]



The Real Plan is... (2009-04-06)

While some say the scaled-back US Sugar land purchase looks more like a corporate bailout than an Everglades restoration, others point out that the targeted lands are consistent with a version of the "Rocking Chair" flowway west of Miami Canal. [Sun Sentinel] [Purchase Map] [Rocking Chair]



Nominations From Obama (2009-04-02)

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate Jo-Ellen Darcy will lead the Corps of Engineers & Anne Castle will become Dept of Interior Asst. Sec. for Water & Science. One of Darcy's challenges will be to improve wetland regulations. [E&E Publishing] [News On Women]



Living Green On Air (2009-04-02)

On April 3, WGCU broadcast "Connect! Living Green" a show about activists from Southwest Florida, inspiring fellow citizens to protect wildlife or to preserve the quality local waters. Ray Judah, Ellen Peterson and Rhonda Roff are interviewed. [WGCU Website]



Group Consensus (2009-03-31)

In a 20 to 1 vote, the Cape Coral Spreader Canal stakeholders group adopted the recommendations of Phil Buchanan and will apply for permits to replace the Ceitus Boat Lift. However a final decision on construction is months away. [Analysis by Buchanan]



The Political Sausage Factory (2009-03-31)

The Council of Civic Associations, via Ann Hauck, contributed to Paving Paradise, a new book by Craig Pittman and Matthew Waite, investigative reporters for the St. Petersburg Times.
[Revealing Excerpts]