December 16, 2017

River news


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

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



Developers Should Pay (2016-07-14)

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



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

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



Lower West Coast (2016-06-09)

SFWMD announced the kick-off of the update to the Lower West Coast (LWC) Water Supply Plan. This update will assess current and projected water through 2040. The LWC Water Supply Plan kick-off meeting will be held on Jun 30, 2016 at 9:30am, in Bonita Springs Government Center. [Informations] [Map Meeting] [Map LWC] [Planning Document]



Caloosahatchee June 1-7 (2016-06-09)

Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased to an average of 4,821 cfs. Lake O discharges to the river measured at S-77 increased to an average of 3,835 cfs. Approximately 80% of the flows to the Caloosahatchee estuary came from Lake O. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool averaged 1,300 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]



2006 vs 2016 SFWMD (2016-06-08)

If you plan to attend the SFWMD Board meeting in Ft Myers on Thursday, Jun 9 to comment on the poor condition of the Caloosahatchee then you may want to first watch the Riverwatch video of the same meeting in 2006. Nothing has really changed. Contact CRCA if you want suggestions on comment content. [SFWMD Meeting Agenda (Public Comment: Item 34)] [SFWMD Ft. Myers 2006] [Senator Nelson 2005] [Email Riverwatch]



Lake O Learning Collaborative (2016-06-06)

The Lake O Learning Collaborative is focused on collaboration and resource sharing among the many municipalities and counties within the Northern Everglades Estuaries and the Lake O Watershed. This event will be held on Jun 22, from 12pm to 5pm at Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau in Ft. Myers. [Details] [Map] [Goals] [Registration]



Caloosahatchee May 25-31 (2016-06-02)

Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased to an average of 4,305 cfs, while discharges to the river from Lake O at S-77 increased to an average of 2,515 cfs. USACE request flows be reduced to an average of no more than 2,800 cfs at S-79. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [More SCCF Reports]



FPL Rate Hike Public Hearing (2016-06-01)

FPL shareholders make a 20% annual profit off their monopoly. They use Florida customer's money to deceive voters on solar amendments, fund nuclear expansion in sea level rise zones, & pay for fracking in other states. Attend this Public Service Commission meeting on June 2 (Thursday) to speak out. [Flier] [CBS Miami] [Rate Hike Commentary] [Map] [Hearing Dates]



San Carlos Islanders Upset (2016-05-31)

The density & intensity of Maher’s plans for Bay Harbour Marina Village on San Carlos Island at the entrance to Estero Bay are so controversial that a third day of rezoning hearings wasn’t enough. So, a fourth hearing day is scheduled for Jun 17, at 9am in downtown Ft. Myers. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]



SFWMD to Meet in Fort Myers (2016-05-30)

The South Florida Water Management District meets on Thursday, June 9 in Fort Myers at the Old Lee County Courthouse. Plan on attending and letting them know how we feel about Caloosahatchee conditions experienced during 2016. [Schedule] [Meeting Agendas]



Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods Meeting (2016-05-30)

The next Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods Initiative Quarterly Meeting is scheduled for June 15, 2016 from 10:00-12:00 at the South Florida Water Management District’s Lower West Coast Service Center in Ft. Myers. [Details]



June CRCA Board Meeting (2016-05-30)

The CRCA-Riverwatch Board of Directors will meet on June 1 in LaBelle at the Bridge Street Coffee Shop. Dave Urich of Responsible Growth Management Coalition has developed six white-boards on the Lake "O" water issue and will discuss. [Location]



Caloosahatchee May 18-24 (2016-05-26)

Discharges into the estuary at S-79 increased to an average of 4,183 cfs, while discharges to the river from Lake Okeechobee at S-77 decreased to an average of 350 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 averaged 2,139 cfs. Cyanobacteria was present at Alva and Olga. [Conditions Report] [Table] [Photo] [More SCCF Reports]



Laser Light Shows Ft Myers (2016-05-20)

Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium is proud to announce the return of summertime laser light shows during a 10-day Go Wild for Lasers event, featuring several family fun laseriffic events throughout the celebration for both children and adults, taking place between May 18 to May 28. [Fort Myers Beach Talk] [Photo] [Map] [Buy Tickets]



Caloosahatchee May 11-17 (2016-05-19)

Lake O water flows continued to recede at S-79. Discharges into the estuary at S-79 decreased to an average of 2,164 cfs, while discharges to the river from Lake O at S-77 increased to an average of 2,178 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 averaged 443 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]



Lake O BMAP Meeting (2016-05-18)

The Lake Okeechobee Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) Annual Meeting was held in Okeechobee on May 3 to review first year progress on reducing pollution to Lake Okeechobee from surrounding lands, primarily agricultural, mostly cattle ranches. [BMAP Presentation] [Agenda] [Presentation by SFWMD] [FDACS Update] [Technical Meeting Summary] [Lake Tohopekaliga NRP]



Florida Trail Association Activities (2016-05-12)

Three important events will be held during the month of May and June by FTA. (1) Saturday May 21, Full Moon Hike at Dinner Island Wildlife Management Area or WMA. (2) Saturday June 4, Clip and Walk Paradise Lake Spur to Creek Trail Maintenance. (3) Saturday June 25, Night Hike at St. Luke's Church. [List of Events] [Event 1] [Event 2] [Event 3]



Reminder for CR Working Group (2016-05-12)

Don't forget that the next meeting to develop SAV Restoration Targets for the Caloosahatchee River will be held on May 17, 2016 in Alva from 9:15am-noon at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park. The outcomes will be compiled into a written summary which will be presented to CHNEP TAC in Jul, 2016. [Agenda] [Map] [Presentation] [CR Working Group] [Reservation]



Caloosahatchee May 4-10 (2016-05-11)

Lake O water levels continued to recede. Discharges into the estuary decreased to an average of 2,255 cfs and discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 1,294 cfs. There has been no salinity signature in the middle Caloosahatchee estuary at Ft. Myers. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]



Caloosahatchee Apr 27-May 3 (2016-05-05)

Lake O water levels continued to recede. Discharges into the estuary at S79 increased to an average of 2,739 cfs while discharges to the river from Lake O at S77 decreased to an average of 2,645 cfs. 42% of Lake O outflows were directed to the Caloosahatchee. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [More SCCF Reports]



Counter-Attack (2016-05-05)

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



CRCA Public Forum Invitation (2016-05-05)

The public is invited to attend the Riverwatch public forum on May 11 in Ft Myers to discuss the C-43 West Reservoir project. It will be a 15 square mile, $600 million water storage project to help balance Caloosahatchee estuary salinity. [Event Flier] [Forum Outline] [Press Release] [News Press] [Reader Comments] [Prof Mitsch Video]



BMAP Update (2016-05-04)

A public meeting of interested stakeholders to discuss the Lake Okeechobee BMAP took place on May 3, 2016 from 9am to 11am at Dixon Hendry Campus. The BMAP is the means for implementation of the adopted TMDL. The purpose of this meeting was to provide the annual update on the adopted BMAP. [Draft Agenda] [Draft Report] [Letter] [Map] [News about BMAP]



Dirty River Jam 2016 (2016-04-29)

The 2nd annual Dirty River Jam will be held on Jun 11, from 1pm to 11:45pm at Terra Fermata. They are teaming up with to create community awareness of the growing problems involving Indian River and surrounding waterways which are being adversely affected by the run-off from Lake O. [Event] [Map] [Logo] [Dirty River Jam 2015] [Facebook]



Caloosahatchee Apr 20-26 (2016-04-27)

The Corps of Engineers continues to release water in a pulsing pattern. On some days discharge exceeds the 2800cfs limit & on other days it is below. This pulsing approach may be the best way to maintain estuary health when flows are near the upper (2800cfs) or lower (800cfs) limits. [Conditions Report] [Table] [Pulse Ref (pg16/22)] [More SCCF Reports]



John Scott Candidacy (2016-04-26)

State Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers, has a Democratic challenger in the November election: John Scott. He has filed papers with the state to open a campaign account, and said he plans a formal announcement soon, but he declined to reveal details about his campaign at this point in the race. [News Press] [John Scott] [Matt Caldwell]



Caloosahatchee Apr 6-12 (2016-04-22)

Discharges into the estuary increased slightly to an average of 3,078 cfs and discharges to the river from Lake Okeechobee increased almost 1,000 cfs to an average of 3,121 cfs to supply agricultural irrigation demand. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [More SCCF Reports]



Wa-Ke Hatchee Community Park (2016-04-22)

Lee County Parks and Recreation hosted an Earth Day Celebration event Apr 16 at Wa-Ke Hatchee Community Park. Exhibitors, including Riverwatch, did their part to inform, conserve and enjoy the local environment. [Event] [Photo] [Countries Earth Day 2016]



2016 Earth Day Apr 22 (2016-04-22)

Earth Day 2016 was Friday, Apr 22, during which many people participated in a day of action. Riverwatch is joining Waterkeeper Alliance in a call to action: Keep it in the Ground. This movement seeks to leave fossil fuels as fossils and promote renewable energy use. [Earth Day] [Dates] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]



Caloosahatchee Apr 13-19 (2016-04-22)

Lake O water levels continued to recede with flows to the Caloosahatchee still exceeding the high-flow harm threshold of 2,800 cfs. Lake discharges into the estuary decreased slightly to an average of 2,943 cfs, and discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 2,700 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]



Earth Day with Jack E Davis (2016-04-21)

On Friday, Apr 22 SCCF held its second annual Conservation Conversation. Dr. Jack E. Davis spoke about our coastal waters and the people who live near them. Dr. Davis is a professor at the University of Florida. [Santiva Chronicle] [Jack Davis] [Trout Lake Nature Center] [Curriculum Vitae]



C43 Reservoir Discussion (2016-04-21)

On May 11 Riverwatch and Watershed Council will host a Public Forum to discuss the Caloosahatchee River (C-43) West Basin Storage Reservoir project. It is intended to improve the timing, quantity and quality of freshwater flows to the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. But will it? [Plan] [Forum Outline] [Information] [Debate] [Location] [Cartoon]



CRCA Board Meeting in May (2016-04-21)

The CRCA-Riverwatch is dedicated to the protection of the River and its watershed, through education and promotion of the responsible use of the River for the enjoyment of all people. The next CRCA Board Meeting will be held at 630pm on May 4 at High Point Place in Fort Myers. [Board of Directors] [Photo] [Cartoon] [Previous Meeting]



Meeting on Amara Zee (2016-04-19)

Riverwatch directors met on the tall theater ship Amara Zee on Apr 6, hosted by Paul Kirby and Adriana Kelder. Officers were reelected for the next year. Presidents typically serve two terms whereas the treasurer and secretaries are long term and VP duration of service falls in between. [Agenda] [Next Production] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]



FGCU Students Clean Water Rally (2016-04-14)

FGCU students want to educate the rest of the University about water issues in Florida, specifically the issues related to the discharges of Lake O into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers. The rally will be held on Apr 18, 2016 from 11:00am to 2:00pm at the Veterans Pavilion. [Eagle News] [Lee Herald] [Brittany Jacobs] [Event] [Photo] [Facebook]



Lehigh Acres MSID (2016-04-13)

Join the Lehigh Acres Municipal Services Improvement District (LA-MSID) in a special Groundbreaking Ceremony on May 4, 2016, from 3pm to 5pm, at Lehigh Acres. The Southwest Lehigh Weirs Project can help make tangible improvements in the health of the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. [Invitation] [Lehigh Acres MSID] [Information] [Map]



CR Working Group (2016-04-12)

The Caloosahatchee River Targets Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Working Group will meet May 17 in Alva from 9:15am-noon at the Caloosahatchee Regional Park, 19130 N. River Road. The group will continue developing SAV Restoration Targets for the Caloosahatchee River. [Agenda] [Map] [Presentation] [Meeting Notes] [Resources]



Caloosahatchee Mar 29-Apr 5 (2016-04-08)

Discharges to the estuary decreased but remain at harm levels. Increased turbidity during high flow periods reflect increased loading of suspended solids that settle out in calm conditions and become re-suspended by currents and by wave action contributing to reduced production. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [More SCCF Reports]



Billys Creek Clean-up (2016-04-07)

On Mar 25th 2016, FGCU Students along with Community Partners, FCGU Faculty/Staff, FSW Students, and community members held a cleanup to remove trash and debris from Billy’s Creek and surrounding areas. Student produced an excellent video documenting the activity and its importance. [Mary Rawl] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video] [Clean-up a Success]



Caloosahatchee Mar 1-7 (2016-04-06)

High flows have lowered salinities at the mouth of the river to as low as 2 psu, too low for many salt water invertebrates. Discharges into the estuary decreased to an average of 5,570 cfs, and discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 4,786 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]



Caloosahatchee Feb 23-29 (2016-04-06)

Discharges into the estuary decreased to an average of 7,485 cfs, discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 5,874 cfs, and discharges made up 78% of estuary discharges. Absolutely terrible for this time of year. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]



Biodiversity of Southwest Florida (2016-04-06)

Come and enjoy a free program on Biodiversity of Southwest Florida with Frogwatch's John Cassani on Wednesday, April 13 at Calusa Nature Center's Iona House (3450 Ortiz Ave., Ft Myers) at 7pm. The program is sponsored by Sierra Club Calusa Group. For more information [Flyer] [John Cassani Bio] [Frog Watch]



April Freeman Press Conference (2016-04-05)

April Freeman will be announcing her first step in tackling the Lake Okeechobee Water Crisis in South Florida on Tuesday, Apr 5 at 6:00pm. April's solution will be both innovative and practical, taking the politics out of the Lake Okeechobee crisis. [Press Conference] [Issues] [Photo] [Facebook]



SWFL Sustainability (2016-04-01)

SWFL Sustainability is focused on People, Place, and Profit to improve our Quality of Life for Today & Tomorrow. In 2016, the inaugural SWFL Sustainability Summit will take place on Apr 28, from 8:00am to 2:30pm at Hyatt Regency Coconut Point, Bonita Springs. [Poster] [SWFL Sustainability] [Photo] [Sponsorship Package] [Vendor Package] [Get Tickets]



Caloosahatchee Mar 22-28 (2016-04-01)

Lake water levels continue to recede with relatively high discharges into the Caloosahatchee. Discharges into the estuary decreased but remain above the harm threshold averaging 3,039 cfs, and discharges to the river from Lake O decreased to an average of 2,179 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]



Leaders Respond (2016-04-01)

Releases into the Caloosahatchee River have poured into the gulf, causing environmental impacts that are affecting local fish and wildlife. Join us at the event Lake Okeechobee Releases: Federal, State and Local Leaders Respond, on Apr 28, 2016, from 7:30am to 1:30pm in Fort Myers. [Photo] [Paper Registration] [Map] [Event] [Web Registration]



2016 Florida Legislative Wrap-Up (2016-03-31)

ULI SW Florida, REIS & FPZA present 2016 Florida Legislative Wrap-Up on April 21, 2016 from 8:00am to 10:30pm at FGCU's Cohen Center (10501 FGCU Blvd S, Fort Myers). ULI & REIS Members: $30. Non-Members: $45. Don’t miss learning about what will impact your business in the coming year! [Details] [Registration] [Website]



LaBelle Regional Park Clean-up (2016-03-31)

Please join us for a clean-up day at the new LaBelle Regional Park on the north bank of the Caloosahatchee (Riverbend Dr) on Apr 9 from 8am to Noon. The City of LaBelle has had the lease on this since 1991 and if the City does not develop a park SFWMD will surplus the 200-acre site on the River. [Map] [Caloosa Belle] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]



River Rally May 2016 (2016-03-31)

River Rally is a national conference that focuses on education, inspiration and celebration within the river and watershed community. River Rally draws hundreds of people together every year from across the USA and the world. In 2016, this event will take place on 20-23 May. [Program] [Photo] [Suggested Social Media Posts] [River Network] [Sponsorship] [Registration]



Clean-up a Success (2016-03-30)

On Mar 25 Riverwatch VP Mary Rawl hosted a clean-up of Billy's Creek with 47 people participating, mostly FGCU & FSW students. Thank you to all! Shout-out to Neil Wilkinson, Brian Murphy, John Paul, Wes Anderson & Chris Rawl for assisting and to CHNEP for funding. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Website] [Videos]



Earth Day (2016-03-30)

Celebrate Earth Day at Wa-Ke Hatchee on Saturday, Apr 16 from 10am to 2pm. This event is free and open to the public. Celebrate the Earth with exhibitors who do their part to inform, conserve, and enjoy our local environment. Bring family and friends and enjoy the event! [Wa-Ke Hatchee Wire]



Alva Oxbow Paddle (2016-03-30)

Join a group of paddlers for the Alva Oxbow Paddle on Saturday Apr 23. Meet at the Alva Boat Ramp 21580 Pearl St Alva, FL 33920 at 8:00 am, return to boat ramp at noon. Limit 10 participants. Bring your kayak or canoe and gear. Cost: $5 per car. Call Margaret England for details 863-517-0202. [Event Facebook]



Garden Tour with John Kiseda (2016-03-28)

A Spring Garden Tour, at John Kiseda's home in the South of Fort Myers, took place Wed, Mar 23. John Kiseda works at the All Native Garden Center, on Thursdays and Fridays. He promotes sustainable gardening by transforming landscapes into wildlife gardens featuring native plants. [John Kiseda Web Page] [All Native Garden Center]



Annual Meeting Program (2016-03-26)

76 members & guests attended the Riverwatch annual meeting on Mar 19. The program included: Commissioner Frank Mann - MC, Wayne Daltry – Caloosahatchee History, John Cassani – Technical Issues, John Capece – Waterkeeper Program, Gene Gibson - Awards, and Amy Bennett Williams - Values. [Meeting Program] [Commissioner Frank Mann]



1000 Friends of Florida (2016-03-25)

A meeting to discuss environmental advocacy with Governor Bob Graham will take place on Tue, Apr 19, 2016. 1000 Friends of Florida, the meeting organizer, believes that citizens play an active role in society, and they are concerned about the environment and their lifestyles. [Meeting 1] [Meeting 2]



Walk for Future Generations (2016-03-24)

Sunday, March 20 to Friday, March 25, people will step up efforts to save the Everglades, through a protest march from Miami to Naples. Everyone is invited to walk for an hour, a day, a few days or the entire time, or attend the protests and press conferences. Follow the link below for more details. [Facebook]



Youth Driven Cinema (2016-03-23)

Youth Driven Cinema promotes the creation of educational/motivational short movies by young people. Their event takes place on April 29th at The Lyric Theater. Proceeds going to camp scholarships at Environmental Studies Center. [] [Tickets for the Youth Driven Cinema] [Website of the Youth Driven Cinema] [Example Movie]



2016-17 Board Elected (2016-03-21)

At its annual meeting on Mar 19, Riverwatch President John Paul conducted an election for the 2016-17 CRCA Board of Directors. 17 directors were elected with 4 positions to be filled later in the year by the board. Officers will be elected by directors at the April 6 board meeting. [2016-17 Board List]



His 128th Climate Speech (2016-02-25)

It's not my grandfather's ocean any more! This is what the U.S. Senator from Rhode Island is hearing from his state's fisherman. Sheldon Whitehouse has made 128 such climate change speeches to Congress. [CSPAN Video] [Sen. Whitehouse Climate Page]



Clarifying His Position (2016-02-24)

On Feb 24 the News Press quoted Lee Co Commissioned Frank Mann as clarifying his perspective, “The fresh water you need to get south (of Lake O) also carries these nutrients, but any water south is good for us.” [News Press] [Web Site]



Guessing Game at Lake O (2016-02-24)

On Feb 15 the US Army Corps of Engineers changed the way it reported how much water was flowing out of Lake O into the Caloosahatchee River. Above 6000 cfs a difference of as much as 50% appeared in their reporting. Riverwatch has inquired to get a explanation. [Spreadsheet of Corps Data] [Flow Error Chart at Moore Haven Lock]



Plastic Baykeeper (2016-02-19)

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



Lake O Discharges (2016-02-19)

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



High Winds (2016-02-19)

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



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

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



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

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



Bull Sugar (2016-02-19)

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



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

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



Reprehensible Legislative Actions (2016-02-19)

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



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

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



Nano Toilet (2016-02-19)

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



El Nino Research (2016-02-19)

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



Fracking Test (2016-02-19)

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



Zika Virus (2016-02-19)

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



Help Available for Ponds (2016-02-19)

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



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

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



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

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



The First Climate Refugees (2016-02-18)

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



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

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



Boaters Are Voters (2016-02-12)

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



Stop Lake O Discharges (2016-02-12)

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



Fossils and Photography (2016-02-04)

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



Lake or Local Blob (2016-02-03)

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



Bad News for Food (2016-02-03)

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



Waterkeeper Alliance Magazine (2016-02-02)

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



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

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



Agriculture & Wildlife Tour (2016-01-31)

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



CRCA February Meeting (2016-01-31)

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



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

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



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

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



Counting Fish to Catch (2016-01-29)

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



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

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



NOAA Weather Data (2016-01-29)

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



Thanks Karen & RRRTR (2016-01-29)

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



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

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



2015 Crushed Global Records (2016-01-29)

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



Challenge Status Quo (2016-01-29)

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



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

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



Amendment 1 Lawsuit (2016-01-29)

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



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

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



High Peaks Losing Glaciers (2016-01-29)

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



SFWMD Flood Control Action (2016-01-29)

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



Dead Fish Removal Authorized (2016-01-29)

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



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

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



Pine Island Plan Revision (2016-01-29)

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



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

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



New Group at Babcock (2016-01-25)

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



Tornadoes (2016-01-25)

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



More Plastic than Fish (2016-01-24)

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



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

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



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

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



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

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



River Rally 2016 (2016-01-24)

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



El Nino (2016-01-24)

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



Florida State Parks (2016-01-24)

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



Watershed Kickbacks (2016-01-24)

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



Agriculture & Wildlife Tour (2016-01-23)

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



Everglades Action Day (2016-01-23)

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



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

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



Wettest January on Record (2016-01-23)

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



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

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



Still Denying Global Warming (2016-01-23)

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



Wings Over Water Festival (2016-01-23)

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



Algae Makes You Stupid (2016-01-23)

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



UF Water Institute Symposium (2016-01-23)

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



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

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



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

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