For Immediate Release:  October 16, 2014
Contact: Marlene Rodak, (239) 273-8945


Free Workshops for Residents; CEUs for Professionals


FORT MYERS, FL, October 16, 2014 Thousands of us in Southwest Florida enjoy a beautiful, stress-free lake view from our lanais. Watching wading birds and ducks is both soothing and enjoyable, but for many who volunteer on home/condo owner association boards, the stress levels increase when trying to maintain these common areas.


         What does a healthy pond look like?

         Is algae bad?

         What type of plants should we add to our ponds?

         How long before we have to dredge our pond?


Help is available.  Area experts will conduct several workshops around town to help homeowners, association boards, Community Development District (CDD) representatives, landscape committee members, and others learn ways to extend the lives of their stormwater ponds between dredging events, as well as how to use native plants to beautify their ponds and attract desirable wildlife.  Presenters will include:


         Karen Bickford, TMDL Coordinator with Lee County Natural Resources.

         Dr. Ernesto Lasso de la Vega, Pond Watch Coordinator with Lee County Hyacinth Control District.

         Dr. Serge Thomas, Aquatic Ecologist Assistant Professor at Florida Gulf Coast University.

         Other water quality experts.


The workshops will be offered at several different locations between October and March, 2015.

         Wednesday, October 22, 1-4 pm at Bonita Springs City Hall, 9101 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs.

         Friday, November 14, 1-4 pm at Lee County Hyacinth Control District, 15191 Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres.

         Tuesday, January 27, 1-4 pm at Bonita Springs City Hall, 9101 Bonita Beach Road, Bonita Springs.


With more dates being scheduled and available at


Continuing Education Credits are offered:

1.    CORE CEU

2.    Aquatics/Private Applicators CEUs

3.    CEUs maxmum


The workshops are free, but preregistration is suggested. Complimentary refreshments will be offered. For more information or to register, please visit or call (239) 273-8945.

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WetPlan or Watershed Education Training - Ponds, Lakes & Neighborhoods is an educational program and resource for anyone interested in improving and caring for their neighborhood lakes and ponds. WetPlan is a partnership of water quality and lake management experts, which includes members from the Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program, the City of Bonita Springs, Lee County Natural Resources, Lee County Hyacinth Control District, Florida Gulf Coast University, Lee County Extension Services, the Florida Native Plant Society, and private partners, including Conestoga-Rovers & Associates and Kimley-Horn.

CEU Credits are now Available to WetPlan Workshop Attendees