John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeper            
Reinaldo Diaz, Executive Director            
Gene Gibson, President            

October  2017 Newsletter            
John Capece, Editor            


Oct 14: Calusa Rangers Training Academy at Calusa Nature Center

Oct 18: DEP/SFWMD TMDL Review Meeting in Ft Myers

Oct 19-31: Haunted Walk at Calusa Nature Center in Ft Myers

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Hurricane Irma plowed through the Caloosahatchee region on Sep 10.

  Green Light for Sea Grass

Senator Jack Latvala sponsored a $1.5 million dollar appropriation in the state budget for 30 acres of seagrass restoration in the Caloosahatchee Estuary. The project was championed by David Ceilley of Johnson Engineering through the Snook Foundation. [Smaller Waterkeeper Seagrass Project] [Funding Request] [Snook Foundation] [Senator Jack Latvala]

  Sea Grass Restoration Begins

On Oct 4 John Cassani & Reinaldo Diaz took Ryan Brushwood of Sea and Shoreline LCC on site visits to homes of those who volunteered their waterfronts for the CHNEP Sea Grass Gardening program. The project will create sea grass seed sources along the river to help repopulate the decimated habitat. [Pic1] [Pic2] [Pic3] [Pic4] [Pic5] [Pic6]

  Mattos Raises Concerns

Linda Mattos, Director of Calusa Waterkeeper, attended the Ft Myers Community Meeting on Oct 5. Linda raised the issue of bacteria contamination of Billy’s Creek and other waterways. Councilman Johnny Streets followed up with City inquiries. [Councilman Streets Follow-up] [Linda Mattos Handout]

  Post-Irma Pollution Report

Florida DEP is publishing timely notices of pollution after Irma. Calusa Waterkeeper produced a Google Map pollution report categorized by waste water (sewage), industrial water, reuse water, storm water, diesel and oil. Also on the map are results of CWK bacteria testing. [EPA] [Calusa Waterkeeper Map] [FDEP Page]

  Some Safe, Some Not

Collier & Lee beaches got the all-clear after agency tests showed the water to have safe levels of bacteria. Calusa Waterkeeper conducted its own testing of Estuary waters and tributaries and found unsafe levels of bacteria in most on Sep 22. Testing will continue. [News-Press]

  Ranger Training Academy

Starting Oct 14 you can attend Calusa Waterkeeper Ranger Training Academy to learn how to serve as a volunteer Ranger, helping sample and protect our area waters. Contact John Cassani at 239-633-7274 for additional information. [Flier] [Ranger Academy] [Ranger Recruitment]


  Congratulations to Reinaldo Diaz

Waterkeeper Alliance awarded a license to CWK Executive Director Reinaldo Diaz for a new Lake Worth Waterkeeper program in Palm Beach County. Reinaldo applied to become the Calusa Waterkeeper in 2016, but John Capece advised he instead consider starting his own program in the West Palm Beach area. [7 New Waterkeepers] [Reinaldo Diaz]

  Executive Director Search to Begin

Reinaldo Diaz and Jack Green before him were both wonderful ED's. But with Reinaldo beginning his Lake Worth Waterkeeper program in January, Calusa Waterkeeper will again be searching for a new Executive Director. Applications will be sought in November with interviews in early December.

  Cost of EPA Elimination

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani writes about the dire consequences elimination of EPA will have on the quality of Florida waters. He wonders if reducing environmental regulations is really about jobs and less about satisfying political donors who are in the business of polluting the environment. [News-Press] [Cartoon]

  Cassani Comments on Reservoir Plan

John Cassani wrote in support of Senator Negron's legislation (Senate Bill 10) to accelerate construction of a storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee. He views the proposal as a bold step that's challenging the status quo. It would actually do, finally, what CERP called for almost 20 years ago. [Cassani SB10 Opinion] [Proposal]

  Helping Train Future Waterkeeper

Linda Lamya, a graduate student from Malawi, is serving as our intern to prepare for creating the 1st Waterkeeper program in her nation. In November she hopes to take a train trip across the USA to meet other Waterkeepers. Donations are needed to support travel expenses, so please consider helping. [Linda Lamya CV] [Proposed Train Trip]

  Waterkeeper at CHNEP TAC

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani delivered a presentation to the CHNEP Technical Advisory Committee about Matlacha Pass and associated TMDLs. He requested CHNEP analyze and consider developing position the issue and CHNEP is following up. [Jennifer Hecker Follow-up] [Presentation to CHNEP]

  Irma Flushes Estuary Out to Sea

The Caloosahatchee River estuary doesn't really exist following Irma rain washing it miles into the Gulf of Mexico. The estuary is harmed when flows reach 2,800 cubic feet per second or above. Water quality scientists say flows exceeding 27,000 cfs ran down the river in the wake of Irma. [News-Press]

  Algae Need State Attention

Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani writes in a NewsPress editorial how Waterkeepers in Florida came together to call for the Legislature to reactivate and adequately fund the Florida Harmful Algae Bloom Task Force to address this public health issue. [News-Press]

  Enough is Enough

Calusa Waterkeeper member Phil Schwartz writes that he has continually heard and read in the News-Press how the American people agree with this or voted for that. Climate change is a scientific fact, regardless of what the administration thinks. We cannot go on being lied to day after day. [News-Press Mailbag]

  Risking Fertilizer Fines

Despite warnings of steep fines for violating the fertilizer rules, some homeowners still feel it is worth the fine. Lee County introduced fines up to $500 for those contributing to algae blooms. The rules were championed by former Calusa Waterkeeper (Riverwatch) President, Marti Daltry. [NBC-2] [Do Not Feed the Monster]

  Chiquita Lock Under Threat

Hurricane Irma delayed FDEP review of Cape Coral's request to remove Chiquita Lock. The Cape first applied for a removal permit in Oct 2016, almost a decade after dismantling Ceitus Boat Lift. The Cape outlasted its opponents in the Ceitus removal legal challenges from Calusa Waterkeeper and others. [NBC-2 News]

  Solution...Or New Problem

Reacting to claims that water solutions might come from the C-43 Reservoir in 2022, Calusa Waterkeeper member David Ceilley said, "It's just a bath tub, which could make it (the water) illegal to release the water back into the river." [News-Press]

See Calusa Waterkeeper web page for more details on each of the newsletter articles
Editorial Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed in the CWK web site & newsletter are solely those of the author(s) & do not
necessarily represent those of CWK. Direct comments & questions to John Capece, CWK Newsletter Editor.