January 2017 Newsletter          
John Capece, Editor          

Special Events

Feb 4: Mound Key Adventure Tour

Feb 10: SW FL Birding Seminar in Ft. Myers

Feb 16: Waterkeeper Party in Ft Myers Bch

Feb 25: Caloosahatchee River Excursions in LaBelle

Feb 25-26: Canoe Contest at Swamp Cabbage Festival in LaBelle

Announcement: CRCA Riverwatch is now Calusa Waterkeeper.

Editorial Disclaimer
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Win a Canoe at Swamp Cabbage

Come and win a canoe at the Calusa Waterkeeper exhibit at the Swamp Cabbage Festival on Feb 25-26 (Sat-Sun) in Barron Park, LaBelle. Chance tickets are $2 or three tickets for $5. It's great fun, a great canoe, and a chance to talk with our new Waterkeeper & officers. See you there! [Contest Poster] [Old Town Canoe] [Canoe Description] [Festival Web Page]

Join Us for Cheers & Beers

Party at Yucatan Beach Stand, 250 Old San Carlos Blvd, Ft Myers Beach on Thursday, Feb 16 from 6pm to 10pm. Each beer helps Calusa Waterkeeper, so come celebrate passing of the torch from Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association, Inc. (Riverwatch) to our new incarnation as CALUSA WATERKEEPER. [Announcement!] [QR Code to Google Map]

John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper

Career scientist and outspoken water advocate John Cassani is the Calusa Waterkeeper. He leads the international Waterkeeper Alliance programs in the region that includes Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee and the shoreline & estuary system from Charlotte Harbor to Estero Bay. [Resume] [Short Bio] [Photo]

Jack Green, Executive Director

Jack Green serves as Executive Director of the Calusa Waterkeeper program. Jack spent his first career in the Coast Guard and later served as Fort Myers Beach Director of Public Works (including responsibilities for water utilities). His home is on the shores of Estero Bay in Fort Myers Beach. [Resume] [Short Bio] [Photo]

Why Calusa?

The name Calusa was chosen because our mandate has expanded beyond the Caloosahatchee River & Estuary to also include Lake Okeechobee, Charlotte Harbor and Estero Bay. The native Calusa people inhabited this entire area and are known for shell mounds, canals, ferocity, watercraft & fishing. [Calusa Background] [The Shell People]

Why Smalltooth Sawfish?

Calusa Waterkeeper selected the Smalltooth Sawfish (Pristis pectinata) as its emblem because this critically endangered coastal fish is native to SW FL and is an ideal indicator of success or failure of our stewardship. Its preferred habitat is a healthy estuary with balanced salinity. [Recovery Plan] [Shrinking Range] [Sawfish species]


List of City Planning Concern

Calusa Waterkeeper Vice President Gene Gibson has presented questions and comments concerning the Fort Myers downtown and midtown density study and the proposed amendments to the Fort Myers smart growth code and comprehensive plan. [Gibson List of Concerns]

Environmental First Responders

From Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf, our local rivers, streams and water bodies have new guardians: ecologist John Cassani & former Fort Myers Beach public works director Jack Green, and a host of volunteer "rangers" who will volunteer both their time and water vessels to help monitor local waterways. [FMB Observer] [Jack Green]

Cassani on Reservoir

The just released report on Everglades Restoration, “Progress Toward Restoring the Everglades: The Sixth Biennial Review, 2016”, corroborates much of what Caloosahatchee Riverwatch has been saying about the plan for the C-43 Reservoir for more than a decade. [Cassani Opinion in News Press]

Climate Conundrum

Have we gone over the tipping point on global climate change? According to Philip Schwartz, humanity is in a climate "conundrum" today. We may still have time, so if you ask yourself what can you do, "Educate yourself and get involved." [News-Press] [Bill Gates Comments on Climate]

New Facebook & Web Page

We have launched our new Calusa Waterkeeper web page & Facebook page. Please visit the web site CalusaWaterkeeper.org and Like us on Facebook facebook.com /CalusaWaterkeeper and share the links with friends and family. We encourage everyone to stay informed and engaged. [Calusa Waterkeeper Facebook Page] [Calusa Waterkeeper Web Page]

Welcome Waterkeeper Movement

Waterkeeper Alliance welcomes three Waterkeeper groups: Calusa Waterkeeper - John Cassani (Florida), Suwannee Riverkeeper - John Quarterman (Georgia), Huong River Waterkeeper - Pham My (Vietnam), & one Waterkeeper Affiliate: Voice of the Old Brahmaputra (Bangladesh) to the Waterkeeper Movement. [Details] [Photo] [Webpage]

Drones To Detect Algae Blooms

Calusa Waterkeeper director Dr. John Capece attended a workshop and seminar by St Louis University professor Dr. Wasit Walamu. He described using drones to carry special cameras to measure light of specific wavelength ranges to detect algae blooms. [Dr. Walamu 1] [Dr. Walamu 2] [Microcystis Paper]

New Group Protects Waterways

Calusa Waterkeeper focuses on immediate response like targeting pollution problems and testing for high concentrations of cyanobacteria. About 10 rangers will be trained to take in water samples, but the non-profit organization depends on you to keep a look out for anything suspicious. [NBC-2 Article] [NBC-2 Video]

Biodiversity Conference

Calusa Waterkeeper is a co-sponsor and John Cassani is a primary organizer of the FGCU Biodiversity Conference "Conserving Biodiversity: Challenges for Florida in the Anthropocene" on March 7-9 in the Cohen Center. Plenary speaker is Dr. Reed Noss of University of Central Florida. [Plenary Session Announcement] [Web Page]

Sanibel Considers Sea Level Rise

Dr. Harold Wanless, Univ of Miami Chair of the Geology Department, said that sea level rise may reach 6 feet by 2100, whereas only 3 to 4 ft will make most Florida islands like Sanible & Captiva uninhabitable. James Evans talked about what Sanibel is doing to deal with sea level rise issues. [Captiva Sanibel] [Sanibel Chronicle] [Evans Slides]

Recruiting Water Quality Rangers

Contact Waterkeeper @ Caloosahatchee.org if you are interested in serving as a volunteer Rangers. The Rangers will monitor quality of area waterways (Estero Bay, Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, Charlotte Harbor, the Caloosahatchee River, & Lake Okeechobee).

Lawsuit Against Cape Coral​

The City of Cape Coral could face lawsuits on several fronts from civic organizations and residents as a result of its Dec 12 vote to annex 5.67 acres of land near Matlacha. About 100 demonstrators lined Pine Island Road on Jan 8 to protest against Cape Coral. [News-Press] [WINK News] [Subject Parcels] [Annexation Rally] [Pine Island Strong]

See CRCA web page for more details on each of the newsletter articles http://crca.caloosahatchee.org/
Editorial Disclaimer: Views or opinions expressed in the CRCA web site & newsletter are solely those of the author(s) & do not necessarily represent those of “Riverwatch.” Direct comments & questions to John Capece, CRCA Newsletter Editor.