April 25, 2014

River news

Evenings at the Conservancy

Second Tuesdays of the month: April - June 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm in Naples.

See the details...
* * *


Innovation in the Water Space

April 24-25, 2014 at Crystal Springs Preserve.

See the details...
* * *



CRCA - Riverwatch
Join Us!
Renew Membership

To view or download the diverse material from CRCA archive click here.
Click to enlarge Click to see the Map

"Views or opinions expressed in the web site & newsletter are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of “Riverwatch.” Comments & questions about editorial content & facts can be directed to John Capece, CRCA Secretary.
[Email to CRCA Secretary]



"A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE." REGISTRATION #CH25796


Click on news box title and email it to others! 

Free EPA Webinar (2014-04-21)

EPA will be hosting a free webinar on April 23 from 1:00pm- 2:00pm Eastern to detail the new enhancements to How's My Waterway, a mobile friendly website that enables users to easily access water quality information. [More Information] [Registration] [How’s My Waterway]

Friends of The Parks (2014-04-21)

Hundreds of citizens volunteers support our parks and are strong advocates for our land preservation. Ethics reform legislation aimed at citizens organizations involved with government activities would threaten volunteer groups. [Tampa Tribune]

Seriously...38 Million Gallons? (2014-04-21)

A man in Portland Ore, urinated into one of the city’s open drinking water reservoirs NPR reported. The incident is the second time in three years. The city’s reservoirs hold treated drinking water that will be directly released to consumers. [NRP News]

Green Lawn vs Dead Fish (2014-04-21)

At Matlacha they aren’t catching as many fish as they used to. Environmental groups blame Cape Coral. After the Ceitus Barrier was removed people complain that nutrients and pollution from Cape Coral homes are ruining the waters. [Herald Tribune]

Backpumping Saves Homes? (2014-04-21)

U.S. Sugar spokesperson, Judy Sanchez says, To remove back-pumping means cities would be left to flood. Others say that U.S. Sugar's support of back-pumping is really about irrigation supply, not flood protection. [Clewiston News]

Lake O Water South (2014-04-21)

SFWMD board unanimously gave the go-ahead to ease, but not end, Lake O discharges to the St. Lucie River estuary and Indian River Lagoon. The project would move about 68.5 billion gallons a year to the Everglades, according to the district. [TCPalm]

Most Endangered Rivers (2014-04-18)

San Joaquin River in CA is one of the nation's most endangered river in 2014. Widespread diversions of water for agriculture and human consumption can put rivers at a breaking point. The Caloosahatchee was on the list in 2006. [USA Today] [American Rivers] [Caloosahatchee] [Map]

A Sweet Victory (2014-04-18)

A court ruling requiring agencies to get a permit when transferring polluted water was 11 years in the making, says Rae Ann Wessel of SCCF. It is, might we say, a sweet victory. The case ended up in New York when several cases were bundled together. [News Press]

DEP Ignores Protection (2014-04-18)

DEP has decided to ignore recommendations of the Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee in favor of oil drill in the panther refuge. It will rob more of our resources. Preserve Our Paradise said they would continue legal actions to halt the drilling. [More Information] [Memorandum] [Recommendations ]

Mayors Team Up (2014-04-18)

5 Lee County mayors stated in a letter that Caloosahatchee needs increased releases from Lake O during dry periods. Cereceda says she is on board when it comes to five mayors from five communities coming together to trouble-shoot and problem-solve. [News Press] [Comments]

Condition Report (2014-04-17)

For the period April 1-7, average flow at S-79 was 800–1000 cfs. Estuary salinity was 2.8-5.9 psu. Colored Dissolved Organic Matter continues to limit light penetration to the submerged aquatic vegetation trying to recover in the upper estuary. [Condition Report] [Salinity Graph] [Past Reports]

Not Without a Fight (2014-04-17)

While the Koch brothers are killing three rivers and the Big Bend area of the Gulf right now from their filthy mills, they don't need to pay a penny for making land & water useless. Chances of a Republican judge going against Koch are slim and none. [Florida Clean Water Network] [Koch Brothers]

Money vs. People (2014-04-17)

HB 703 is called a horrible bill. State Rep. Jimmy Patronis thinks the state is better able to make local decisions, but Maggy Hurchalla says it’s infuriating when local residents are dealing with a disaster that the state refuses to prevent. [The Palm Beach Post] [HB 703]

Headed Toward Collapse (2014-04-17)

One NASA- funded study concludes that industrial civilization may be headed for irreversible collapse. Thomas G. Spencer says that collapse can be avoided if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level. [News Press]

SB 1464 Decleared Dead (2014-04-16)

Sen. Wilton Simpson, the bill sponsor and chairman of the Senate Committee on Community Affairs, said he temporarily postponed his SB 1464, companion of HB 703. The committee won't be meeting again before the end of the legislative session on May 2. [The Florida Current] [SB1464] [Money vs. People] [Why It's Bad]

Rare Whooping Crane (2014-04-16)

A South Florida Water Management District worker spotted a rare 10 year old whooping crane west of Lake O. The bird is one of about a dozen surviving a failed attempt to establish a non- migrating flock in Florida. [Miami Herald] [Have You Seen?] [Sighting Form]

Additional Storage Needed (2014-04-16)

A watershed management expert recommends a reservoir to prevent flooding in Bonita Springs. Roger Copp said there is less wetland & foodplain storage than there used to be, and he thinks additional storage is needed, in one area. [News Press] [Comments]

Let Me Count The Ways (2014-04-16)

HB 703 sponsored by Representative Patronis, Republican from Panama City, and its Senate companion SB 1464 is a bundle of bad public policy. 1000 Friends of Florida has highlighted some of its many problems. [More Information] [Bill Problems] [Committee]

C43 West Reservoir (2014-04-16)

C43 is just a fraction of what needs to be done to restore coastal waters. Wayne Daltry says he would rather the $580 million go toward smaller projects that would have a bigger impact on local water quality than the reservoir will have when built. [News Press] [C43] [Photo]

Tell Congress (2014-04-15)

California’s San Joaquin River is so overtapped that more than 50 miles of the river run dry. HR 3964 is overriding state laws and protections. The bill pits water users against each other and does nothing to solve the basin’s problems. [American Rivers] [Take Action]

Not Always What They Seem (2014-04-15)

John Poggi asks a good question...if the objective is to store MORE water north of Lake O, why are higher drainage rate structures being built on lakes that feed the Kissimmee & Lake O? Riverwatch investigated the question and Dr. Paul Gray explains. [The Palm Beach Post] [Explanation by Dr. Paul Gray]

FL Needs to Get Educated (2014-04-15)

According to an editorial, Florida needs to get informed on fracking and driling. Even though it can result in a nightmare that can forever poison groundwater, we need to know the benefits as well as the dangers says the Tallahassee Democrat. [Marco Island Sun Times]

Population On The Rise (2014-04-15)

The largemouth bass population has come back after years of problems with Lake Trafford according to the state. A $21.35-million dredging project kicked off in 2005 and ultimately removed 6.4 million cubic yards of muck from the lake. [News Press]

Public Discuss Oil Drilling (2014-04-15)

At a March meeting, the Big Cypress Swamp Advisory Committee voted to recommend denial of a permit to drill near Golden Gate Estates. The votes were 3-2, and it represent a small victory for oil drilling opponents. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Informed On Fracking]

Seeking Board Members (2014-04-14)

Applicants for additions to the Board of Directors are welcome. If you think you might be willing to take on a greater level of participation this year then please complete the form and submit to Riverwatch. [Form]

New Director: Ross Wherry (2014-04-13)

Riverwatch welcomes Ross Wherry to its board. A former Foreign Service officer (US Agency for International Development), Ross served as Director of Iraq Affairs; a member of the Afghanistan Task Force; and Dep. Director of South American Affairs. [Bio] [Phillipines Photo] [Background] [Linkedin] [CorpWatch]

FCC Legislative Action Alert (2014-04-08)

Senate Bill 1576, the Springs and Aquifer Protection Act, unanimously passed out of the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. FCC are optimistic but the fight for our springs and water is far from over. [More Information] [Senate Bill 1576] [Florida Springs]

Cassani on Court & Legislature (2014-04-08)

Despite lots of talk to fix the water pollution problem, GOP leadership have decided to postpone any substantive legislation on water policy until next year. According to Cassani, the reasons are becoming painfully obvious - corporate catering. [News Press]

CRCA Vice President: John Paul (2014-04-08)

CRCA's 2014-15 Vice President is John Paul, a fourth-generation citrus man and owner of Car Two citrus haulers. He also manages & harvests groves. John Paul is a maverick, determined to be both an agriculturalist and an environmentalist.

New Riverwatch Officers (2014-04-08)

The April CRCA Board of Directors meeting elected new officers: President-Mary Rawl; VP-John Paul, Treasurer-Ron Zimmerly; Corresponding Secretary-Linda Mattos and Recording Sercretary-John Capece. They serve until April 2015. [New Officers]

CRCA President Mary Rawl (2014-04-08)

Mary Rawl was elected as the 2014-15 Riverwatch President. It's her second time serving as President; her first was in 2006. Rawl is Executive Director of Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium. Mary also serves as Watershed Council Chair. Go Mary!

That Is Sea Level Rise! (2014-04-08)

PBS News Hour documented the implications and actions related to sea level rise for South Florida. CRCA co-hosted a conference on the topic (Fight or Flight) also featuring Dr. Harold Wanless giving dire warning for coastal prospects. [More Information] [Wanless Presentation] [Comments] [News Hour Video]

Walk to Halt FPL Threat (2014-04-04)

Join a 3-day walk to protest a massive FPL power plant that could be built on property a stone’s throw from the Big Cypress Reservation. Demonstrators hope to bring attention for the Seminole Tribe case set to be heard on April 21. [The Seminole Tribune] [Map] [Facebook]

DEP Secretary Discussion (2014-04-04)

DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard met with SW FL environmental leaders on Apr 2 in Ft. Myers. Jennifer Hecker of the SW FL Conservancy emphasized the need for DEP to revise the Caloosahatchee reservation rule to make it real and enforceable. [Letter To Vinyard]

Condition Report (2014-04-04)

For the period Mar 25-31, average flow at S-79 was 1,329 cfs. Advocates had requested flows be kept below 1000 cfs. Estuary salinity was 2.6-6.7 psu. The salinity at Iona and the average salinity at Shell Point were in the optimal range for oysters. [Condtion Report] [Full Graph] [Past Reports]

House Bill 71 (2014-04-03)

Rep. Ray Rodrigues doesn’t think HB 71 will pass(requires oil companies to disclose the chemicals used in fracking). There are 750 chemicals that companies can use in fracking, & 29 of them are carcinogens or listed as hazardous air pollutants. [News Press] [Fracking] [HB 71]

Big Announcement From EPA (2014-04-03)

After years of hard work, the EPA finally proposed a rule to close loopholes in the Clean Water Act that leave nearly 30 percent of streams in Florida vulnerable to unchecked pollution. It's argued that these waters are critical to fish & waterflow. [Tampa Bay Times] [Sample Letter] [The Rule]

Walter R. Ferguson Passes (2014-04-03)

Long time Riverwatch member Walter Ferguson passed away on March 31. Among his properties were Port LaBelle Marina and an oxbow island. He always had advice and stories for CRCA student interns and was known to give then rides to Miami airport. [SW Florida Online]

EPA News Notes (2014-04-03)

EPA’s Nonpoint Source News-Notes, Issue #95 (Apr 2014)is now online. The newsletter’s cover page includes links to each section. This issue explores new and innovative programs, tools and resources that are available to help manage polluted runoff. [95 Issue] [In this Issue] [EPA]

Joint Ceitus Discussions (2014-04-02)

Commissioner Mann asked about the Ceitus issue at a joint Cape Coral - Lee Co meeting. With the primary Ceitus advocate (Com. Judah) and the primary opponent (Mayor Sullivan) both gone, it will be interesting to see the net outcome in 6 months. [News Press] [SunGloPhoto.com slides]

Watershed Stewards Course (2014-04-02)

UF is working on developing a new educational program called the Watershed Stewards Academy and will be offered through UF/IFAS Extension. It will focus on enhancing FL's connection to water. It will analogous to the Master Naturalist program. [Details] [Survey] [About Extension]

Senate Bill 1464 (2014-04-02)

Senate Bill 1464, companion legislation to HB 703, passed the Senate Environmental Preservation & Conservation Committee by a 4-1 vote. Despite positive developments, several sections harmful to FL’s waters & growth management policies still remain. [Details] [Bill 1464] [HB 703]

Flushing Away the Future (2014-04-02)

According to Linda Young, some Floridians have resisted legislative efforts to better regulate the use of septic tanks. FL Clean Water Network will soon release a report on the use and regulation of septic tanks which hopefully will rise awareness. [FL- CWN]

Tribes Prepared to Fight (2014-04-02)

The FL's Indian tribes are prepared to fight over water quality like they have for centuries. Tribal representatives have asked FL & federal government to find a way to release Lake O & Caloosahatchee water to reservation lands south of Clewiston. [News Press]

One Hour Workshop (2014-04-01)

The SW FLA Regional Planning Council will be putting on a workshop in LaBelle April 9th. You will learn more about the SWFRPC’s “Our Creative Economy” project, and also about benefits of ecotourism. RVSP to Greg@visithendrycounty.com [Flyer]

Climate Change Warning (2014-04-01)

A new climate change warning report was issued on Mar 31, 2014. Since the first climate change report in 1990, annual global greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels have gone up 60%. It seems that climate is changing faster than policy. [The Guardian] [Bleak Picture ] [Video] [IPCC Report]

Fix Filthy Deluge (2014-04-01)

In a letter to News Press, Gerald P. Mahoney from Ft Myers says that U.S. Army Corp of Engineers needs to fix massive releases from Lake O so we don't get another season of gridlock and mismanagement of the water flow. [News Press]

No to Lake O Polluting (2014-04-01)

A judge ruled that backpumping to Lake O violates the Clean Water Act & that Florida should no longer permit such operations. SFWMD will probably appeal. Rae Ann Wessel says there is no way to argue that dirty waters are good for us or our economy. [News Press] [Comments] [Details]

EPA Asserts CWA Upstream (2014-04-01)

In a 371-page document released on March 25, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy clarified that wetlands & tributaries to navigable waters are subject to the Clean Water Act. However, EPA is maintaining the exemption from permits for agricultural runoff. [EPA] [Circle of Blue] [Huff Post] [Clearer Protections] [Video] [EPA documents]

Free EPA Webcast (2014-03-31)

Register for a webcast on April 7 to learn about the recent U.S. EPA and U.S. Army Corps jointly released proposed rule to clarify protection under the Clean Water Act for streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. [More Information] [Flyer] [Register] [Proposed Rule]

Another Year, Another Study (2014-03-31)

Eve Samples says that after almost a century of damage from Lake O releases, it's tough to get excited about another study. Senators say it will take $250,000 in taxpayer money to craft a plan to end the pollution from Lake O. [TCPalm]

March CRCA Newsletter (2014-03-30)

The March 2014 CRCA newsletter is available online. The archive provides an index to many of the newsletters dating back to 1995. Sign up to receive the newsletter by email. [March Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

Earth Day in LaBelle (2014-03-30)

Earth Day activities in LaBelle will be 10am on April 19 at Barron Park (where 29 crosses the river). The event is combined with the Hendry Co Sheriff's Kids Fun Day featuring free games & rides for children. CRCA will be there. [Barron Park Location]

Earth Month at Nature Center (2014-03-29)

The Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium hosts the Earth Month Film Festival and Lecture Series from April 5-27. On April 19 is "City Dark" light pollution film. On April 6 is "Gasland II" about fracking. [Film Festival] [Gasland II] [City Dark]

Victory in Court! (2014-03-29)

In a huge turnabout, a New York federal judge on Mar 28 threw out an EPA rule that allows agencies to transfer polluted water between different water bodies, such as from Lake O to the Caloosahatchee. This could address core water quality problems. [Reuters] [Earthjustice]

Caloosahatchee Condition Report (2014-03-28)

Mar 18-24 average flow at S-79 was 1000 cfs. Estuary salinity was between 3.2 & 7.3 psu. Due to concerns over high color, turbidity & nutrient loading which are currently impacting tape grass in the upper estuary and estuary recovery. [Conditon Report] [Full Graph] [Past Reports]

River Hall (2014-03-27)

GreenPointe is again attempting to add 1,000 dwelling units to River Hall. This time it is asking for special treatment from Lee County to accomplish its goal, and it appears that Lee County is prepared to give GP that special treatment. But why? [News Press]

Florida Native Americans (2014-03-27)

Let’s take a lesson from the Seminole & Miccosukee Indians, the Original Miccosukee Simanolee Nation Council of Aboriginal People, a group of traditional Indians, when they tell us our waterways are polluted; they can no longer live off them. [News Press]

New CRCA Directors (2014-03-25)

The 2014-15 Riverwatch board of directors was selected on March 22. They are: David Bogert, John Capece, John Paul, Linda Mattos, Margaret England, Mel Karau, Ron Zimmerly, Mary Rawl, Pete Quasius, Mary Ruth Prouty, and Ross Wherry.

Protect Florida Waters (2014-03-19)

For the fourth year in a row, Rep. Jimmy Patronis has filed a damaging environmental permitting bill. HB 703 will hurt water resources, and it prohibits local governments from enforcing wetlands regulations and springs protections. [Audubon Florida] [HB 703] [Take Action] [A Horrible Bill]

Fish Kill on Lake O (2014-03-18)

According to fisheries biologists, at least ten large mouth bass floating on the water's surface were found, most likely a result of a tournament. Biologists reached out to tournament directors to question their release strategies. [Florida Newszap]

Coal Ash Ponds Pollution (2014-03-17)

Emails indicate that environmental regulators consulted Duke Energy before seeking to exclude citizen activists from talks to settle charges over groundwater pollution. One of the coal ash ponds spilled tons of toxic slurry into the Dan River in Feb. [New York Times] [Toxic Spill]

Global Warming (2014-03-17)

Sen. Bill Nelson invited members of the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee to a hearing in Miami in April to discuss the perils of climate change. “Florida is ground zero for sea-level rise,” he said during his floor speech. [News Press]

Harmful Water Grab Bill (2014-03-17)

The House passed the Ski Industry's bill HR3189, which could dry up countless stretches of rivers and harm river restoration efforts nationwide. The bill puts the interests of private interests over the health of our rivers and recreation. [American Rivers] [Comments] [Sucks Rivers Dry ]

Flood Insurance Reprieve (2014-03-17)

Thousands of Florida homeowners facing dramatic increases in their federal flood insurance premiums won a crucial reprieve when the Senate voted overwhelmingly to cap rate hikes & provide other relief. Bill Nelson & Marco Rubio voted for the bill. [News Press] [Cartoon]

Innovation in Water Space (2014-03-13)

Florida Earth is taking the Ag Module 2014: SFWMD program on the road for 2-day educational sessions at Water Management Districts throughout the state. This Edition will focus on agriculture related water programs. Register for April 24 & 25. [Register] [Agenda] [Crystal Springs Preserve]

Making Problems Worse (2014-03-12)

Bill Bucolo says that Joe Negron attempts to convince us that the solution to FL’s current water problems is to get rid of the Corps, but the truth is the exact opposite. The Corps has worked to introduce some balance into water management decisions. [The Gainesville Sun] [Tampa Bay Times]

Liquid Courage (2014-03-12)

Adam Feed wrote a letter for "Loyal Conservancy Supporter" in order to warn about drinkable water issues in the world. He quoted John F. Kennedy who believed that anyone who can solve the problems of water will deserve two Nobel Prizes. [Letter] [Website]

Public Hearing Gets Loud (2014-03-12)

A hearing was organized in response to a proposed oil well near the rural Golden Gate. Hundreds of oil opponents sounded off about drilling in SW FL. Environmental groups say the well is detrimental to aquifers and sensitive preserve land. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video]

Welcome Back, Friend! (2014-03-12)

Dr. Calvin Arnold, the professor who led the UF IFAS research station in Immokalee until 1995 is returning to SW FL. He will again lead UF SWFREC station after having spent 17 years as head of the USDA research station he created in Ft. Pierce. [News Press]

Private Landowners (2014-03-12)

Over 16 billion gallons of water were retained on private lands in South FL this past year. Holding water on these lands improves water quality and enhances habitats. The partnerships avoid high land acquisition and management costs. [Sun Sentinel]

Now Is The Time (2014-03-12)

House Memorial 607 urges Congress to authorize the next phase of Everglades restoration before adjournment. Key projects include the Caloosahatchee C-43. The projects are a key component for addressing the ecological crisis & improving our waters. [WCTV] [Restoration Plan] [Map]

Pollution, People & Politics (2014-03-11)

The Army Corps of Engineers claims the releasing of polluted water from the lake is necessary to avoid breaking the lake’s levees. However, the unnatural drainage of Lake O into the Lagoon has disrupted the natural flow to the Everglades. [More Information] [Project Fact Sheet]

Not a Political Game (2014-03-11)

Activists call gates at the Herbert Hoover Dike in Glades County FL's toilet bowl, dumping dirty water into the river and letting it slam into SW FL. People who want it stopped say this isn't a political game but about saving our precious resource. [NBC2 News] [Practical Solutions]

Harbor Roots Will Get a Reboot (2014-03-11)

The scientists checked out Zemel Canal & several natural tidal creeks, all of which flow into Charlotte Harbor, to get some ideas for the project that will improve health of the harbor by restoring the quality of water flowing in to it. [Article 1] [Article 2] [Map]

Move Water South (2014-03-11)

Eve Samples says there is no doubt that water must move south from Lake O based on a flow way concept. Policymakers in Tallahassee don't see it or aren't making it a priority. If it was on top of their mind they would have come up with a solid plan. [TCPalm]

BP Environmental Damage (2014-03-10)

Florida has joined a multistate lawsuit stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, seeking to hold BP accountable for damage to the state's natural resources. The complaint was filed by the state's secretary of environmental protection. [SunHerald]

County Buying Property (2014-03-10)

South Florida Water Management District offered to sell 237 acres of land known as the BOMA property on State Road 80. Commissioner Russell Echols said he was upset that 1,780 acres was purchased by SFWMD and Lee County. [Florida Newszap]

Regional Park Programs (2014-03-10)

Each month the Caloosahatchee Regional Park in Alva offers programs of interest to both adults and children. In April will be guided nature walks, kayak tours and other activities. Registration is required for some of the activities. [Programs] [Facility Brochure] [Lee Parks] [Map]

Activists Beg The State (2014-03-07)

Water quality activists who want water issues fixed before an abundance of rain forces heavy fresh water releases from Lake O and again pollutes the Caloosahatchee River. They took their frustration to FL's DEP. They want strict standards. [ABC- 7] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]

Reservoir Project Funding (2014-03-06)

The President's new budget funds the largest project in the region to help clean up the polluted waters. The C-44 Storage and Treatment Reservoir Project when complete will take the water traveling east and clean it before it gets to Indian River. [CBS 12 NEWS] [Project Details] [C-44]

Local Wetlands Destruction (2014-03-06)

EPA has fined Florida Properties III, LLC (Ronald R. Scarton, John J. Stolar, and Charles C. Casalnova) $137,200 for wetlands violations during construction of the Coconut Inlet development in Lee County. EPA fined 22 others in southeast states. [News Press] [Section 404] [EPA Region 4]

2 of 3 are concerned (2014-03-06)

2 of every 3 in the USA think we should invest more in clean energy sources and energy efficiency rather than in fossil fuels. So, if citizens are so concerned about climate change then why have governments at all levels been so slow to act? [Article]

Conservancy Evenings (2014-03-06)

Evenings at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida is an environmental education lecture series held every second Tuesdays of the month, Nov-May 6:30- 7:30PM at Jeannie Meg Smith Theater inside Eaton Conservation Hall. Members: Free, Non-members: $1 [Details]

Flows Have Declined (2014-03-06)

Bob Knight said if drastic steps are not taken now to reverse the damage being done, the two major springs in FL could stop flowing in the next 20 years. The flow of springs has declined as well of plant life at the springs and related rivers. [The Ledger] [Florida's Springs]

Conservation Land (2014-03-05)

State environmental officials won’t sell pieces of conservation land to help raise money for Florida Forever, which means parcels in Southwest Florida will remain state property. Florida DEP plans to raise money by selling non-conservation land. [News Press] [Florida Forever]

Water for Energy (2014-03-05)

It would be difficult to live without oil and gas. But it would be impossible to live without water. Yet, in our mad rush to extract and sell every drop of gas and oil as quickly as possible, we’re trading precious water for fossil fuels. [Global Research] [Graphic]

Setting a Precedent (2014-03-05)

Congress found a reasonable compromise on the flood insurance rate hike issue by limiting annual premium increases to 18%. Thus, rates can go up 10 fold in 14 years, giving coastal economies time to adjust to climate change & sea level rise impacts. [News Press] [Cartoon] [Avoiding Coastal Costs]

Water Woes Are Urgent (2014-03-05)

Water supply has become a prickly issue. Delay will only make the situation worse and more costly, and the perils are too great to Florida's future to ignore any longer, but The House is the one place where there's no such sense of urgency. [Tampa Bay Times]

Flood Insurance (2014-03-05)

The Florida Legislature begins its 191st session, as the House convenes, followed by the Senate. Both legislative groups will gather in the House chamber for a meet and greet. They will discuss about national flood insurance and some others issues. [News Press] [Flood Insurance Editorial]

A Flow Way Would Work (2014-03-05)

Larry Fink lays out the technical basis for how a flow way would work to meet the water quality requirement for waters entering Everglades. Research on P settling yields a model helpful in predicting nutrient reduction during flow transit south. [Technical Basis] [Modified Flow Way] [Alternative] [Implementation] [Water Quality Model]

Riverwatch at Harns Marsh (2014-03-04)

East County Water Control District hosted its 3rd annual Wings Over Water Festival Feb 28 & Mar 1. Riverwatch President Wayne Daltry and board director Margaret England were both at the event talking to people at a Riverwatch booth. [Wayne Daltry]

Dry Season (2014-03-04)

Despite the wettest January since 1993, South Florida’s 2013-2014 dry season is slightly drier than normal. For the 16-county SFWMD, the overall rainfall is one-third of an inch below averages; for SW Florida, it’s 2.41 inches below averages. [News Press]

Water Storage (2014-03-04)

Ernie Barnett who used to be the interim director of the South Florida Water Management district says FL should spend more on private/public water storage projecs. It allows FL to store water on private lands which he says is faster & more versatile. [WGCU] [Water Storage Map]

Climate Change Primer (2014-03-04)

The Royal Society and the US National Academy of Sciences offer this new publication as a key reference document for decision makers, policy makers, educators, and individuals seeking answers about the current state of climate change. [Publication] [National Academy of Sciences] [Booklet Figures] [Royal Society]

Air Potato in Cayo Costa (2014-03-04)

Volunteers work hard to keep exotics such as the air potato at bay in Cayo Costa State Park. If the Air Potato gets foothold on Marco Island it will take over. This was the first documented evidence of the species in the park. [Marco Island Sun Times] [Air Potato]

Corkscrew (2014-03-04)

Jason Lauritsen is the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary director. It occupies approximately 13,000 acres in the heart of the Corkscrew Watershed in Southwest Florida. These include the largest remaining virgin bald cypress forest in the world. [Q&A from News Press]

Plan 6 Dead (2014-03-04)

Nat Reed writes, "The possibility or probability of a flow-way designed to be constructed bisecting the finest muck land left in the EAA adjacent to one of the most powerful, politically able and financially able families is nonexistent!" [Nat Reed message] [Plan 6 Flowway] [An Estuary Story] [Restoration Newsletter] [Plan 6]

Oil in Everglades (2014-03-04)

“Dear Sir or Madam, Total Safety US, Inc. is currently going around your area gathering information on households for Dan A. Hughes…” This is the beginning of the letter from Total Safety Us, Inc. who seeks their next big strike in the Everglades. [NewsWeek]

Decades of Delays (2014-03-03)

Federal engineers recently pushed back an Everglades restoration project completion date from 2016 to 2019. This, for an effort really begun in the 1980s. At this rate the Everglades will be restored just in time for sea level rise to wash over it. [Sun Sentinel] [Restoration Plan]

Snook Season...Finally! (2014-03-03)

Snook season has now started & writer Chad Gills has spent years catching Snook but is now conflicted when it comes to taking the fish. After the huge decline after the 2010 cold snap, the Snook season was closed for more than 3 years. [News Press] [More Information] [Common Snook]

Phil Buchanan Opinion (2014-03-03)

In a Guest Opinion, Phil Buchanan talks about how "Developers receive gift while residents are being crumpled." He says taxpayers are being taxed twice for the same thing, and the extra money is being donated to developers and land speculators. [News Press] [Comments]

Money Where Your Mouth Is (2014-02-28)

Residents, lawmakers & environmental advocates want the state to do more to manage FL's water resources better. The speaker of the House has said no major change to water policies is likely to come out of the legislative session starting March 4. [NorthWest Cable News]

Possibility for El Niño (2014-02-28)

Evidence suggests an El Niño could form this year. El Nino (warmer Pacific waters off S. America) generally brings fewer summer hurricanes and more rain during the dry season. This would be good news for Florida but bad news for western Pacific. [Palm Beach Daily News] [Weather Matters] [Blog] [Rainfall Map]

Wayne Daltry Editorial (2014-02-28)

Riverwatch President, Wayne Daltry's editorial was sent to a number of newspapers this week, and has been published in both Eye of Miami and Marco News. Hopefully more newspapers will publish his letter. [Eye On Miami] [Marco News]

Cassani & Daltry Comment (2014-02-28)

An Editorial about "Bondi’s duties elsewhere?" from News Press deals with the latest misadventure of Florida Attoney General Pam Bonndi. This editorial had allowed CRCA Directors John Cassani & Wayne Daltry to add comments. [News Press] [Comment] [Other Wayne Comment]

Future Climate Change (2014-02-28)

Rising temperatures & changing wind patterns will affect life cycles in Antarctica. The Ross Sea is critically important in regulation of sea ice & is biologically productive which makes changes in its physical environment of global concern. [National Science Foundation] [The Ross Sea]

Guest Opinion: Pam Bondi (2014-02-28)

Bondi opinion about "Environmental Protection Agency overreach is worth fighting, wherever it is". She speaks about protecting our waterways & environment but she's really protecting Florida's right to pollute by blocking solutions in VA, PA & MD. [News Press] [Comments] [Other Wayne Reaction ]

Coral-Killing Sponges (2014-02-27)

According to scientists, removing certain predators by overfishing alters sponge communities across the Caribbean. Healthy coral reefs need predatory fish to keep sponge growth down. Sponges quickly take over the reefs with too few fish. [National Science Foundation] [Sponge Species]

LaBelle Nature Park Tour (2014-02-27)

Gene McAvoy, director of the Hendry Co. Extension Office led a group from Rotary Club of LaBelle, UF/IFAS Extension, Riverwatch and Intelligentsia International during a 2-hour tour in the LaBelle Nature Park to identify plants on Feb 24. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]

Special Thanks to Our Sponsors (2014-02-27)

CRCA thanks the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. & Joe Frank, Estero River Outfitters and Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium for providing 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes for the Riverwatch Swamp Cabbage Festival canoe contest. Your support is appreciated. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]

Cassani Letter (2014-02-27)

Florida is of the opinion that EPA has “overreached” in its role toward improving water quality in the Chesapeake Bay. Florida Attorney General Bondi says the issue is the division of federal and state authority. But that's BS...and she knows it. [Letter to Editor] [News Press]

Canoe Contest Winners (2014-02-27)

The 2014 Canoe Contest winners are: 1st Place (MadRiver Canoe): Murray "Mo" Clark, 2nd Place (Estero River Outfitters Guided Kayak Trip for 4): Harry Steelman, & 3rd Place (Family Membership in Caloosa Nature Center): Rick Scholl. Congratulations!

Dispersed Storage (2014-02-26)

State Senator Garrett Richter (R-Naples), recently learned of the dispersed water storage program to capture and store rainwater on private land. He supports the Legislature allocating the necessary funding for expanding this water storage program. [News Press]

SFWMD Responds! (2014-02-26)

SFWMD responded to Conservancy of SW FL letters of concern over improper storm water rules. It also recently responded to similar letters from the Southwest Florida Watershed Council. So, maybe a little progress will be made on storm water rules. [Impaired Waters Response]

Impaired Waters (2014-02-26)

Conservancy of SW FL, Riverwatch, Watershed Council, SCCF and other groups have been advocating improved storm water permitting rules for years. So while the new SFWMD proposals are not everything environmental groups want, they are an improvement. [Part IV Stormwater Quality] [Letter to Workshop Attendees ] [Impaired Waters Rule Appendix]

Canoe Contest Winner! (2014-02-24)

Murray "Mo" Clark of LaBelle is the lucky winner of the 2014 CRCA Canoe Contest. He moved here recently to have easy access to the River so he can embark on his Caribbean voyages. Congrats Mo! And thank you to all who participated in the contest. [Canoe Arrives Home] [Canoe Contest Winner] [Proud Canoe Owner] [Riverwatch Delivers Canoe]

ALEC is Behind Florida Bills (2014-02-24)

National climate & energy groups say Florida legislation on hydraulic fracturing & federal pollution rules are being proposed by the conservative ALEC. "It provides a tax-free & secretive lobbying service for these corporations" said Elsner. [The Current] [Comment] [Cartoon]

2014 CRCA Annual Meeting (2014-01-23)

The annual membership meeting and BBQ will be held on March 22 at 2pm. We will elect next year's board of directors. Come earlier to enjoy a BBQ, the LaBelle Nature Park, and the historic Captain Hendry House located at 512 Fraser St in LaBelle. [512 Fraser Street, LaBelle] [Hendry House]

Restoration is a Win-Win (2014-02-21)

The health of our national parks is directly linked to the health of the waters. In FL, EPA is working with the state to find innovative solutions that will help filter harmful nutrients before they enter Everglades National Park. [Huffington Post]

Increase In Wading Birds (2014-02-20)

For the past seven to eight years, several bird species have been declining dramatically in Lenore Island in the Caloosahatchee among others. According to Mark Cook, the number of birds has now increased because we're managing water better. [News Press]

Negron Press Release (2014-02-20)

Joe Negron called on Congress to adopt legislation to remove Corps of Engineers' jurisdiction over Lake O releases & to include authorization of the C-43 Reservoir project in the federal WRDA. He's wrong about the Corps, but we'll take the reservoir. [Article] [Senate Negron Letter to CODEL]

Flood Insurance Costs (2014-02-20)

Florida officials converged on D.C. to convince our Congress to delay flood insurance rate increases resulting from the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance. The impact of Biggert Waters could be a game changer on our recovering real estate market. [News Press] [Biggert- Waters]

Lake O Restoration Plans (2014-02-20)

DEP held a meeting on Feb 19 on development of the restoration plan for Lake O. According to Tom Frick the key to local action and successful restoration is getting stakeholders together regularely. These meetings tackle complicated technical issues. [Dredging Today] [Lake O Future] [Map]

CRCA Cap is Cool (2014-02-20)

The new CRCA Riverwatch caps is available for $20 donation. If you'd like to buy a cap, contact us at Riverwatch@ caloosahatchee.org. The caps were created to highlight CRCA participation in the recent Rally in Tally for water quality. [Photo-1] [Photo-2] [Swamp Cabbage Festival]

Water Pollution Fight (2014-02-19)

China plans to spend $330 billion on an action plan to tackle pollution of its scarce & heavily polluted water resources. Its water problems are made worse by reliance on coal. This has implications on China's & the world's water resources. [Reuters] [Circle of Blue]

Riverwatch President Opinion (2014-02-21)

Riverwatch President Wayne Daltry responds to Florida Legislature efforts to seize total control of Lake Okeechobee water management, completely eliminating the Army Corps of Engineers from the process. Wayne explains why this is very bad idea. [Daltry Opinion PDF] [Daltry Opinion DOC] [Wayne Photo] [Negron Power Grab] [Negron Press Release]

Caloosahatchee Projects (2014-02-19)

SFWMD held its monthly Governing Board meeting in February in Fort Myers and received an update on water resource projects to benefit the Caloosahatchee River and Estuary. The projects are aimed at improving water quality and water storage. [WaterWorld] [News Release]

Not in the Driver Seat (2014-02-19)

Wayne Daltry, president of the CRCA, doesn’t think the state should be given the water release responsibility. “SFWMD has a nonexistent environmental water supply record under the operations of Lake O and the Caloosahatchee River, since 1999”. [News Press]

Florida Crisis Mode (2014-02-19)

Water pollution has now become too severe to ignore in many parts of the state. Some people argue that state leaders are digging themselves out of a hole they helped create, and that sensible regulations are just as important as the money. [HT Politics] [Environmental Spending]

Rally in Tally (2014-02-19)

Water activists boarded buses in Naples, Fort Myers & other cities across the state to deliver a strong message to Tallahassee lawmakers: They want clean water. Those passionate want to give the Caloosahatchee & other bodies of water a voice. [NBC-2] [Photo] [CRCA & Group] [Video]

West Coast Projects Presentation (2014-02-17)

The Governing Board Meeting of Feb 13, 2014 discusses many project of local benefit: Nicodemus Slough, Lake Hicpochee, C-43 Reservoir, Lehigh Headwaters, Charlotte Harbor Flatwoods, Southern Crew Wetland Restoration, & Picayune Strand. [Project Description] [SFWMD Website]

Riverwatch at Tally Rally (2014-02-19)

One CRCA chairperson and four Riverwatch volunteers boarded the bus to the Clean Water Rally in Tallahassee. NBC-2 had a crew on the bus with the rally attendees. Two of our group also attended meetings with some of the legislators in the Capitol. [Banner] [with legislator] [Student Volunteers] [Capitol] [NBC-2]

Insurance Must Reflect Risks (2014-02-17)

News Press editors say the cost of insurance need to reflect the true risk. But the regulation hasn't been working in keeping development out of Florida's vulnerable areas as legislators almost always do no climate change-related issues. [News Press]

HB 703 Bad, Very Bad! (2014-02-17)

The laws protecting FL’s environment are threatened by deregulation legislation. Bob Graham and the FCC oppose House Bill 703 because it would unwisely changes nine statutes. It also effectively privatizes the water resources of our state. [FCC Members] [HB 703 Comments]

Watershed Council Meeting (2014-02-17)

The next meeting of the SW FL Watershed Council will be February 20 in the FGCU Cohen Center. The meeting will feature Mr. Reese an environmental attorney from St. Petersburg & Mr. Sean Mccabe, an attorney with the SW FL Regional Planning Council. [More Information] [Campus Map] [Facebook]

Citrus Greening Disease (2014-02-17)

The Asian citrus psyllid kills citrus trees putting grove owners & hundreds of employees out of business. When the bug was first discovered, experts said we had about five years to find a way to eradicate it or the industry would be eradicated. [News Press] [Asian Citrus Psyllid - Photo] [About Asian Citrus Psyllid]

Case on Flood Rates (2014-02-14)

Along our coastlines and in flood-prone areas, people are building and then insuring these buildings thanks to subsidies from others. According to R.J. Lehmann FL has a dysfunctional property insurance system that has placed a heavy burden on the state’s taxpayers. [News Press] [More - News Press]

Pine Island Shrimp Farms (2014-02-17)

CRCA Director Phil Buchanan says we need assurances that shrimp farms will be run in an environmental responsible manner. One shrimp farm can produce as much wastewater as a town and Florida law does little to create safeguards against many risks. [News Press] [Industrialized Production]

More Drilling Off Florida (2014-02-14)

The Obama administration is opening up new areas for oil & gas drilling in the Eastern Gulf previously subject to a Congressional moratorium. The areas are due south of Ft. Walton Beach and due west of St. Petersburg, 125 miles or more offshore. [News Press] [DOI PDF] [Florida Oil Drilling Map] [Press release] [BOEM Sale 225]

Caloosahatchee Reservoir (2014-02-14)

The South Florida Water Management District governing board voted unanimously to set aside all waters pumped into the reservoir as well as rain that falls on the compound for the Caloosahatchee and its estuary, but a another hearing must take place. [News Press] [Storage Reservoir]

Increase in Manatees (2014-02-14)

A survey in Jan. found 4831, manatees statewide, which is the third-highest number ever counted since surveys began in 1991. Biologist Holly Edwards cautioned against reading too much into the number, and some concerns still remain. [Sun Sentinel] [Manatee Map]

Water Managers (2014-02-13)

On Feb 13 water managers discussed specifics of the Caloosahatchee River reservoir, C-43 — an Everglades restoration project meant to capture & treat nutrient-laden stormwater runoff from the river’s watershed. [News Press] [Project]

Graham Blasts Scott (2014-02-14)

Former FL Governor and US Senator Bob Graham said at a UF water symposium on Feb 12, "Florida should stop throwing rocks at Richmond and Annapolis!" referring to Gov Scott's attempt to block a states-federal agreement on Chesapeake Bay water quality. [Photo] [The 4th UF Water Institute Symposium]

High Flow (2014-02-13)

Flows at S79 for the period Feb 4-10 was: 1202 cfs. Flows >1500 will contribute unnecessary nutrient loads that may compound the impacts of the extremely high wet season flows and slow recovery of the lower estuary. Estuary salinity: 9.3 psu. [Full Report] [Graphic] [Past Reports]

The Future is Here (2014-02-13)

Water Resources IMPACT Magazine Explains why water policy is no longer a luxury for the United States, and addresses many of the challenges currently facing water resources managers. Governments need to move to a more proactive approach. [PRWeb] [January 2014 Impact ] [AWRA]

SCCF Interactive Programs (2014-02-12)

SCCF (The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation) is providing a display at the NW Cape Coral Library, near Mariner Middle and HS, from March 20 – May 15 . There will be three interactive family programs to attend. [Programs] [Library Locations]

Vortex Slows & Wobble (2014-02-12)

All states saw freezing temperature on a few occasions in January. The epic freeze across the central & eastern U.S. was caused by a kink in the polar vortex, the river of air above the Arctic, which allowed bitterly cold air to funnel south. [Explanation]

Air Potato Roundup (2014-02-12)

The Hendry/LaBelle Recreation Board, Hendry-Glades Audubon, and Riverwatch would like to invite to a LaBelle Nature Park Air Potato Roundup and Trail Cleanup on Saturday and April 19, 8am to noon. [More Information] [Invasive Air Potao] [Location]

Florida Needs to Act (2014-02-12)

The strain on the FL's natural resources will be more pronounced on its water supply when the population increases. FL's water management districts should not allow net increase in groundwater pumping as they renew consumptive use permits. [Florida Trend]

California Drought (2014-02-12)

On Feb 13 a panel of water experts gather for a special interactive briefing on California’s drought, the latest evidence of how hard the Earth is pushing back against modern energy & water-intensive industrial & agricultural practices. [Circle of Blue] [Information] [Register]

Meet the Nexus Guide (2014-02-12)

GRACE Communications Foundation has developed a guide about the food, water and energy nexus called “Meet the Nexus”. This guide explains how everyday food, water and energy dicisions have a profound effect on each other. [Meet the Nexus Guide]

Southwest Weirs Project (2014-02-11)

ECWCD has received a $1.224 million dollar grant from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s for the construction of the Southwest Weirs project or ABSORB in Lehigh Acres and western Hendry County. [Information] [About ECWCD] [Capital Improvement Plan]

Water Supply Plan Update (2014-02-11)

The South Florida Water Management District is initiating an amendment to the 2012 Lower West Coast Water Supply Plan Update. This plan update assesses existing and projected water needs and water sources to meet those needs over a 20‐year planning. [Amendment Info] [Planning Amendment] [Caution Areas]

Clash Over Nutrient Content (2014-02-13)

Last Summer, water with a high nutrient content was deliberately funneled out of Florida's Lake Okeechobee, which resulted in pollution in nearby rivers. Former Gov. Charlie Crist blamed current Gov. Rick Scott for the discharges. [Water Online] [More Information] [Lake O]

League of Cities Deception (2014-02-11)

The Florida League of Cities is taking a somewhat misleading water message to Tallahassee and DC. They may have bought into the deception that getting rid of the Corps of Engineers will improve our waters. Dumping the Corps is a ploy by polluters. [Agenda] [Document] [Previous Box]

Muddying the Chesapeake (2014-02-11)

Instead of suing the Corps for pumping fertilized laden water from Lake O eastward and downward the Caloosahatchee, the State of Florida is wasting its legal budget joining a lawsuit aimed at blocking a massive cleanup plan for Chesapeake Bay. [Miami Herald] [Blog]

Green Mussels (2014-02-10)

Natives of the Indo-Pacific region, Asian green mussels were first documented in the U.S. in 1999 in Tampa Bay. They appear & disappear from area waters, a FGCU doctoral student continues to dig into the potentially harmful non-native mollusc. [News Press] [More Information]

Dock Fees Protest (2014-02-10)

Florida DEP has informed owners of commercial properties in Matlacha that they must obtain leases and pay fees for docks in state-owned submerged land. Dockside businesses are not happy about this development. [News Press]

Arctic Lakes Losing Ice (2014-02-10)

A new study finds that Alaska's Arctic lakes now freeze later and thaw earlier in the year than in 1950. This results in lakes being vulnerable to water loss from evaporation, which can add to local warming. Lake ice is also thinner each winter. [Live Science] [Average Sea Ice Extent] [Arctic Sea Ice Facts]

Canoe at Swamp Cabbage (2014-01-30)

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 22-23 in LaBelle. [Contest Poster] [Tickets by Email] [Tickets Online]

DEP Presentation to CRCA (2014-02-10)

Jennifer Carpenter, Program Administrator, & Dr. Ahmadi, Water Facilities Administrator for the South District of FDEP talked about the challenges Caloosahatchee is facing, & gave an update of the progress regarding wastewater & nutrients. [Presentation] [Photo]

UF Water Institute Symposium (2014-02-11)

Dr. John Capece presented Michal Fidler's paper on trade-offs between biofuels energy production, land use & water use in Florida during the 4th UF Water Institute Symposium for scientists and policies makers exploring secure water future. [Presentation] [Request a report]

More Water Flow Needed (2014-02-07)

According to environmentalists we need more water flow in Caloosahatchee to lower the estuary salt levels. If not the estuary gets too salty, and it kills off freshwater organisms and tape grass which is the base of the food chain for aquatic life. [Fox 4 Now]

Kicking the Can (2014-02-07)

According to environmentalists we need more water flow in Caloosahatchee to lower the estuary salt levels. If not the estuary gets too salty, and it kills off freshwater organisms and tape grass which is the base of the food chain for aquatic life. [News Press] [More - Miami Herald]

Mineral Rights on Preserves (2014-02-07)

Oil drilling on conservation lands is becoming a bigger issues. Jennifer Hecker of the Conservancy for SW FL said, “…we need a more balanced approach. This means not sacrificing the surface resources to extract the subsurface resources." [News Press] [Project]

Water Threat (2014-02-05)

James Clapper presented the 2014 assessment of global security threats to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Water and other natural resources problems around the world are now classified as serious security threats along with terrorism. [Circle of Blue] [Report]

Drop in the Bucket (2014-02-04)

Gov. Scott is suddenly an advocate of saving Florida’s ailing springs. He announced he will ask for $55 million in next year to help stop pollution. For the first three years Scott’s been in office, he has been anything but a friend of our springs. [Ocala] [Comments]

Flow and Nitrate (2014-01-30)

The Caloosahatchee was historically fed by Lake Hicpochee & surrounding marshes. But this flow has decreased during the dry season since the Corps of Engineers dredged the river to Lake O. This also created pollution sources and serious algae blooms. [Recent Nitrate Measurements] [Explanation]

Be Careful on the Water (2014-01-30)

When we get a warm front during our winter months, many manatees will migrate back down the Caloosahatchee River to eat. FWC urges boaters to use caution and watch out for manatees. It gives them a chance to hear the boat and swim out of the way. [Fox 4 Now] [A boater’s guide]

CRCA February Meeting (2014-01-23)

The Riverwatch board of directors meets on Wed, Feb 5 at 6:30pm in the Commission Chambers of City Hall in LaBelle. Members, guests and students are welcome to attend. Plans for Swamp Cabbage Festival will be finalized. [Agenda] [Location Map] [Speakers]

Billys Creek Clean-Up (2014-01-28)

Barraco and Associates, Inc., The Caloosahatchee River Citizens Organization (CRCA) and The Friends of Billy's Creek thanks everybody who attended the very productive trash and large debris removal at Billy's Creek on Saturday January 25th. [Photo 4]

Many Pilot Whales Dead (2014-01-28)

Biologists with the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Association said these whales were from the group that stranded inside Gordon Pass just south of the Port Royal community in Naples. The estimated number of dead pilot whales is 33 since Sunday. [USA Today]

Wetlands Disappearing Faster (2014-01-28)

An average of 80,000 acres of coastal wetlands were lost from 2004 to 2009 in the U.S. The causes of these losses include tree farming & development in urban & ural areas. The loss can be compared with seven football fields every hour. [88.9 KETR] [Wetlands Report 2004-2009]

Pete Seeger - River Advocate (2014-01-28)

In his last incarnation, Pete Seeger took on water and environmental issues, focusing on protecting the Hudson River and teaching young environmental advocates. His passing truly closes a unique era in American history, music, and activism. [Hudson River Activism] [Photo On Hudson] [Clearwater Concert Poster] [Advocacy Legacy]

Big “O” Birding Festival (2014-01-28)

Come and help search for South Florida’s specialty birds at the 13th annual Big O Birding Festival March 9–13 on the Southwest Shores of Lake O. Tours by boat, bus, swamp buggy, and more. Register online or by e-mail: bigobirdingfestival@gmail.com [Birding Locations] [More Information]

Shrimp Farms on Pine Island (2014-01-28)

Land-based shrimp farms are the fastest growing industry on Pine Island. This agriculture is good to our economy. We welcome new industry, but we need oversight to assure that these operations are not contributing to our present water quality crisis. [Letter] [Overseas Shrimp Problems]

SAV in Estuary 1984 (2014-01-28)

Manatees didn't have to go far upstream to graze in 1984 when Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) were abundant in the Caloosahatchee estuary. This remained true through 1994 and even into 1999, after which SAVs gradually died off. [1984_Pic1] [1984_Pic2] [1984_Pic3]

Shared Blame for Dredging (2014-01-26)

In considering the Fisheating Creek case, a judge found that Save Our Creeks advocacy for Fish & Wildlife Commission action ultimately led to illegal dredging and serious damage to the creek and that the FWC/DEP plan to fix the problem is lacking. [Court Ruling]

Riverwatch Interns Go Solar (2014-01-27)

CRCA member & FAFCO Solar Energy owner Dan Morrissey provided a special deal worth over $22,000 in FPL rebates & special hardware discounts to make possible solar energy on the Intelligentsia International dorm in LaBelle housing Riverwatch interns. [Roof Array] [FAFCO Technicians]

Record-breaking Donor (2014-01-25)

Although he lives in Michigan on his boat these days, Henry Mox remembers spending time with other Riverwatch members & exchange students in LaBelle 4 years ago. Henry sent in a check more than double the previous highest personal donation. WOW! [Fisheating Creek] [Canoe Launch] [Earth Day 2009]

FGCU Service Learning Fair (2014-01-25)

CRCA members Mary Rawl, John Capece, & Nargis Abduvohidova along with Intelligentsia exchange students Romain Delhomme (France) & Maria Saebjoernsen (Norway) shared service learning project opportunities with FGCU students at a Jan 24 campus event. [Group Photo] [CRCA Service Learning Guide]

February Meeting Speakers (2014-01-25)

Speakers at the Feb 5 Riverwatch meeting will be Dr. Abdul Ahmadi, Water Facilities Administrator, and Jennifer (Nelson) Carpenter, Program Administrator for the South District of Florida Dept of Environmental Protection. [Meeting Details] [Location Map]

Neighborhood Lakes (2014-01-23)

Neighborhood Lakes and Ponds Management workshops will be held Feb 14 & 21 in Fort Myers. Attendees will learn how to stabilize your pond shore, save association money, create a more beautiful landscapes, & invite wading birds & wildlife. [Interview] [Feb 14 Flier] [Feb 21 Flier]

SCCF Hosts Influential Pollster (2014-01-23)

On Jan 29 SCCF has invited a highly influential Republican pollster to advise us on advocating for water issues. Dave Sackett is a founding partner in the Tarrance Group & has an extensive background in campaign strategy, political media. [More Information] [Dave Sackett bio] [Website]

Service Learning Contact (2014-01-22)

If you want to pursue one of these service learning or internship projects, contact Dr. John Capece by emailing Riverwatch @ Caloosahatchee.org. He will assist you or refer you to other Riverwatch officers managing specific projects. [Email Riverwatch]

Online Guide to Student Projects (2014-01-22)

The online version of Riverwatch's projects guide provides links to additional information & photographs describing Service Learning Projects available to FGCU students. Some of these projects can be expanded into internships for qualified students. [www.CRCA.caloosahatchee.org]

Water Conference Organizing (2014-01-22)

Students can help organize & host the 24th Annual SW Florida Water Resources Conference. Task areas include: marketing, program, competitions, sponsorships, registration, web page, field trip, publication, venue, housing, historian, & photographer. [Project Description]

Organization Mission & Issues (2014-01-22)

To promote public education on the historical significance, present condition, & future of the River. To increase public awareness of the importance of the River to our quality of life. To monitor & work to improve the River water quality, quantity…

Membership (2014-01-22)

Anyone interested in the conservation, educational & scientific pursuits of CRCA Riverwatch can join the organization. Student membership is $10. Become active in the issues affecting the Caloosahatchee River and its estuary.

History of the Organization (2014-01-22)

Created in 1995, CRCA-Riverwatch is dedicated to the protection of the River and its watershed, through education & promotion of the responsible use of the river for the enjoyment of all people. CRCA continues to grow & expands its mission & message.

Water Conference SOPs (2014-01-22)

Each student takes responsibility for 1 conference organizing task. Students also attend the conference to handle their specific task & to attend the educational activities. Students also create SOP reports to teach future students their tasks.

Other River Projects (2014-01-22)

Students can become creative & develop their own ideas for Riverwatch projects to address important issues of our watershed & estuary and the problems of concern to you. Become the regional leader of tomorrow by being the student leader of today.

Nature Park Plant IDs (2014-01-22)

Students can help create a system of LaBelle Nature Park plant ID markers with QR codes, web site photos and information pages, revised brochures, and new kiosk posters. It’s a big job requiring a team of students. [Example Poster] [Current Brochure]

River Ride Organizing (2014-01-22)

Riverwatch holds a recreational bike ride around the Caloosahatchee every Nov. Students can help with organizing the annual River Ride, including promoting the event, staffing the registration table, & distributing refreshments at the rest stops.

CRCA Website (2014-01-22)

Develop your research, analysis, journalism, and advocacy skills by helping to create content for the Riverwatch web site and monthly newsletter. Students can create news boxes to inform others about river issues. [Website]

FGCU Information Tables (2014-01-22)

CRCA members interested in becoming a Riverwatch student leader can set up tables on the FGCU walkways to tell other students about CRCA issues, sign up new members, and recruit project volunteers. Make the FGCU a leader in advocating for our waters!

Swamp Cabbage Festival (2014-01-22)

LaBelle holds an annual festival celebrating the cabbage palm. Riverwatch will have an exhibit at the festival where students can help pass out River advocacy information, collect signatures and distribute Canoe Contest tickets.

Labelle Nature Park (2014-01-22)

Help maintain the trails and habitats of a small, urban park located next to the Caloosahatchee River in LaBelle. Exotic vegetation threatens to choke out native plants. CRCA hosts a lunch and River discussion after the morning of work in the park. [Information] [Website]

Protest Water Quality (2014-01-21)

Environmental groups held 16 rallies across the state on Jan 22. The events included public signing by local residents of a Clean Water Declaration that declares Florida citizens have an “inalienable right” to clean drinking water, safe rivers.... [Article] [Like on Facebook]

Oyster Beds Hopeless for Now (2014-01-20)

Lawmakers state that attempting to improve oyster beds & sea grass is hopeless until muck is removed from waterways & steps to clean runoff from agricultural land are completed. The oysters & sea grasses won't survive unless they get cleaner water. [News Journal]

Focus & Siphon 20/20 Funds (2014-01-20)

Lee County is creating new policies that would refocus Conservation 20/20 land buys on properties in priority watershed areas. 20/20 funds also may be diverted to pay for some of the $60 million in water cleanup costs separate from land purchases. [News Press] [Siphoning Cartoon]

Salinity Approaches Harm (2014-01-20)

For the period Jan 7-13, average flow at S-79 was 855 cfs. Estuary salinity was between 7.3 & 14 psu. While these are marginally acceptable levels, the algae is causing odor and nuisance complaints from visitors and residents. [Conditions Report] [Past Reports]

Where Manatees Go to Die (2014-01-20)

Despite a recent decrease in manatee mortality from boat collisions, manatee deaths are at record high levels. This is an indicator that their habitat, including water quality, has been greatly diminished. [News Press] [Mortality Graph] [Mortality Map]

Yet Another Algae Toxin (2014-01-20)

Cyanobacteria species produce BMAA, a neurotoxin, in varying amounts. Caloosahatchee fish have BMAA concentrations similar to the fruit bats of Guam, which has been linked to Parkinsonism dementia in people eating those bats. [Harmful Algae] [Genesis of BMAA]

Surface Water Withdrawals (2014-01-20)

CFWI recently released a Draft Regional Water Supply Plan that relies heavily on surface water withdrawals from the St. Johns River. Central Florida is already reaching the sustainable limits of its dominant source of water. [More Information]

Whales Make Wrong Turn (2014-01-20)

A pod of 23 pilot whales that swam into Gordon Pass in Naples on Sunday was back in the Gulf of Mexico before sundown as marine biologists continued to monitor this latest stranding. Someone spotted the whales & called the National Marine Fisheries. [News Press] [Video]

Spreader Canal Project (2014-01-20)

To keep water from seeping out of Everglades National Park, a Spreader Canal was made to plug an existing canal. Audubon says this is improving the habitat health and quality. Restoring a spreader canal is why CRCA is suing DEP over Ceitus. [CBS Miami]

Water Rights & Wrongs (2014-01-17)

The National Ski Areas Assoc, working with Big Ag, hydropower and western cattle group lobbyists in DC, drafted HR3189 that would handcuff federal agencies, forcing them to put any private use of river water ahead of other beneficial purposes. [The Industry Spin] [American Rivers Perspective] [Opposition Letter]

CRCA Taking It To Court...Again (2014-01-17)

The Ceitus Barrier separated stormwater from flowing directly into Matlacha Pass until it was removed by Cape Coral. Without it stormwater now dumps directly into one location - Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve. CRCA has battled this since 2008. [Press Release]

Watershed Council at FGCU (2014-01-17)

Rae Ann Wessel (SCCF) was the featured speaker at the Jan 16 Watershed Council meeting held at FGCU. She explained the Caloosahatchee problems & the 2013 estuary flood. Dr. Don Duke invites his class to attend the presentations prior to board meeting [Photo 1] [Photo 2]

Too Much, Too Little, Too Dirty (2014-01-17)

For the third consecutive year, reckless use and abuse of water has the potential to seriously disrupt social stability, upend business supply chains, imperil food and energy production, and generally make life miserable for billions of people. [Circle of Blue] [Global Risks Report 2014]

Ag #1 Water Problem (2014-01-17)

A USDA study cites agricultural runoff as being the leading source of water quality impairment in rivers, streams, lakes... The report goes on to describe lessons learned from 13 agricultural conservation practices aimed at improving water quality. [Summery Document] [More Information] [Book]

Everglades Restoration Memorial (2014-01-17)

State Rep. Gayle Harrell unveiled a Memorial, a declarative message to Congress, urging the completion of a large chunk of Everglades restoration as a priority. The Caloosahatchee is being destroyed by massive freshwater discharge. [Sunshine State News]

Land Purchase Amendment (2014-01-17)

A group seeking to pass a constitutional amendment that would set aside funding for land conservation has surpassed the number of valid petition signatures needed to get on the November ballot. [News Journalonline] [More Information]

Florida's Sea Cows (2014-01-17)

Never have so many manatees died in Florida than did last year. Scientists are still not sure of the cause. 829 died in 2013 and it is estimated that the population will decline 20% during the next two generations. [The Guardian]

Cape Coral Cruise Club (2014-01-16)

The Cape Coral Cruise Club, founded in 1963, is unique among Southwest Florida boat clubs in that it owns a portion of a private island on the Caloosahatchee River east of the Franklin Lock near Alva. [News Press]

Everglades Needs Freshwater (2014-01-16)

The Everglades is suffering irreversible damage from a lack of freshwater. Rules limiting phosphorus prevents existing water being sent there. Insufficient flow combined with sea level rise causes the marsh tip to become mangroves. [Miami Herald]

Sugar Not Lake O Problem (2014-01-15)

The sugar areas south of Lake O are the only contributors to the Lake that have already achieved their TMDL nutrient runoff goals. Areas like Taylor Creek, Indian Prairie & Fisheating Creek are classified as greater problems. [More Information]

Delay in Flood Insurance (2014-01-15)

The Senate will delay for another few years the flood insurance rate hike that seeks to recover its $25 billion deficit. If another Katrina or Sandy happens, the deficit will grow even more. [NBC News]

Distilling Corps Comments (2014-01-15)

Corps of Engineers' statements at the Everglades Coalition Conference sparked discussion of their implications for progress on Everglades and Estuaries issues. The debate returns to the economic & political challenges of cleaning & redirecting flow. [Cartoon] [Discussion]

Everglades Invaders (2014-01-15)

A growing arsenal of chemicals & insects is taking aim at invading weeds threatening to overwhelm the northern reaches of the Everglades. Scientists try to find an alternative to chemical treatment with insects. [Sun Sentinel]

Charade (2014-01-15)

Sen. Jack Latvala on Thursday criticized the state for trying to sell conservation land, calling it a "charade" & countering a Senate appropriations subcommittee chairman's earlier praise for the effort. [The Florida Current]

Water Protest Killings (2014-01-14)

South African police are investigating allegations that their officers shot dead two people during violent protests demanding better water and sanitation services. Police may have fired live ammunition after protesters crossed a city boundary. [Article]

Corps at EvCo Caloosahatchee (2014-01-14)

Discussing demands for changes to the Lake O release schedule that governs wet season and dry season flows from Lake O to Caloosahatchee. Corps Planner Eric Bush said, “This is your (Florida's) Regulation Schedule, not the Corps; You adopted it. [Article]

Algae Blooms Return (2014-01-14)

A combination of natural and man-made events has brought piles of macroalgae back to Lee County beaches. Macroalgae are a natural part of the marine environment, but excess nutrients in the system can cause massive algal blooms. [News Press] [Comments]

Hicpochee Slough Projects (2014-01-14)

SFWMD has budgeted to start design & planning and then construction for the first increment of Hicpochee North reservoir system which is fed by the C-19 from Nicodemus. Approved by WMD in Nov. Part of deal for long term lease of land in EAA. [Final Report]

Ceitus Saga Continues (2014-01-14)

A lawsuit filed Dec 27 by Riverwatch and others against Cape Coral and Florida DEP seeks to enforce a 2008 agreement and consent order requiring the city to replace the Ceitus Barrier and include either a boat lift or lock. [News Press] [More]

Reality of Sea Level Rising (2014-01-13)

Sea level rise is a critical issue. The magnitude of its impacts on the state seem overwhelming, but with a proper understanding of the issue & the ability to proactively plan, there is a great deal we can do to mitigate worst-case scenarios. [Article] [Graphic]

Keep Hope Alive (2014-01-13)

Environmental and agency heavy-hitters gathered in Naples Jan 9-11 with Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee Estuary taking center stage. The 29th annual Everglades Coalition conference theme was “Protecting Coastal Communities” and our estuaries. [TC Palm]

Compliance Costs vs Profits (2014-01-13)

Metting Caloosahatchee pollution reductions goals will cost Lee County $60 million over the next 13 years. Despite this and other facts the Lee BOCC has reduced its impact fees by 80%, accepting industry falsehoods that development pays for itself. [More] [Review]

Caloosahatchee Tours (2014-01-13)

SCCF offers 2.5 hour tours of the Caloosahatchee river and its oxbows, departing from Franklin Locks traveling upstream through the old river meanders. Tours will take place Jan 26, Feb 9, Mar 9, Apr 13 & May 11. [Details] [SCCF Newsletter]

Oil Spill Fines (2014-01-13)

A federal judge in New Orleans will soon decide how much oil company BP has to pay in Clean Water Act fines for its role in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. Florida's economy and environment are intimately connected. [Tampa Bay Times]

The Lost Summer (2014-01-10)

2013 is called 'Lost Summer' because of toxic algae blooms. Last July in Central Florida it meant an overflowing Lake O & the dumping of millions of gallons of polluted freshwater into the rivers. What happens in Lake doesn't stay in the Lake. [Article]

Water Pollution Limits (2014-01-09)

A federal judge is signing off on Florida’s water pollution rules, but environmentalists are blasting the decision. U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle approved turning over responsibility for implementing water pollution rules to the State of Florida. [Tallahassee.com]

Redirecting Flatwoods Runoff (2014-01-09)

A multi-agency initiative is taking a trip back in time to reduce flooding in North Fort Myers & improve water quality in Charlotte Harbor & Caloosahatchee River. The goal is to restore flow of water from Charlotte County to Charlotte Harbor. [Article] [More Information]

Water Quality Outlook for 2014 (2014-01-09)

Coastal Florida is heavily dependent on tourism. You can't have a healthy coast without clean water. Water quality dominated headlines in 2013 as heavy rains, stormwater & agriculture run-off fed algal blooms, shut down swimming beaches… [News Press]

Arrested Enforcement (2014-01-09)

Enforcement of anti-pollution laws in Florida has plummeted to historic low levels during the second full year of Governor’s tenure. Unprecedented deep across-the-board declines occurred in all areas of enforcement activity in nearly every district. [More]

Try, Try Again (2014-01-09)

The 11th Circuit Court said it lacks jurisdiction to judge a 2008 rule creating an exception to NPDES permit requirements for transfers of polluted water (from Lake O to the River C). This could open up many lawsuits to stop nutrient discharges. [More]

EPA v Poultry Grower (2014-01-08)

The EPA has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to review a district court ruling that said the agency can't require farmers to obtain Clean Water Act discharge permits for agricultural stormwater runoff from farmyards. [BNA]

Watershed Moment (2014-01-08)

Luther is a volunteer for CREW Land & Water Trust, his tours take place on Wednesdays & Saturdays from November through April & are among the newer offerings at CREW. The land spans from Corkscrew Road in Estero south to Immokalee Road near Naples. [News Press]

FDACS Water Initiative (2014-01-08)

Ever since he took the reins of Florida Department of Agriculture, Commissioner Adam Putnam has made speeches on the critical importance of water management and conservation. But in reality, he won't do anything that slows or costs the ag industry. [Highlands Today]

Wind Turbines & Birds (2014-01-08)

Hundreds of thousands of birds are killed by wind turbines. In late November, the Obama administration fined Duke Energy Renewables $1 million for illegally killing birds. The pressure is now on for wind energy companies to reduce bird mortality. [Grist]

Our Opinion Endangered (2014-01-07)

The Endangered Species Management Self-Determination Act (SB1731) by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., would hand more control of endangered species decisions to the states. Translation: Economics would gain the upper hand over species protection. [Tallahassee.com]

Shrimp Festival (2014-01-07)

The 56th Lions Club Shrimp Festival will take place March 2, 8 & 9, 2014 in Fort Myers Beach, including a parade on the 8th. Also on Saturday is the 22nd Annual Shrimp Festival Food Fun & Crafts Expo. [Flier]

Water Top Regional Issue (2014-01-07)

The big water news at the federal level this past year was the progress of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) which will authorize the C-43 Reservoir project. It won’t fund the construction, but it will become eligible for funding. [News Press]

Reservoir Not Much Use (2014-01-07)

Radel considers WRDA's passage an indication of bipartisan support for the Caloosahatchee. In theory it could be but the reservoir will be used to hold water from nearby basins, not from what may come from the lake & not do much to improve conditions [News Press]

Lake O Disgusting (2014-01-07)

The color of Lake O is brown. This happens because of the last 40 years with big agriculture, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers... Who is really to blame? Like said a comic-strip philosopher named Pogo: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” [News Press] [Cartoon]

Waterway Distress (2014-01-07)

Distress over the condition of a waterway, Spring Creek. Decades ago the water was always clear, there was an abundance of fish. Currently the water is so shallow, they no longer see the abundance of wildlife & the water is now very murky. [News Press]

Florida SEE Grapevine (2014-01-06)

The 10th Annual Everglades Area Tours Paddle-In will take place Saturday, February 22nd, 2014. Start from Everglades National Park Gulf Coast Ranger's Station; paddle to Indian Key. This event is a good way to have benefit for Florida SEE. [Flyer] [Facebook]

Growing Ceitus Insistence (2014-01-06)

CRCA has filed legal action against DEP & Cape Coral for their failure to replace the Ceitus Boat Lift. The two conspired to appear to meet their legal requirements while never intending to approve any permit or build any replacement structure. [Cartoon] [Lehigh Citizen] [Press Release] [News Press]

Caloosahatchee River Too Salty (2014-01-06)

Weeks after suffering damaging effects from too much water, the Caloosahatchee River is now running too salty. Salinity levels at the W.P Franklin Lock and Dam near Olga have jumped from zero to 18 parts per thousand in the last 10 weeks. [News Press]

Starfish Are Dying (2014-01-06)

Something is killing starfish up & down the West Coast and no one knows what. A mysterious illness that first appeared in June in Washington state has now spread from Sitka, Alaska, to San Diego. A healthy group of starfish can die in just 24 hours. [USA Today]

Fort Myers Downtown Basin (2014-01-06)

A year after the city of Fort Myers unveiled its riverfront detention basin, downtown is booming with new businesses. Whether the basin is the driver behind downtown’s growth or just a factor remains to be determined. [News Press]

Warmest November (2013-12-18)

November, 2013 is the fourth-warmest year on record. Fueled primarily by phenomenal warmth in Russia, the Earth as a whole had its warmest November on record, according to data released Tuesday by scientists at the National Climatic Data Center. [USA Today] [Graphic]

Sea Level Rise (2013-12-18)

How high will they go? Scientists don't know exactly how much the seas will rise, but they see an accelerating climb that could range from 8 inches to more than 6 feet by century's end. [Graphic] [USA Today]

2013 Not The Best Year (2013-12-18)

Global warming or animals extinction, 2013 was not the best year in human history. Enough fossil fuels were burned so that carbon pollution levels hit the milestone of 400 parts per million. Scientists confirmed, again, that this is bad news. [Article]

Correlation vs Cause & Effect (2013-12-18)

A reader took issue with a news box. To clarify, the intend wasn't to suggest a cause & effect relationship between sea level rise & flood insurance rates, but to point out that their correlation stems from common statistical & modeling methods. [Explanation] [Flood Insurance] [Cartoon]

Weather Impact on Manatees (2013-12-17)

The Caloosahatchee River is a winter stronghold for manatees because the Florida Power & Light plant along State Road 80 discharges warm water into the Orange River. It's a man-made refuge that has been controversial among boating interests. [News Press]

Achieving Efficient Misdirection (2013-12-17)

While the SFMWD chief focuses on cutting the budget, it's important not to forget the primary rule of reaching a goal efficiently - first, point yourself in the right direction. Operational efficiency is far secondary to mission misconception. [TP Palm]

TWW Fly-In Event (2013-12-17)

Feb 25-26, 2014 - Washington DC. The Teaming With Wildlife Coalition’s annual FLY-IN event a good way to support Tribal Wildlife Grants Program for preventing fish & wildlife from becoming endangered in every state & territory. [Web Site] [More] [Register]

Red Algae Invade Beaches (2013-12-16)

Red drift algae could pile up on SWFL beaches in 2014. They don't smell great but they're not harmful to your health. Algae are really just a nuisance to beach-goers & guests expecting a sugar-sand shoreline. Nutrient-laden river water creates algae. [Wink News]

Teen Clean Up Caloosahatchee (2013-12-16)

A visit to a Lee County commissioners meeting resulted in an effort to clean parts of the Caloosahatchee River by youth at the Quality Life Center in Dunbar. That discussion piqued the teens & they began looking for a way to help the environment. [News Press]

Water Resources Development Act (2013-12-15)

Florida Members of Congress (Frankel, Brown & Webster) serve on the conference committee to reconcile the House & Senate versions of WRDA, which will authorize but not fund the Caloosahatchee Reservoir. The bill will be final in early 2014. [Senate Version] [House Version] [Conference Com Members]

Nelson Claims No-fair! (2013-12-13)

Sen Bill Nelson claims that Federal Flood Insurance rate hikes are unfair & should be phased in more gradually. With 1.1 million people facing premium increases, there may be a new constituency for action on Climate Change issues. [House & Senate Inaction] [Actuarially Correct] [Nelson Speech]

23rd Annual Water Conference (2013-12-13)

Riverwatch is co-hosting the 23rd Annual SW FL Water Resources Conference. The theme is "Sea Level Rise, Fight or Flight" and will explore choices facing our state whether to harden our shorelines or plan a gradual retreat from advancing waters. [Sponsor a Student] [Conference] [Register]

Economic Impact Data Survey (2013-12-13)

DEP continues eroding Florida's environmental regulations with campaigns to dismantle crucial rules designed to prevent costly damage to our natural resources, health and safety. It will continue as long as these politicians remain in office. [More]

Sugar Money to Committee (2013-12-13)

Each Florida senator on the Negron Indian River Lagoon Com. has benefited from Big Sugar donations. Joe Negron received a large donation ($150,000). But then, it's probably hard to find a Florida legislator who has not received sugar money. [Article] [Cartoon]

Real Estate Divestment (2013-12-12)

Waterfront land values will soon be affected by sea level rise. U Miami professor H. Wanless has long studied climate change & envisions as much as 2ft by 2048, 3ft by 2063 & 4 to 6ft by 2100. Wanless speaks at a Jan 31 conference co-hosted by CRCA. [Miami Herald] [Conference]

Salvaging Trust (2013-12-11)

Lee commissioners used 20/20 land conservation money to plug their 2013 general budget shortfall. To restore the public's trust in the program that voters approved years ago, Pendergrass says the future of 20/20 should again be left up to voters. [News Press] [Theft By Deception]

Rain Gardens (2013-12-11)

Officials in Naples are hoping more people will plant rain gardens at their homes. A dozen Boy Scouts built a demonstration rain garden, near the community development building for the city of Naples, to show just how beautiful and useful it can be. [News Press]

2014 Donations and Dues (2013-12-11)

On Dec 4 Riverwatch sent out its 2014 dues notice & donations invitation. Thank you to those who responded so generously in the first weeks. This annual appeal accounts for almost half of CRCA income, so please send what you can as soon as you can. [Join/Renew] [Donate]

Love The Lake (2013-12-11)

The 3rd Annual Love the Lake 5k/10k and Half Marathon is Sat, Feb 15 at Roland and Mary Ann Martin's Marina in Clewiston. Registration includes: FREE Post-Race Pancake Breakfast, FREE Admission to Hendry Co Fair on Sat, Event T-shirt & Goodies Bag! [Registration Form] [Web Site]

River-Aquifer Connections (2013-12-11)

SFWMD scientists Elizabeth Geddes and Emily Richardson are among those leading an effort to create an ambitious regional groundwater model to better understand surficial & intermediate aquifers, which can affect water flows in the Caloosatchee. [Agenda] [Model Update] [Hydrostratigraphy]

Wolves in Sheep Clothing (2013-12-11)

Politicians are using the 2013 rivers crisis as an opportunity to get the Corps out of the Lake O water release decision process, so they can more easily deprive the estuary of water in the dry season & drown the lake littoral zone in the wet season. [Cartoon] [Press Release] [Analysis] [Final Report]

Plan What? (2013-12-11)

In his Nov 19 Caloosahatchee Science Workshop speech, SFWMD Executive Director Blake Guillory said, "I didn't know anything about Plan 6 until two weeks ago." He also said, "Are we completely discounting Plan 6? No, we are looking into it." [2006 White Paper] [Plan 6 Diagram] [2007 Powerpoint]

Hard Questions (2013-12-11)

At the Caloosahatchee Science Workshop at FGCU, the SFWMD Exec. Dir. was asked some hard questions by Jennifer Hecker, Bill Hammond, & Ray Judah. One asked why SFWMD was not taking actions within its current powers, like an improved stormwater rule.

Oxbow Science Update (2013-12-11)

In her presentation on Oxbows as a potential restoration indicator, Chloe Delhomme summarized her 2011 research, which formalized CRCA work going to 1996. Oxbow restoration should parallel general river flow & water quality restoration efforts. [Presentation] [2014 Oxbow Tours]

CRCA President Questions (2013-12-11)

CRCA President Wayne Daltry also serves on the News Press editorial board. He asked politicians about Caloosahatchee issues and when the Florida Legislature will finally address storage needs for our basin. Answers summary: The money is not coming. [News Press] [Video]

Salinity Approaches Harm (2013-12-10)

For the period Dec 3-9, average flow at S-79 was 739 cfs. Estuary salinity was 9.4 psu. While these are marginally acceptable levels, outside the estuary large numbers of dead fish and numerous sharks washed up on local beaches. [Conditions Report] [Past Reports] [Full Report] [Salinity Graph]

Some Things Never Change (2013-12-10)

While many have moved on from past denial to now simply debating and magnitude of sea level rise, some still hold the line on thought evolution. However all agree on the inevitability of death and taxes, both of which offer potential solutions. [Denial Position]

Mound Key Tours Donated (2013-12-10)

Beginning Dec 2, six boat tours to Mound Key donated by Banana Bay Tours will be conducted to raise funds for a documentary about the remarkable island capital of the Calusa Indians, in production by the Friends of Koreshan State Historic Site. [Flyer]

Loss of Wetlands (2013-12-10)

Over a four-year span, the U.S. lost more than 360,000 acres of freshwater and saltwater wetlands to fierce storms, sea-level rise and booming development along the coasts. Wetland restoration projects are failing to keep pace with the losses. [The Washington Post]

Hello! Anybody Home? (2013-12-09)

The Watershed Council wrote to SFWMD asking that they explain how new developments in this basin will achieve a net improvement in nutrient loads to the Caloosahatchee Estuary as required by the BMAP. No response has been received since Oct 22. [Letter]

River Facts and Fiction (2013-12-09)

A 1922 Lee Co. brochure incorrectly states, "The Caloosahatchee (Carlos-A-Hat-Chee) was named after Carlos V of Spain." But it goes on, "It has the distinction of being the most beautiful river in Florida and it is also the deepest stream." [LaBelle Museum] [Brochure]

Psychopaths Running Florida? (2013-12-09)

It's hard to explain the ruthless destruction of Florida. Is it because psychopaths and sociopaths are running some of our most powerful institutions? Of course, the larger problem is that the rest of us defer to them and even vote for them. [Huff Post Science] [More] [Video]

State Water Policy (2013-12-09)

According to Pam McVety, Florida needs leadership and money to implement existing best in the nation state water policy. She accuses Republicans because they have hired nonprofessional and fired professional water managers, cut the water budget, etc. [Article]

Shift in Water Districts (2013-12-06)

Environmentalists say the state’s five water management district boards are now stacked with representatives of industry and business and lack members with a primary focus on environmental protection. This happen because Scott was elected Governor. [Daily Commercial]

Nanogrid & Water Pollutants (2013-12-05)

After the violent ravages of oils spill on our shores, a solution found by NSF might help clean up residuals. Nanogrids are a copper tungsten oxide grid that grab and then break down hydrocarbons when exposed to sunlight. [Article] [More Information]

Alan Farago Opinion (2013-12-05)

Alan Farago aims to break the chokehold of Miami's developers and lobbyists on the public commons. He makes the case that donating to environmental groups that promote and help elect better candidates is the more cost-effective approach. [Article] [Eye on Miami]

Freshwater Plants Perish (2013-12-05)

As sea level rises, Everglades freshwater plants perish. University of Miami researchers used satellite images to confirm that salt water intrusion in the Everglades is changing the plant communities and the wildlife that depend on these habitats. [Article] [More Information]

Controversy: Net Ban (2013-12-05)

To avoid catching juvenile fish the law says nets cannot have mesh sizes greater than two inches. But this decision is contested by Florida’s inshore fishermen who don't are agree with the minimal size which makes it hard to catch larger fish. [News Press] [Video]

Legal Land Battles (2013-12-03)

Environmental groups claiming that the South Florida Water Management District has missed a deadline for a key restoration project (purchase of sugar lands) and the state agency charged with enforcement won't punish the district. [Palm Beach Post]

The Ripple Effect (2013-12-03)

The SFWMD Board approved a key water storage project near Lake Istokpoga. The 1,200 acre project is 3 above ground impoundments to hold storm water that would otherwise flow directly into canals leading to Lake O and coastal estuaries. [Article] [Calendar] [Twitter]

Green Policy Interview (2013-12-03)

Emilio Vergara, a former water management district director shows dissatisfaction with political officials saying the state's environmental rules are being restructured to accommodate special interest profits at the public expense. [Orlando Sentinel] [Blog]

Development or Destruction (2013-12-03)

The Swamplands Act of 1850 transferred about 20 million acres of Florida's wetlands - the entire original Everglades - from federal ownership to the new State of Florida in order to reclaim the swamp lands within their limits. [Facebook] [South Florida Wild]

Water for Sake of Growth (2013-12-02)

Agriculture Commission Adam Putnam says Florida's freshwater supply is its top problem as it tries to maintain economic and residential growth. Florida needs to find a sustainable water supply if it wants to continue to grow. [NaplesNews]

Dead Caloosahatchee Cat Bounce (2013-12-02)

The Nov 20-21 Caloosahatchee Science Workshop at FGCU brought together an impressive group of scientists all asked to compare various indicators as tools in documenting how high the Caloosahatchee "dead cat" Estuary will bounce. [Agenda]

Fertilizer Rules (2013-12-02)

Weeki Wachee is a first-magnitude spring classified as "impaired" because of nitrogen pollution. Therefore Hernando County trotted out UF Prof. Laurie Trenholm to basically say what homeowners & the turfgrass industry are doing is just fine. [Tampa Bay Times]

Typhoon & Global Warming (2013-12-02)

Yeb Sano, leader of the Philippine's delegation to the UN climate talks in Warsaw, drew a standing ovation following his emotional speech. Typhoon Haiyan with 195mph winds surpasses Camille as the strongest recorded storm ever to hit land. [Article] [Take action] [Website] [Connection Uncertain]

Ride Tide is Killing Manatees (2013-12-02)

Red tide can kill manatees. At non-lethal levels red tide can have dramatic effects on a manatee’s nervous system. Symptoms of red-tide poisoning in manatees include seizures, inability to swim, arching of the back, flaring, and contortion. [News Press] [Video]

1st CRCA President Passes (2013-10-10)

Jim Haggart passed away on Oct 2 in Ft. Myers. A Nebraska lawyer and activist, he moved to Florida in 1992. In 1995 Jim was a co-founder and first president of Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association (Riverwatch). We continue his vision. [Obituary] [CRCA Incorporation by Haggart]

Most Is Runoff Local (2013-10-03)

SFWMD data shows that 62% of wet season water flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary is from the local watershed and the remaining 38% is from Lake O. Water quality proportions are not the same, but similar. So, fixing Lake O discharges isn't enough. [SFWMD Presentation] [Enlarged Graph]

Congressional Heavies Attend (2013-10-03)

A who's who list joined Radel & Murphy at the Congressional hearing: Speaker Pelosi, Senator Nelson and Reps. Hastings, Diaz-Balart, Brown, Deutch, Frankel, Garcia, Webster, Rooney, Posey, Yoho, Hoyer, DeFazio, Bishop, Rahall & Wasserman-Schultz. [Hearing Video] [Analysis]

Negron Bombshell or Posturing? (2013-10-03)

State Senator Negron dropped a bomb at the Congressional hearing by calling for the Corps, DEP, & SFWMD to not be allowed to discharge polluted water from Lake O. But it may be an empty gesture since the Supreme Court ruled to allow it.

Southern Flowway Ignored (2013-10-03)

Congressmen asked the FL panel witnesses if any other project ideas should be discussed. The panelists only talked about ASR, specifically ignoring Plan 6 (Southern Flowway). Several other issues were twisted, misrepresented or ignored. [Plan 6 Flowway Map]

WRRDA Out of Committee (2013-10-03)

Congress passed the Water Resources Restoration & Development Act out of the Transportation Committee on Oct 3, a real achievement, overcoming the 2010 opposition to the C-43 reservoir project which was previously called an earmark by certain Reps.

Bizarre Twist on Corps (2013-10-03)

In the Caloosahatchee & St.Lucie Congressional hearing, fingers were pointed at the Corps of Engineers, covering errors of DEP and SFWMD. The Corps has been the only real ally in recent years in achieving improvements for the Caloosahatchee estuary.

Crisis Press Yields Hearings (2013-10-03)

Florida Congressmen Trey Radel & Pat Murphy organized an unprecedented bipartisan hearing to discuss solutions for the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie. A welcome bipartisan change from recent years of inaction on the WRRDA parts of a larger solution. [Huffington Post] [Congressmen] [News Press]

Chamber Hears About River (2013-10-02)

Ray Judah is questioning how the governor is going to get the water from the lake to the bridge and suggested that Scott's $90 million proposal will alleviate just 10 percent of the problem, calling it the "10% Solution." [Pine Island Eagle]

FGCU Service Learning Projects (2013-10-02)

All FGCU students must complete 80 hours of service learning as part of their bachelor's degree. Riverwatch is offering these students several project opportunities: (1) Park,(2) Conference, (3)Website, (4) Oxbows, (5) Petitions, & (6) River Ride. [Park] [Conference] [Website] [Oxbows] [Petitions] [River Ride]

Ding Darling Temporarily Closed (2013-10-02)

As part of the federal government shutdown resulting from political pressure to halt Obamacare, Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge located at the end of the Caloosahatchee River is closed. The wildlife are not locked out, only visitors and staff. [WINK News] [Wildlife Drive Reopening Delayed] [Director Paul Tritaik] [Closing the Gate]

Spot On! (2013-09-30)

The political cartoonist team of Cathy Cochrane and Sherry Snowden once again captures the essence of eco-politics with their latest image on the Ceitus Boat Lift issue and the legal action Riverwatch and others have engaged in over the past 6 yrs. [Cartoon] [Web Site]

Connect the Dots, People! (2013-09-29)

Vibrio vulnificus bacteria has killed 9 & stricken many others in Florida this year. Growth of the cholera-like bacteria increases as waters become warmer & coastal salinity decreases in the wet season, after hiding in sediments during winter months. [Tampa Bay Times] [Editorial] [Research] [Horrible] [ProMed] [Linkage]

Southern Fish Moving North (2013-09-29)

As waters warm, New England fisherman are seeing an increase in croaker, cobia and spot, species more commonly found in waters off the mid-Atlantic. Other marine species such as blue crabs are also becoming more numerous farther & farther north. [Miami Herald]

Sea Level Insurance Rise (2013-09-28)

If you don't believe in climate change and sea level rise, then maybe you can ask the federal government for a waiver on the ten fold rate hike in your Flood Insurance Program premiums. Some are asked to pay an additional $10,000/yr or more. [Legislative Setup] [NRDC] [Doing the Math] [Florida Premiums Increase]

Once More Unto the Breach (2013-09-28)

Attorney Ralf Brookes (on behalf of Riverwatch and 6 other petitioners) notified DEP and Cape Coral of legal action on the restoration of the Spreader Canal System by replacement of the northern barrier structure (previously the Ceitus Boat Lift. [Press Release] [60-day Notice] [Cape Reaction] [News Press] [Notice (7MB)] [Lehigh Acres Citizen]

FGCU-SL#6: River Ride (2013-09-28)

FGCU Service Learning opportunity on Sunday Nov 10 at the 17th Annual River Ride: (1) 7am-noon, Caloosahatchee Regional Park - registration table. (2) 8am-noon, rest stop in Ft. Denaud. (3) 8am-noon, rest stop in LaBelle. [Email Inquiry]

FGCU-SL#5: Petition Signatures (2013-09-28)

Join other volunteers and gather signatures for "Florida's Land and Legacy Amendment" at Nov 10th River Ride Event, Caloosahatchee Regional Park. 7am-noon. Help reach the goal of 76,000 additional volunteer collected signatures before Nov 30. [Southwest FL] [Volunteer Page] [Email Inquiry]

Register Early for River Ride (2013-09-08)

On Sunday, November 10, join Riverwatch for the 17th Annual River Ride, the recreational bike ride around the Caloosahatchee. Routes for 15, 30, 40, and 62 miles. Register in advance or on the morning of the event at Caloosahatchee Regional Park. [Register with form] [Register online] [Caloosahatchee Regional Park map]

Get Canoe Contest Tickets Now (2013-09-08)

The Win-A-Canoe Contest is back again this year thanks to The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. Buy tickets online, at Estero Outfitters, or from CRCA directors. Also, Riverwatch can mail your gift of contest tickets with a card to friends & family. [Card Sample] [Email for Tickets] [Order Tickets & Gift Online] [Canoe Picture]

FGCU-SL#4: Oxbow Research (2013-09-17)

Adventurous FGCU students can assist Dr. John Capece with Caloosahatchee oxbows research by going on a half-day trip (4 to 6 hours) to measure water flow velocities in the old parts of the river. [Photo-1] [Photo-2] [Photo-3] [Email Inquiry]

FGCU-SL#3: Web Site Content (2013-09-17)

You can help build the Riverwatch web site and newsletter by creating content in the form of these news boxes. FGCU students can earn service learning hours by reviewing river news items and creating summaries. SOP provides training and SOP. [News Entry Page Image] [Email Inquiry]

FGCU-SL#2: Water Conference (2013-09-17)

FGCU students can assist Riverwatch and other SW FL water-related organizations by helping to organize and implement the 23rd Annual Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference. Students make up half the attendees and manage key activities. [Full Description] [Conference Web Site] [Email Inquiry] [Photo]

Air Potato Mapped in Park (2013-09-16)

To track progress in eradicating air potato in the LaBelle Nature Park, John Capece, Nargis Abduvohidova and Nicolas Roussell mapped the infestation of the vine along the park trails. The plant is most prevalent near the entrance and to the east. [The Culprit] [Park Infestation Map]

FGCU Students Help Riverwatch (2013-09-15)

Jessica Dufresne and Ashley Gegenwarth drove all the way from Collier County to help with removal of invasive exotic plants in the LaBelle Nature Park as part of their FGCU Service Learning activities. All enjoyed lunch and conversations afterward.
[Jessica & Ashley]

Brain & Brawn Family Effort (2013-09-15)

Mark Terrell and his granddaughter Austin helped Riverwatch remove air potato plants at LaBelle Nature Park on Sep 14. Mark works for FDACS and released a special beetle into the park a month ago to help stop the vines.

Plan 6 Imperative (2013-09-15)

Riverwatch President Wayne Daltry acknowledges recent reports that ASR will not achieve its CERP goals which forces re-examination of the entire CERP water budget. Barring any other proposal equivalent in volume, some version of plan 6 is imperative. [Wayne Daltry Commentary]

Hit the Snooze Button Again (2013-09-15)

A combination of fires and floods that some attribute to climate change crashed the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) web site that tracks ice melt and sea level rise. Act of God or just another wake up call? Where's the snooze button? [NSIDC Crashed Site] [Climate Central] [Text Notice] [National Snow & Ice Data Center]

Southern Flow-Way Unlikely (2013-09-09)

A Southern Flow-Way to the Everglades is unlikely to occur. The cost would be $14 Billion plus $500 Million per year to maintain. Furthermore, remaining Sugar land must be bought and phosphorous levels would be too high to enter the National Park. [Sunshine State]

New York Times (2013-09-09)

S Florida water problems have attracted the NY Times. They write: Life in and around the estuaries has come to a standstill this summer. Fishing piers sat forlorn. Fish capable of swimming away have already done so. Salinity in the estuary is zero. [New York Times]

Balancing Water Policy (2013-09-09)

About 75% of pollution into the Caloosahatchee comes from upstream sources. John Cassani argues that Florida Legislature needs to shift the financial responsibility from the Taxpayers to the sources of the water quality issues, Corporate Agriculture. [News Press Editorial]

Reason With Hurricane Season (2013-09-09)

Meteorologists wonder why this hurricane season has been mild. Many storms were expected due to El Nino in the Pacific and high water temperatures in the Atlantic/Caribbean. The lack of El Nino has combined with high wind shear to stifle hurricanes. [News Press] [El Nino/La Nina] [Vertical Shear ]

New and Improved Mack (2013-09-09)

Connie Mack has a selective memory. He touts his support of the 2007 Water Resources Development Act but overlooks his opposition to including the Caloosahatchee Reservoir project in the 2010 WRDA. Too many politicians assume public forgetfulness. [News Press Editorial] [Historical Contradictions]

More Ideas, Few Decisions (2013-09-06)

The overall consensus of the Town Hall meeting in Fort Myers was there was a lot of information but no permanent decisions. Both the Corps and SFWMD presented long term solutions but gave no definite decisions of what they are going to do. [NBC-2]

Water Quality Forum (2013-09-06)

More than 100 residents, elected officials, natural resources scientists and others gathered on September 5th to talk about water pollution that has plagued both coasts this summer. Topics discussed included Dam Safety, Sugar lands and Pollution. [News Press]

Up the River Downtown (2013-09-05)

Organizers of Up the River Downtown, an event designed to raise awareness of a healthy river, are waiting on the results of toxicology tests on algae samples collected by the St. Johns Riverkeeper. The results will determine the fate of the event. [Jacksonville]

Put Nature First (2013-09-05)

Gov. Rick Scott's plans to sell conservation lands to raise funds to buy land more critical to environmental conservation has sound theoretical basis. However the sale should be based on sound environmental considerations, not financial calculations. [Tampa Bay Times]

Cayo Costa Conservation Lands (2013-09-04)

State officials are still looking to sell conservation lands in an effort to "trade up and get better land". Commissioners requested an analysis of how environmentally valuable the lands are to determine if they are taken off the for sale list. [News Press]

New Sea Sickness (2013-09-04)

Lake Worth Mayor Tom Ramiccio thinks the half-mile Plunge Against the Grunge he made on July 4 to call attention the lagoon's dirty water put him in a hospital for three days - and left him with a mysterious month-long illness. [Sun Sentinel] [Sun Sentinel 2]

Cattle Barge or Pirate Ship? (2013-09-04)

David Carr, a local CPA, discovered in the Caloosahatchee waters along the mangroves across from Rumrunners in Cape Coral an old cattle barge that once serviced nearby Punta Rassa, a major cattle­shipping port at the turn of the 20th century. [News Press]

Up the Food Chain (2013-09-04)

Toxins from Blue-Green algae have been found in 67% of fish and shell fish in the James River between May and October 2012. These toxins can build up to levels that the World Health Organization considers unsafe for consumption. [Bay Daily]

Bi-Coastal Rally (2013-09-04)

Hundreds of people from South Florida gathered near the U.S. Sugar Corp. refinery in Clewiston on September 1, to speak out about water pollution that’s plagued the state this summer. Those attending were officials, environmentalists, businesses etc. [News Press]

Extension Service Cuts (2013-09-03)

Lee County residents are upset about the proposed cuts to the budget for the UF-IFAS Cooperative Extension Service. This office handles local horticultural, environmental, and youth programs. Funding responsibility is shared by UF and each county. [News Press Mailbag] [News Press] [Keep Extension]

Oil Drilling Protest (2013-09-03)

A proposed oil well in Golden Gate Estates has residents concerned. This stimulated a group of 150 protesters to march along Naples beach on August 31 where they constructed a model oil rig behind Gov. Rick Scott’s beachfront home in Naples. [News Press]

Florida Panthers Future (2013-09-03)

For Florida Panther populations to grow and spread they must first travel North from the Everglades and cross the Caloosahatchee River. Dwayne House, a cattle rancher, purchased 1,278 acres for his cattle and the Panthers can now cross the river. [Tampa Bay Times] [Video]

Lake O No-Nos (2013-09-02)

The problem of Lake O releases into the Caloosahatchee will not go away soon. Gov. Scott announced plans that the state will provide $90 million for the Timiami Bridge Project. However more needs to be done to allow sufficient flow to the everglades. [News Press]

Like a Duck to Fresh Water (2013-08-30)

Freshwater, nutrients and duckweed just love each other. High watershed runoff combined with Lake O releases are causing Cape Coral canals to experience extensive duckweed growth, which does not normally occur in these canals due to salinity. [News Press] [Duckweed Cartoon]

Lee County Slash UF Funding (2013-08-30)

University of Florida officials Monday slammed Lee County’s plan to slash funding for Extension Services — a 91-year-old program that educates residents on gardening, sustainable farming and personal finance. [News Press]

3 to 2 Ceitus Vote (2013-08-30)

Lee County BOCC split 3 to 2 to continue funding Ceitus data collection. Mann and Kiker (Ray Judah's replacement) were against while Manning, Hall and Pendergrass voted for. Those in favor were lukewarm in their support for the larger Ceitus effort

Seizure of Sugar Land (2013-08-30)

City commissioners have requested a resolution favoring state action to seize land owned by U.S. Sugar Corp., a step they hope will speed up efforts to stem pollution of the estuaries, by allowing use of a southern flow way for Lake O releases. [TC Palm]

State Not Trustworthy (2013-08-30)

In the 1980's Lee County and individuals purchased properties on Cayo Costa and donated them to the State of Florida for preservation. By proposing their sale the State has again proven itself an untrustworthy steward of our environment. [Letter to Lee Commissioner]

Everglades Term Limits (2013-08-30)

The Florida Senate Select Committee have focused intently on finding short term solutions that match up with the elected official term limits. These short term limits are in direct contrast to the long term requirements to fix south Florida's water. [Watery Foundation]

Leaf Feeding Beetle (2013-08-29)

A leaf feeding beetle, Lilioceris cheni, was introduced into Florida in 2012 from China for biological control of air potato. Initial results are promising. If you have seen it in your area, send a photograph and location to Paul.Pratt@ars.usda.gov. [Air Potato Biocontrol] [More Details]

Do not Go Near the Water (2013-08-29)

The Lake O releases have caused much damage to the river and estuary ecosystems in Southwest Florida. These releases must stop to prevent further damage and other sources of storage need to be utilized. It is time for important changes to be made. [Youtube]

Sell It and Build (2013-08-29)

Govornor Scott's DEP plans to sell off lands on Cayo Costa is drawing wide criticism from Southwest Floridians. The lands targeted for surplusing are adjacent to existing homes and their sale would probably result in additional residential development on the sensitive island. [Buchanan Campaign] [Cayo Costa Cartoon]

Fertilizing During Summer (2013-08-29)

Cris Costello of the Sierra Club challenges a news story based on an IFAS/UF study of lawn fertilization in summer months that suggests it is OK. It is Not! The information presented to the media was flawed, incomplete and filled with omissions. [Letter] [Journal Article]

IPCC Report Leaks (2013-08-28)

Some Draft copies of the IPCC 2013/2014 report have been leaked. For the past seven years the trend has been that the "worst-case" predictions of the previous report have become the "most likely" predictions of the next. This is thought to continue. [EcoWatch]

Amoebae Live in Muck (2013-08-28)

The best way to prevent exposure to Naegleria is to avoid stirring up bottom sediments, as this is where the amoeba lives and feeds on bottom sediments composed of fallen leaves and dead plants. [Water Management Guide] [EASI News]

Economic Costs of the Flows (2013-08-28)

Innkeepers are suffering due to the polluted waters flowing from Lake O. A survey shows that more than 30 lodging property owners estimate their losses at $1,000 to $5,000. This raises concerns heading into Tourisms slowest month, September. [News Press]

From Shells to Slime (2013-08-28)

Whereas Florida tourism ads promoted walking along our shores to collect shells and other souvenirs, today's visitors can enjoy a whole new experience - collecting bottles of our river and estuary waters and marveling at all their colors. [Letter] [Algae in River] [My Florida Algae Collection]

Visioning Report Released (2013-08-28)

The Caloosahatchee River Visioning Process Stakeholder Assessment Findings and Process Design Draft Recommendations Final Report, prepared by the Consensus Building Institute has been released by SFWMD. [Final Report] [More Information]

Scott Avoids Muck Mob (2013-08-28)

Gov Scott visiting the St. Lucie River to view Lake O water releases made a quick get-away to avoid protestors demanding changes to Florida's water management system. Scott avoided direct communication with the protestors but did release statements. [WPTV 1] [WPTV 2]

Negron Hearing (2013-08-23)

State Sen. Joe Negron opened an eight-hour hearing of his select committee on Lake Okeechobee. Hundreds gathered to listen to the potential short term solutions. Among the ideas; water ranching, reducing number of septic tanks near the river etc.. [Palm Beach Post]

What Scott Is Up To (2013-08-23)

Gov Scott & cronies' true intent was to clear the way for big business (agriculture, power, mining, land development,...) to be able to avoid having to deal with distracting and worrisome environmental and growth management regulations. [Watery Foundation]

Officials Want Action (2013-08-23)

Sanibel official says it’s time for government agencies to stop talking and start spending money on local water quality issues. It was suggested that residents and business owners put pressure on state and federal agencies involved in water quality. [News Press]

Letter to the Senator (2013-08-20)

In an open letter to the senator, Nathaniel Reed highlights a number of issues that need to be resolved. Jump starting of the CEEP for a southern flow-way and more efforts to capture and store water upstream by flooding the Kissimmee watershed. [Letter]

Sea Level Rise Dampened (2013-08-20)

Three atmospheric patterns came together above the Indian and Pacific Oceans in 2010 and 2011. They drove much precipitation over Australia that the world's sea level dropped. The circulation patterns have returned to normal & sea level rise resumed. [NSF]

20/20 Conservation Plan Cut (2013-08-19)

Lee commissioners decided to eliminate funding for Conservation 20/20. The land purchasing program was adopted in 1996 after a public referendum voted in favor of 0.5 mils funding. But now, commissioners eliminated it without consulting voters. [News Press]

Lake O Mismanaged (2013-08-19)

In a letter to the Editor, CRCA President Wayne Daltry argues that achieving an additional 6 inches of lake discharge in the dry season provides room for an additional storage in the wet season of over 200,000 acre feet - more than the C43 reservoir. [News Press]

Federal Court Ruling (2013-08-15)

A federal court ruling in LA could be significant to South Florida. It requires a local government water management agency to solve pollution problems that originated upstream. The LA situation seems very similar to that of the Lake O discharges. [LA Times] [Press Release] [StormWater]

NOAA RESTORE Act (2013-08-14)

The NOAA RESTORE Act Science Program will host five virtual engagement opportunities this month. A short overview of the program will be provided as well as an opportunity to ask questions and gather input on research and observing needs in the Gulf [Register Now]

Resolutions on Water Quality (2013-08-14)

Two Districts of Florida Realtors have endorsed improved management and rehabilitation of aquatic ecosystems. They request that Florida Realtors pursue all legislative avenues and encourage realtors to monitor water resources in their local areas. [District 3] [District 5 ]

SFWMD Surplus Lands (2013-08-14)

CRCA signed a letter to SFWMD regarding plans to sell off public lands along the Caloosahatchee. Such transfers would be premature prior to fully considering issues of flood control, sea level rise mitigation, buffers and water storage. [Letter]

Still Wet and at Capacity (2013-08-13)

Lake O is now at 16.01 ft NGVD and the seasonal forecast continues to be wet. Lake level is expected to reach the high lake management band and flows into the Caloosahatchee will continue to remain at capacity with flows at S-79 around 10,000cfs. [Periodic Scientists Call Presentation]

First Claim Against Corps (2013-08-13)

The first official claim for lost wages has been filed against the Army Corps of Engineers for the toxic waterways on the Treasure Coast. Local Charter Angler argues his river charter fishing business has suffered since the locks were opened. [CBS 12 News]

Brain Eating Amoeba (2013-08-13)

A 12-year-old boy has contracted a rare and deadly infection from a “brain-eating” amoeba after playing in contaminated water in LaBelle. The organism, Naegleria fowleri, is found in warm freshwater and can cause rare and deadly brain infections. [News Press] [Fact Sheet] [More Information]

Cactus Cleans Toxic Water (2013-08-13)

Prickly pear cacti may be a natural, cheaper answer to water cleanup. Engineers from the University of South Florida have been using the 'Flesh' called Mucilage to clean up oil and other toxins from water. [News Press]

Ceitus Bombshell (2013-08-12)

A Freedom of Information Act disclosure reveals that both NOAA and the Corps recommended installing a structure to replace the Ceitus Boat Lift and maintain the Cape Coral Spreader Canal system. DEP never revealed this during the EMA process. [Freedom of Information Request]

Reality Check (2013-08-12)

Some officials have been accused of not listening at a meeting about algae in our rivers. However, If the prevailing politics don't allow officials to actually do anything about the problems being described to them then maybe they should multi-task. [Video]

Lake Okeechobee (2013-08-12)

Given the difficult situation between safety of the Herbert Hoover Dike and the potential environmental disaster resulting from Lake O releases. Responsible resource management is required urgently, but what price is to be paid before action occurs. [SWFWMD Matters]

Old Subsidy Objectives (2013-08-12)

The U.S. gives out $25 billion per year to agribusinesses, with 75% going just to 10% of farms. These are based on "old" social/economic priorities. If restructured, these subsidies could address issues such as the environmental impact of farming. [News Press]

Dark, Fast and Fresh (2013-08-08)

Since May 8, the Corps have released 145.9 billion gallons of water down the Caloosahatchee. In the same time, 182.4 billion gallons of runoff entered the river between the lake and Franklin lock. Now, the river is running faster than seen for years. [News Press]

Senate Launches Website (2013-08-08)

Senator Joe Negron, announced the creation of a microsite dedicated to collecting public comments on the economic and environmental impacts of ongoing releases from Lake Okeechobee as well as short-term solutions or alternatives. [Press Release] [Website]

Solutions for Lake O Basin (2013-08-07)

In a letter to Senator Negron, the Exectutive Director of Audubon Florida states that the discharges to the coastal estuaries are an ongoing tragedy that demands urgent government response and that real solutions require long-term thinking. [Letter]

Oil Drilling Protest (2013-08-07)

A few dozen appeared holding signs to cars and passers-by displaying their opposition to the Dan A. Hughes, Co. to drill in Golden Gate Estates. With slogans such as "Honk if you don't want oil spills". [Fox Video]

Stop Everglades Pollution (2013-08-06)

“The Everglades is dying,”. Tribal Leaders urged Congress to help them reduce the levels of phosphorous in the water to save what’s left of the ancient Everglades and preserve the Miccosukee way of life. [Sun Sentinel]

Speak Up for the Caloosahatchee (2013-08-06)

The SCCF state that "We need your help now to speak up for the health of our natural communities, our local economy and our quality of life" Short term and long term solutions are required at both the Federal and State levels. Changes are needed NOW! [Action Alert]

Corps Dispute Rumors (2013-08-06)

As the Corps continues to release water to the estuaries they also flooded the press to deflect negative public reaction, some justified, some misplaced. They justify their actions with public safety concerns, ignoring their decades of inaction. [News Press]

Messing Up the River (2013-08-01)

Action is needed for the long term health of the river. We need to; improve storage of our own run off by increasing storage of storm water, develop a southern flow-way and end back-pumping into lake Okeechobee when releases are occurring. [News Press]

Green Chunks (2013-07-31)

In July 31 letters to the News Press, residents complain that "my canal has huge green chunks floating in it and if it gets any thicker I probably could walk across." and about the "Water Calamity" affecting SW Florida due to Lake O releases. [News Press]

Red Tide Affects Scallops (2013-07-31)

24 Scallops were found during the 2013 Pine Island Sound Scallop Search. This is very low but was expected due to the Red Tide. Long term health of the Scallops cannot be determined, but if this continues next year, aggressive action may be required. [News Press]

EPA Chief to Act on Climate (2013-07-31)

The new head of the EPA told an audience at Harvard Law School that cutting carbon pollution will “feed the economic agenda of this country” and vowed to work with industry leaders on shaping policies aimed at curbing global warming. [Washington Post]

Democrats Target Sugar Money (2013-07-31)

The Martin County Democratic Party announced an anti-sugar resolution during a Rivers Coalition meeting. The committee will not support state legislative, county commission or other local candidates who have taken campaign money from U.S. Sugar Corp. [Treasure Coast]

Can You Hear Us (2013-07-30)

A SFWMD report claims that no public comments regarding which of its land parcels in SW Florida to release for sale have been submitted. However, Riverwatch and other groups did submit comments. Why have these not been picked up and reflected on?

Bowl Hoax Exposed (2013-07-29)

Despite WMD officials arguing that a Southern flow-way, to reduce pressure on the East and West, is not possible due to a "Bowl Effect". Some suggest that water would still flow between Lake O and WCA-3. However, there are still water quality issues.

SFWMD Takes Action (2013-07-29)

SFWMD have taken action to reduce freshwater flows to the estuary by installing a temporary pump at the C-43 storage site. However, this will have an effectively negligible affect on the flows into the estuary. Therefore more needs to be done! [News Release]

Lake Okeechobee Dumping (2013-07-29)

The already present black plumes in the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers, produced by run off have been worsened by the increased flows from Lake Okeechobee laced with nutrients, animal waste and silt from farming practices. [Miami Herald]

CRCA Input, County Response (2013-07-26)

Riverwatch President Wayne Daltry has communicated concerns to Lee County about high flows to the estuaries and the lack of viable options. Responding for the County, Roland Ottolini points out that solutions are being sought but progress is slow.

Fisheating Creek Backfilling (2013-07-26)

An administrative law judge in Tallahassee has rejected the permit to backfill Fisheating Creek. It was rejected on the grounds that the proposed backfilling would adversely affect public welfare and the conservation of fish and wildlife. [Recommended Order]

Let Er Rip (2013-07-25)

The Corps have decided to open the Lake Okeechobee gates to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers to their maximum capacity. Massive flows to the estuaries will continue to impact the marine environment and may have economic implications.

Cane Toads on Sanibel (2013-07-25)

SCCF discovered a population of Cane Toads on Sanibel. They pose a threat to native wildlife as they produce a toxin (bufotoxin) that is both irritating and deadly to smaller wildlife. Report any sightings of giant toads so they can be removed.

Beach Waters Feel Lake Releases (2013-07-25)

Freshwater flows into the estuary are affecting the salinity balance and causing organisms to relocate. Also, the increased nutrient influx may cause an algal bloom which could have significant health impacts, therefore needs to be closely monitored. [News Press]

National Stormwater Calculator (2013-07-24)

The Environmental Protection Agency have released the National Stormwater Calculator. This will help property owners, developers, and urban planners make informed land-use decisions to protect waterways from pollution caused by stormwater runoff. [Press Release]

Lake Okeechobee Danger Zone (2013-07-24)

As water levels increase dike integrity is a major concern. The Bromwell Report (2006) states, at water levels of 18 ft there is a 46% chance of dike failure. If water levels increase a Hurricane could result in dike failure with serious consequences [Bromwell Report] [Water Level]

Shared Flood Control (2013-07-24)

During heavy rainfall neighbourhood ditches, swales and conduits carry water to the canal system. In order for this integrated system to be efficient property managers and homeowners associations are encouraged to do their part to keep water flowing. [News Press]

South Florida Soaked (2013-07-24)

South Florida has experienced above average rainfall since June 1. 19.09 inches of rain have fallen from the start of June through mid-July, representing 147 percent of average. Water levels are currently at or above scheduled levels in key areas. [News Press]

C43 Temporary Storage Permit (2013-07-23)

Authorization has been received from the Corps for the use of temporary storage at the C-43 reservoir site. This will allow greater storage of water releases from Lake Okeechobee and control of the downstream flows into the estuary. [Authorization Document]

Environmental Disaster (2013-07-23)

Pelicans, Dolphins and Manatees are dying in the Indian River Lagoon. But the cause of this remains a mystery. Or is it that no one wants to know? Plenty of clues exist that explain the issues. And this isn't the only environmental issue in Florida. [Gainsville Sun]

Funding for Waterways (2013-07-23)

Governor Rick Scott's $1.2 billion budget will include support for restoration projects in the Everglades, springs water quality improvements and the purchase of conservation land. It priority of projects that will protect and renew our waterbodies. [BoatingIndustry]

Periodic Scientists Conference (2013-07-18)

The presentation suggests that the Corps will be sending 4000cfs down the Caloosahatchee out of Lake Okeechobee. Combined with basin runoff, the estuary will continue to get large volumes of fresh water. [Presentation]

Water and Food (2013-07-17)

In America the average person uses nearly 2,000 gallons of water a day. 95% of this isn't from showers and using washing machines - its from food, energy and the products you use every day. [Hidden Water] [Daily Dose]

Leadership Changes at SFWMD (2013-06-12)

The recent resignation of the SFWMD's executive director, Melissa Meeker leaves some big shoes for the district to fill. Her departure is among a number of recent leadership changes at the helm of the state’s largest water control district. [WGCU]

Mercury Levels in Sharks Worrying (2013-06-12)

High levels of mercury are being found in fish along the Gulf of Mexico. A study looking into the problem has been going on for decades; but levels are getting higher and researchers say sharks maybe key to finding a solution. [nbc-2]

NPS to Promote Bicycling (2013-06-12)

National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Adventure Cycling Association on April 30, 2013, formalizing a partnership to promote collaboration between bicycling interests and the National Park Service. [Action Hub]

U.S. Offshore Wind Power (2013-06-12)

Offshore wind energy has felt just out of America’s reach for quite some time now. While Europe has more than fifty projects up and running off their shores, here in the U.S. we are struggling to catch up. [Eco Watch]

When You Waste Food... (2013-06-12)

According to the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank, inside the 1.3 billion tons of food wasted every year worldwide is 45 trillion gallons of water. This represents a staggering 24 percent of all water used for agriculture. [NPR]

Florida Gives Big Sugar Break (2013-06-12)

The most deceptive and egregious action against taxpayers during the 2013 Florida legislative session was passage of HB 7065 and SB 768, which amended the 1994 Everglades Forever Act. [Miami Herald]

Farm Bill (2013-06-12)

On Monday, June 10, 2013, the Senate passed a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that expands government subsidies for crop insurance, rice and peanuts while making small cuts to food stamps. [USA Today]

Mixed News for Oysters (2013-06-12)

For the past several years, oyster industry has struggled with significant losses due to ocean acidification. According to scientists' new findings, ocean acidification inhibits shell formation but interventions at hatcheries may offset some effects. [National Science Foundation]

There are Plenty of Fish (2013-06-07)

According to the recent report on the status of improving stocks, released by the NOAA, the number of stocks subject to overfishing fell from 36 to 29, a record low. Ninety percent of the 284 monitored stocks no longer fall into that category. [New-Press]

Where Does Soil Charcoal Go? (2013-06-07)

Most scientists thought charcoal was resistant. They believed that once it was incorporated into soils, it stayed there. No one really thought it dissolved, but it does. It's exported into wetlands and rivers, eventually making its way to the oceans. [National Science Foundation]

Ceitus Overview (2013-06-06)

On May 5, 2013 Phil Buchanan spoke about the history of Ceitus Boat Lift controversy to the Riverwatch group. If you belong to a group that would like to see the presentation live at one of your meetings Phil will be glad to attend. [Presentation (PDF)]

Building Better Budgets (2013-06-06)

A new report released by Smart Growth America reveals how much municipalities can save, on average, by using smart growth development strategies. The report also examines how much revenue smart growth development generates compared to alternatives. [Details] [Complete Report] [Web site]

Environmental Warfare (2013-06-06)

We managed to survive the cold war, but the challenges to our environmental security remain. We need to stop treating the idea of biodiversity as a philosophical preference and embrace it as a strategy of survival. [The New York Times]

Too Much on Environment (2013-06-06)

Bob Graham in his opinion stated that Florida's conservation groups, not given an equal seat at the table when legislation is being crafted or considered, must fight back bad bills to hold on to what is left of our environmental legacy. [Sun-Sentinel]

FL Wildlife Corridor & Expedition (2013-06-06)

On June 4, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet will issue a resolution recognizing the Florida Wildlife Corridor, a visionary project to connect the remaining natural lands, waters, working farms, forests & ranches from the Everglades to Georgia. [Details]

Ice Free Arctic Summers (2013-06-06)

According to federal scientists, the Arctic Ocean summer ice may melt completely, possibly within the next decade or two. North Pole will lose its summer ice cap after 2050 due to a warming climate melting sea ice. [News-Press]

Algae Shuts Down Water Plant (2013-06-06)

Concentrations of potentially-toxic blue green algae in the Caloosahatchee River has caused utility managers to close a Lee Co. treatment plant. County plant operations manager Hank Barroso said thsystem will remain offline until conditions improve. [News-Press]

Estuary Residents and Floods (2013-06-03)

Some Southwest Florida property owners are going to see drastic increases in their flood insurance rates. These policyholders will incur the full rate increase at once on October 1, 2013 when policies need to be renewed. [News-Press]

$7.5 Million for River Cleanup (2013-06-03)

About $7.5 million in state and federal money is being earmarked to help clean water flowing into the St. Johns River from farm areas near Palatka, according to state Environmental Protection Secretary Herschel Vinyard. [Jacksonville]

Conservation 20/20 Land Deals (2013-06-03)

Lee County commissioners approved safeguards to protect taxpayers from overpriced Conservation 20/20 land deals. The rules were recommended by a blue-ribbon committee formed in response to Clerk of Court findings that Lee paid too much for land. [News-Press]

Preserving Everglades (2013-06-03)

Gov. Rick Scott in his recent editorial stated that preserving Everglades is crucial to ecosystem and that millions of Floridians rely on the Everglades as a source of freshwater, jobs and recreation. [News-Press]

Stepping up to the Green Plate (2013-05-17)

Agriculture may appear to be lacking in modern sustainability practices, but many farmers and ranchers are implementing procedures to protect their environments. Environmental protection services are implemented on ranches, farms & dairies across FL. [TCPalm]

Dunk City Dark Side (2013-05-17)

Attention that FGCU basketball attracted wasn't all good. It gave a national audience to the sorted history surrounding the siting of the campus back in the 90's. Many complained it epitomized sprawl under the guise of creating a "green university." [Mother Jones]

Sunlit Snow Triggers Ozone Depletion (2013-05-17)

National Science Foundation-funded researchers at Purdue University have discovered that sunlit snow is the major source of atmospheric bromine in the Arctic, the key to unique chemical reactions that purge pollutants and destroy ozone. [National Science Foundation]

Analysis of Climate Records (2013-05-17)

The most comprehensive evaluation of temperature change on Earth’s continents over the past 1000-2000 years indicates that a long-term cooling trend ended in the 19th century. The study also finds that the 20th century ranks as the warmest century. [National Science Foundation]

Huge Victory for Florida Waters (2013-05-17)

Florida Environmental Regulation Commission (ERC) rejected Gov. Rick Scott and DEP's plan to allow more toxic chemicals in Florida waters at a April 23 meeting. ERC told DEP to come back in the late summer or early fall with a better proposal. [Details]

Land Policy Reversal (2013-05-17)

Florida is in the midst of an about-face on the conservation front, with some elected officials saying the state has too much public land & some should be sold to the private sectors. Florida’s legacy of land preservation may be headed for extinction [News-Press] [Popular public lands in Lee County] [Interactive map]

Ceilley on Trafford (2013-05-17)

FGCU scientist David Ceilley has worked on Caloosahatchee River ecology in past years. Today he is focused on restoration of Lake Trafford after massive fish kills more than a decade ago prompted a dredging project to remove the bottom muck. [News-Press] [About Lake Trafford] [Lake Trafford map] [Video]

LWC Water Supply Plan (2013-05-17)

2012 Lower West Coast Water Supply Plan approved by the District's Governing Board on November 15, 2012 addresses the water supply related issues of the region and provides a framework to meet the water needs of the region through 2030. [Memo to Stakeholders] [Water Supply Entity Statutory Requirements] [LWC Final Order] [Plan documents ]

Nonpoint Source News-Notes (2013-05-17)

Nonpoint Source News-Notes Issue May 2013, #94 is now available online. This issue of NPS News-Notes explores new and innovative programs, tools and resources that are available to help manage polluted runoff. [NPS News-Notes Issue #94] [Previous Issues]

River of Grass Flows Again (2013-05-17)

On May 15, 2013 about 10:00 am, a worker driving a backhoe cracked apart the roadbed of the old Tamiami Trail letting the shallow water of the famed River of Grass flow into the Everglades National Park the way it did eight decades before. [Tampa Bay Times]

WRDA: Nelson-yes, Rubio-no (2013-05-17)

The Senate on Apr 15 put aside its partisan differences to extend the federal government’s main water resources law (WRDA), which promotes investment in port improvements, flood protection, dam and levee projects and environmental restoration. [The Washington Post]

Florida Water Rally (2013-05-16)

On Apr 15 Environmentalists gathered in 10 Florida cities to protest state Senate and House bills that would replace the EPA's water quality rules with the FL DEP's standards, which will promote further pollution of state waters. "EPA YES; FDEP NO". [News-Press]

Southwest Florida Rains (2013-05-16)

From record heat to record cold, from abnormally dry conditions to full-on rain, 2013 has been a roller coaster ride, weather-wise. The first 10 days of April have produced more than half the rain we typically see all month. [News-Press] [Southwest Fla. coastal rainfall totals]

God and Climate Change (2013-05-16)

If the trajectory of climate change isn't real or won't bother God, then climate change is not a religious concern. But if we answer that the likely effects will not delight God, then climate change is a religious and moral issue. Much to contemplate [Sojourners]

Sugar Act Then and Now (2013-05-16)

Richard Geisinger Jr. writes in the Apr 13 Stuart News about the Jones-Costigan Amendment (Sugar Act 1934). It was passed to salvage an ailing sugar industry after the Great Depression. Coistigan sponsored a failed anti lynching bill the same year. [Stuart News ]

Audubon vs. Sugar (2013-05-16)

Four days after Audubon filed a legal challenge to no-bid leases that allow Florida Crystals to farm on state land in the Everglades for another 30 years, a lawmaker called by the company filed a measure to quash the complaint. [The Palm Beach Post]

Scenic River Venue Closing (2013-05-16)

Riverwatch & Watershed Council have traditionally held many of its events at the Royal Palm Yacht Club. But as of May 17 the club is closing. More than half of the 22 annual SWFL Water Resource Conferences have been hosted at the scenic yacht club. [News-Press] [RPYC Timeline] [RPYC website]

First Flush (2013-05-16)

Each year, typically in June, Southwest Florida has its sustained rainy days. Water quality scientists refer to these rain events as the “first flush,” and this year it took place a month to six weeks earlier than usual with 1.83 inches on May 1. [News-Press] [Filtering Runoff]

Sustainable Growth Elusive (2013-05-16)

John Cassani in his opinion in the News-Press wrote that sustainable growth plan proves to be elusive in Lee County. He encourages everyone to consider attending one of the town hall meetings on the comprehensive plan changes and voice your concerns. [News-Press]

Climate Change Statements (2013-05-16)

A common skeptic argument is that climate has changed naturally in the past, long before SUVs and coal-fired power plants, so humans can't be the cause of the current global warming. Peer-reviewed research shows this is not the case. [Climate Change Statements] [Skeptic Arguments]

Just Say No to P (2013-05-16)

Scotts turn around on fertilizer! Proof that repeating the message and holding the line can result in change. Some good movement we all have played a role in changing the world today. [The Columbus Dispatch]

FGCU Land Deal (2013-05-16)

FGCU has declined a local developer’s offer to donate 600 acres to the school, but isn’t ruling out revisiting the proposal later. O.J. Buigas of Private Equity Group had met with FGCU President Wilson Bradshaw on May 10 to discuss the deal. [News-Press] [CRCA President's previous comment]

Downside of a Cycle (2013-05-16)

Florida’s stone crab season ended mid May ranking the worst season ever, according to Lee County commercial fishermen. Crabs were so scarce that the fishermen brought their traps ashore weeks early because the catch wasn’t paying for fuel and bait. [News-Press] [Video]

H20 Ignorance Has No Humor (2013-04-07)

Two radio DJs were temporarily suspended after some in the public paniced when Val St. John and Scott Fish told listeners that Dihydrogen monoxide (water...ha,ha!) was coming from taps. Ignorance...or confusion with Carbon monoxide; you decide. [Felony Charges?] [News Press]

Dynamic Duo Serve CRCA (2013-04-04)

The new president & vice president of CRCA are Wayne Daltry & Marti Daltry. Marti previously served two terms as president but this is the first CRCA officer role for Wayne. Standing committee chairs were also appointed at the Apr 3 board meeting. [Nominating Committee Report] [Election & Appointments]

Yet Another Potential Disaster (2013-03-29)

The Conservancy of SW FL & the Center of Biological Diversity plan to sue the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service over its intent to turn over enforcement of endangered species protection to the State of Florida. Letting the fox gaurd the henhouse is wrong. [CBD Press Release] [Sierra Club Press Release]

Breaking Ground at Babcock (2013-03-27)

The Babcock Ranch city project is back after going dormant due to the 2005 housing crash. Ground-breaking is in 2014. Kitson sold 73,000ac of ag tracts, undevelopable wetlands & forest to the state for $5000/ac, leaving 19,000 ac for development. [News-Press] [Syd Kitson] [History] [Video] [Kitson & Partners]

Farming State Lands (2013-03-28)

A proposed state law (HB 33 and SB 466)would make it easier for Florida cattle ranchers and other owners of property next to state-owned land to acquire or lease that public land, in exchange for a conservation easement on their property. [Florida Today] [Video]

No Red Tide (2013-03-28)

For the first time in six months, biologists detected no presence of red tide along the Southwest Florida coast. Red tide can cause fish kills and respiratory illnesses in mammals, including humans, once levels reach 10,000 cells per liter or higher. [New-Press]

US FWS User Fees Granted (2013-03-27)

More than $882.4 million in excise tax revenues generated in 2012 by sportsmen and sportswomen will be distributed to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation. [Outdoor Hub]

SWF Critical Turtle Habitat (2013-03-27)

The USFWS, under legal pressure from environmental groups, proposed designating 740 miles of beaches from North Carolina to Florida to Mississippi as critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtles. Public comment on the proposal accepted until May 24. [Naples News]

Angler Action (2013-03-27)

Logg