Comments on Howard Opinion (2016-08-25)
Riverwatch member Paul Reynolds and director Wayne Daltry offered comments on the anti-EAA land purchase editorial by Johnson Engineering President Lonnie Howard. Both challenge his perspective. People inland and on the coast stand to gain or lose money based on EAA land use decisions [Comment] [Howard Opinion]
   
No Fix On The Horizon (2016-08-25)
Big Sugar conference panelists from the SW region included Karson Turner, John Capece, Jennifer Hecker and Ray Judah. Riverwatch director John Capece presented on issues of the Caloosahatchee, explaining that no water fix is yet on the horizon. Karson Turner spoke on Hendry County economics. [Capece Presentation]
   
Johnson Engineering President on EAA Lands (2016-08-21)
President of Johnson Engineering, Lonnie Howard opposes the EAA land purchases saying,"The land acquisition effort targets farmers who have been instrumental in the success of Everglades restoration to date." He accuses misguided activist groups of undermining Everglades restoration. [News Press] [Johnson Engineering Office in Clewiston] [Reactions]
   
Cris Costello, Slime Crime Fighter (2016-08-21)
Sierra Club Slime Crime Fighter led a sold-out, highly-successful Big Sugar Summit II in West Palm Beach on Aug 20. The day-long meeting explored issues surrounding the full range of obstacles to solutions for Lake O nutrient pollution and fresh water release to coastal estuaries. [Agenda] [Speakers Bio]
   
Wanted: Waterkeeper & Exec Director (2016-07-31)
Riverwatch announces its search for two employees - a Waterkeeper & an Executive Director. The Waterkeeper is the CRCA face to the media and presence on our waterways. The Waterkeeper will be our local Aquaman (or woman) - a water superhero. The Executive Director will fuel the program. [Waterkeeper Position] [Executive Director Position]
   
Mathilde Grand Tour of USA (2016-08-10)
After completing her 4-month program as Riverwatch intern, Mathilde Laurendon took a 3-week AMTRAK tour of the USA. After returning safe and sound, she said, "It was really AWESOME! I saw and did many things and I met a lot of people. Everybody was nice with me." Mathilde is now home in France. [Photo]
   
Negron Proposes EAA Storage (2016-08-09)
Sen. Negron proposes to buy 60,000 acres south of Lake O to store 120 billion gallons of water (370,000 acre-feet). This is be sufficient to address St. Lucie needs would not be enough to also reduce flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary. Three times this storage is needed. But it’s a good start! [Caloosahatchee Volume] [St Lucie Volume]
   
Algae Watching - The New Thing (2016-08-09)
Sure, you can ID 250 types of birds by sight, but how many types of algae can you identify? Florida shores may have a new type of eco-tourism guide - the algae watcher. Instead of microcystin, the St Lucie now has Pyrodinium bahamense or brown tide. [TC Palm]
   
CAP vs BMPs for Water Quality (2016-08-09)
BMPs do nothing to improve water quality when farmers move their land from less intensive agriculture (forestry, etc.) to more intensive crops (vegetables, etc.). That's why CAP in the St Johns River basin is useful. It encourages farmers to move back to silviculture. [St Augustine]
   
SFWMD to Corps of Engineers (2016-08-08)
SFWMD told the Asst Secretary of the Army for the Corps of Engineers in DC that an EAA water storage study would be distracting and harmful. In a letter to Rep. Patrick Murphy the Corps had indicated its willingness to move forward with an EAA water storage study if SFWMD would cooperate. [SFWMD-Corps PR & Letters] [E&E News]
   
Riverwatch on WGCU-FM (2016-08-05)
On Thursday, Sep 15 at 4pm, Riverwatch Vice President Rob Wilson and CRCA Director John Cassani will be on the radio live at WGCU to help with a pledge drive. Each $35 you donate provides Riverwatch with a future public information announcement (spot) on WGCU. 2 for $70, 3 for $105, 4 for $140, etc. [Letter] [DONATE]
   
July 2016 CRCA Newsletter (2016-08-01)
The July 2016 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. [July Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]
   
Florida Aquifer Conference (2016-08-01)
Florida Aquifer Conference will take place on Sep 21-22, 2016 at Florida Hotel & Conference Center – 1500 Sand Lake Road, Orlando. Two days of information-exchange and networking for scientists, engineers, water managers, water end-users, city, county & state officials & elected representatives. [Program] [Details] [Register online]
   
Glades Lives Matter (2016-08-01)
A meeting in Clewiston demanded that inland residents be protected in any plans to solve water problems. CRCA has always asserted that working-class people’s jobs must be considered. But when evolving an economy (coastal or inland) corporate interests are not always the same as people’s interests. [No Scapegoat] [Mutual Inaccuracies] [Sweet Life] [Hastings]
   
Big Sugar Summit 2016 (2016-08-01)
Big Sugar Summit #2 is on Saturday, August 20 from 9 am to 5 pm at Embassy Suites West Palm Beach - 1601 Belvedere Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406. Registration is $20. Questions? Contact the organizer: Jon Ullman, jon.ullman@sierraclub.org, (305) 567-0022. [Details] [Register online]
   
Vote YES for Solar on Aug 30 (2016-08-01)
Solar energy supporters encourage you to say YES to Amendment 4 on the Aug 30 ballot. Climate change is the ultimate factor on whether we can save South Florida waters. If you care about water, you should support this amendment. It removes burdensome tangible and real estate property taxes on solar. [Sign Up to VOTE BY MAIL] [Tell Friends on Facebook Why You Support Solar] [Web Site]
   
DEP Allows More Toxins in Water (2016-08-01)
John Moran, a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Stanford University, staged a protest at the meeting where DEP recommended adoption of higher levels of toxic substances in water supplies. Waterkeepers, Clean Water Network, and others also attended the meeting to oppose the weakened regulations. [Moran OpEd] [News] [DEP ERC OpEd] [Waterkeeper Letter]
   
Lake Erie & Lake Okeechobee (2016-07-31)
Tom Hayden of the Toledo Blades describes parallels between the putrid algae that has sickened South Florida and the green goop that has appeared in western Lake Erie nearly every summer since 1995. Lake Okeechobee & Lake Erie are both prone to algal growth because of heavy agricultural runoff. [The Toledo Blade] [Lake Erie Algae]
   
July Flow to Estuary Still Harmful (2016-07-31)
Flow to the Caloosahatchee Estuary during July remained at or above harm levels. In In 2016 the days of harmful flow have numbered 156 (74% of the year). Of total harmful flows, 75% have been from Lake O and 25% from the watershed. [Lake O Stage History] [Lake & Watershed Flow Graph]
   
Suggest a Speaker (2016-07-28)
Riverwatch is a co-host of the Southwest Florida Water Resources Conference to be held Jan 13 at FGCU. The topic for the 26th year of the conference is "Resiliency: Reducing Impacts and Bouncing Back." We invite you to view the Call for Presenters and suggest speakers for the conference. [SWFWRC Call for Presenters] [Suggest an Presenter or Panelist]
   
You & You Have a Problem, We All Have a Problem (2016-07-18)
In speaking in Ft Myers on issues of the Caloosahatchee with community mayors and environmental representatives, Senator Bill Nelson decried finger pointing emphasizing that all communities and governments will have to do their part to solve regional water problems. [Rae Ann & Sen Nelson] [News Press with Video]
   
We Will Feel The Burn (2016-07-15)
Ft Myers is #2 on the list of US cities expected to see the greatest increase in number of days with a heat index of 105F or higher by 2050 due to climate change. Punta Gorda is #1. The top 13 cities are all in Florida. Ft Myers had 26 such days in 2000. In 14 years from now it will be 135 days. [Ft Myers Heat Index] [Climate Central Article] [Web Site with City Calculator] [Climate Central Florida Heat] [States At Risk]
   
Not Really a Change in Policy (2016-07-15)
The day (July 14) the Corps announced it would reduce flows from Lake O to the Caloosahatchee starting July 15, they in fact increased flow from 2200 cfs to 2500 cfs. It appears that flow reductions are simply an artifact of a lower lake and less rainfall, not changing Corps management decisions. [Lake Okeechobee Stage] [Flow Graph]
   
Circle of Blue on Florida Algae (2016-07-15)
Global media are now following Florida's algae story. Dr. Bill Mitsch of FGCU says: What's going on in Florida, it's happening all around the world now. There are too many people, too much food production, too much fertilizer in the landscape. It's going to be haunting us for a long time. [Circle of Blue 1] [Circle of Blue 2] [Registration]
   
Another Toxic Algae Threat (2016-07-15)
A toxic algae has been poisoning birds throughout the South. Now it is lurking in Florida's freshwater lakes. So far it has been blamed for killing thousands of birds. No birds killed by the algae's poisons have been found in Florida but to the top expert on the subject, it is only a matter of time. [Tampa Bay Times] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
   
Environmental Groups in DC (2016-07-15)
Environmental groups are sending a contingent to Washington, D.C. in hopes the federal government will put pressure on the state to buy agriculture lands south of Lake O for Everglades restoration projects. Jennifer Hecker and others met Rep. Curt Clawson and Congressman Patrick Murphy in D.C. [News Press] [Jennifer Hecker] [Santiva Chronicle] [Video]
   
Algae Bloom Is Not A Myth (2016-07-15)
We all admit that there's problems there and it started a very long time ago, said Mickey Ferry, a manager. He's seen algae blooms come and go over the past 20 years or so while working at various Ft. Myers Beach restaurants. Every time the algae-tainted waters flow, SW FL businesses feel it. [News Press] [Tallarico Opinion] [Video] [Cartoon]
   
Caloosahatchee July 6-12 (2016-07-14)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 4,158 cfs, one and a half times the harm threshold. Lake O discharges to the river at S-77 decreased to a weekly average of 2,285 cfs. Blue-green algae was documented over 35 miles of the river from the Alva Boat Ramp to Cape Coral Yacht Club. [Conditions Report] [Photo Blue Green Algae] [More SCCF Reports]
   
Lake O Is Not Fine (2016-07-14)
Lake O water quality is not fine. Lake O is a polluted water body, and when it experiences toxic algae blooms, the drinking water drawn from the portion of the lake experiencing the toxic algae bloom has to undergo special treatment to ensure that the toxin is removed down to safe levels. [Larry Fink Comment] [My Palm Beach Post]
   
No More Excuses (2016-07-14)
Disastrous algae blooms foul coastal estuaries. Seagrass die-offs plague Florida Bay. High water threatens the Lake Okeechobee dike. Everglades marshes drown under too much water or wither under too little. All the ecological crises in 2016 are just already seen, all over again. [The Facts] [Tampa Bay Times] [Myth vs Fact]
   
Nutrients + Warmer Water = Algae (2016-07-14)
Dangerous blue-green algae blooms are going to be more prevalent as the climate warms, says Rob Moore, senior policy analyst for NRDC. It is yet another reason why the U.S. and governments around the world must take rapid action to decrease emissions that are causing climate change. [Article from The Daily Beast] [Photo Algae Bloom] [Comic Strip] [Cartoon]
   
Obstacle to Solutions (2016-07-14)
Big Sugar is not a source of the water flowing to the coasts from Lake O, but it is a major political obstacle to water storage on EAA farmland, a solution to these wet-season high flows. During the dry-season when the estuary needs water, EAA Sugar irrigation demands are a major limitation. [Sun Sentinel 1] [Sun Sentinel 2] [Tampa Bay Times] [WPTV] [Video]
   
Boat Wash Florida (2016-07-14)
Does a clean boat bottom appeal to you? Leaders of a boat-wash business new to the USA visited marinas in Southwest Florida in an effort to land new customers. Drive-in Boatwash manufactures, sells and operates machines that wash boat hulls. Fourteen machines operate in Sweden, where it is based. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video]
   
Not That Much Algae (2016-07-14)
Lee County tourism promoters have adopted a new marketing slogan - Our algae bloom is not as bad as Martin County's. Seems they have to resort to claiming that our water is simply brown and doesn't have the guacamole-green froth of east coast water. Tourists respond to pollution by not returning. [News Press] [Photos] [Video]
   
How to Handle 1 Million People (2016-07-14)
Lee County is at a critical juncture. In less than 20 years, we will have 1 million permanent residents. Where will our water come from? Will we reinvigorate Conservation 20-20 to preserve natural areas or change our priorities and pave over our open spaces like other Florida counties have done? [Dick Anderson Opinion] [Photo Dick Anderson] [Resume of Dick Anderson]
   
Developers Should Pay (2016-07-14)
Four Miami-Dade commissioners have suggested an idea so new it doesn't appear any other city has implemented it: Create new impact fees that would require developers to basically pay for their portion of the burden of sea-level-rise-related costs. [Miami New Times] [4 Commissioners]
   
Active On Their First Day (2016-07-14)
New Riverwatch members Tom Hammond & Phil James, snowbirds from Canada, attended the Everglades Coalition law workshop at the Conservancy in Naples where they met and talked with Riverwatch directors Cassani, Gibson, Capece & Abduvohidova. The day included some fun tours of the Conservancy. [Meeting Agenda] [Tom and Phil] [Phil Job]
   
Opinions on Water Quality Issues (2016-07-13)
(1) Paul Christopher: I have watched reporting on water quality issues affecting coastlines and rivers in a state that largely depends on tourism. It’s a serious issue. (2) C. Kay Best: The brown polluted water continues to take its toll. We are living in the worst ecological disaster of our times. [Paul Christopher Opinion] [C. Kay Best Opinion]
   
Paul Reynolds Editorial (2016-07-13)
Riverwatch Member Paul Reynolds writes about the shortcomings of the C-43 West Reservoir Project saying: Who, in the governing infrastructure, speaks for our rivers, estuaries, and coasts? Frankly, the job is open, and without far more spirited community involvement, our water woes will never end. [Editorial] [Photo Paul Reynolds] [Comments]
   
Protest in Fort Myers Beach (2016-07-13)
Supporters of clean water in Southwest Florida gathered at the Fort Myers Beach Pier on July 9, calling for government action on water quality. The rally, attended by about 150, was put on by the Southwest Florida Clean Water Movement, led by John Heim. Other groups were present too. [News Press] [Photos] [Video]
   
Septic Systems - Minor Source (2016-07-12)
Larry Fink and others question Brian Lapointe's assertion that septic tanks are the major cause of the east coast algal bloom. Indeed, septic tank seepage makes only a minor contribution to the limiting nutrient load to Lake O, the St. Lucie River Canal and the Indian River Lagoon. [TC Palm] [Opinion Larry Fink] [Details]
   
Lake O Watershed Scoping (2016-07-12)
The Army Corps of Engineers will be hosting a public scoping meeting on July 26 in Okeechobee to discuss and seek input on the Lake O Watershed Project. Those concerned by the coastal algae issue should attend to seek solutions to the crisis brought on by years on inaction and misguided action. [Meeting Announcement] [USACE] [LOW Project Location] [Meeting Location]
   
Carl Hiaasen Opinions (2016-07-12)
They say a picture tells a thousand words. If it’s a picture of an algae-covered beach, it can also cancel thousands of hotel reservations. That’s the new dread in Florida, as photos and news videos of gunk-covered shorelines are making headlines all over the world. [Miami Herald Opinion] [TC Palm Opinion] [St Augustine Opinion] [Algae Photo] [Photo Carl Hiaasen]
   
Frog Hunt for Research (2016-07-12)
What are some of the differences between now and 25 years ago? Ask anyone who has lived in rural Florida over this period and their response might include the observation of how most of the frogs are now gone. Two emerging amphibian diseases that are killing frogs across the world. [Article from Orlando Sentinel] [Photos] [Video]
   
Record of Hottest Temperatures (2016-07-12)
2014 and 2015 each set the record for hottest calendar year since we began measuring surface temperatures over 150 years ago, and 2016 is almost certain to break the record once again. It will be without precedent: the first time that we have seen 3 consecutive record-breaking hot years. [Article from The Guardian] [Land Surface Temperature] [Global Surface Temperature] [Predictions 2016]
   
Interactive Algae Data Map (2016-07-11)
With algal blooms spreading in South Florida waters State agencies have stepped up their monitoring efforts. DEP and SFWMD routinely sample algal blooms when they are observed. The state’s algal blooms response team encourages residents to report algal blooms. WPTV has mapped the sampling locations. [WPTV] [Interactive Map] [Photo Algae]
   
Coastal Angler Magazine (2016-07-11)
Thank you to Nadeen Welch for attending the CRCA Board meeting n July 6, and sharing copies of the article she published in the July's Fort Myers edition of the Coastoal Angler Magazine. CRCA looks forward to working with her to produce monthly contributions to her publication. [Mail John Capece] [CRCA Magazine Page]
   
Scott Blames Obama (2016-07-11)
Gov. Rick Scott has asked President Obama to declare a federal emergency over the discharges of water from Lake O. In his request, Scott blamed the crisis on the federal government for 'lack of appropriate maintenance' of the Herbert Hoover Dike, which retains water in the lake. [News Press] [Photo Rick Scott] [Photo Barack Obama] [Poll Results] [Video]
   
Sawfish Resurgence (2016-07-11)
It took less than 100 years for man to wipe sawfish from existence in North America. But thanks to conservation efforts, the critically endangered species has started to rebound, and Southwest Florida has been the epicenter of that resurgence. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video] [Sawfish in Naples Pier]
   
Florida Algae Goes National (2016-07-11)
The major newspapers and TV networks are covering this year's algae blooms. The national attention will cost the state tourist dollars. But will it be enough shaming to force politicians to stop their practice of only giving lip service to water quality while doing favors for industry supporters. [New York Times] [CBS] [Chicago Tribune] [Video]
   
Seminar in North Fort Myers (2016-07-11)
You can attend the Natural Areas and Aquatic Management Seminar on Wednesday, Sept 21, 2016 at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center, rooms 102 A-B. For additional information, you can contact Roy Beckford at fbeckford@leegov.com. [Details] [Agenda] [Map]
   
Opinion Philip Warburg (2016-07-11)
Floating solar panel arrays are increasingly being deployed in places as diverse as Brazil and Japan. One prime spot for these floatovoltaic projects could be the sunbaked U.S. Southwest, where they could produce clean energy and prevent evaporation in major man-made reservoirs. [Opinion Philip Warburg] [Photo Philip Warburg] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Catastrophic When Algae Die (2016-07-11)
As bad as the actual massive algae bloom on the Treasure Coast, sometime in the coming days or weeks or months, it’s going to die. And when it does, the impact on flora and fauna will make the current disaster look like a tipped bait bucket by comparison. [My Palm Beach Post] [Photo Algae Bloom] [Photo William Louda] [Video]
   
Corruption - Toxic Water Crisis (2016-07-08)
The massive, toxic algae bloom has its origins in an ongoing cycle of political manipulations, kickbacks, loosening of environmental and water regulations, an aging water-transfer infrastructure in and around Lake Okeechobee. It all adds up to one vicious chain, and guess who gets to foot the bill? [Article from Forbes] [Cartoon] [Explications About Algae] [Photo Toxic Algae]
   
Water Issues Opinions (2016-07-08)
(1) J.P. Sasser: if we turn a blind eye to the real causes of water issues, we have no hope of ever resolving them. (2) Brad Turek: we need to ask our governor why he continues to choose to destroy South Florida's entire ecosystem. Isn’t everyone tired of looking at disgusting polluted brown water? [News Press] [Ray Judah Editorial]
   
Septic Systems - River Pollution (2016-07-08)
Septic systems are a primary source of St. Lucie River pollution, according to a study commissioned from the FAU HBOI. The finding refutes an opinion popular with some local officials and environmentalists that Lake O discharges and fertilizer in agricultural runoff are the primary sources. [TC Palm] [Photo Reef] [St Lucie Estuary Inflows] [Video]
   
Caloosahatchee June 29-July 5 (2016-07-08)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 6,203 cfs, over 2 times the harm threshold. Lake O discharges to the river at S-77 averaged 2,700 cfs. Lee County Environmental Lab found blue-green algae from the Alva boat ramp, and salinities at Iona are in the harmful range for oysters. [Conditions Report] [Photo Seagrass 1] [Photo Seagrass 2] [More SCCF Reports]
   
Lake Erie Algae Blooms (2016-07-07)
Higher intensity rainfall and no-till agriculture is causing the Lake Erie algae blooms. Researchers say these factors cause runoff waters to contain more dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP), a nutrient nearly 100% available for the algae to use. Farmers will have to further reduce pollution. [Circle of Blue] [Satellite Image] [Lake Erie Comic] [Text Larry Fink] [Nutrients Background] [Graphics]
   
Florida DEP Launches Hotline (2016-07-07)
Florida DEP has set up a hotline for citizens to report algae bloom. This will enable the state agencies to know exactly how many complaints they are doing nothing to resolve and how they can best design a PR campaign to counteract the complaints. [Article from WFLA] [Photo Central Marine Stuart] [Cartoon]
   
Algae Bloom Economic Disaster (2016-07-07)
After touring the Stuart algae bloom, Sen. Marco Rubio said: This is beyond just an ecological disaster, it is an economic disaster. Such statements reveal the underlying problem perspective of politicians - that the ecology doesn’t really matter to them unless and until it hits them in the wallet. [Sunshine State News] [Photo Toxic Algae] [Video] [Visit of Marco Rubio]
   
More Algae Off SW FL (2016-07-07)
NASA satellite images show more algae offshore of SW FL than off the east coast of Florida. Red indicates greater Chlorophyll A, an indicator for algae concentration. Measuring Chlorophyll concentrations as an indicator of algae biomass may provide one tool to assess coastal water quality. [Chlorophyll Concentration] [Bimonthly Report] [Chlorophyll A July 1] [Chlorophyll A July 6] [Data July 1] [Data July 6]
   
NASA Satellite Images (2016-07-06)
Images of an algae bloom on Lake O have been posted on NASA’s Earth Observatory’s website. In May 2016, an algae bloom grew to cover 33 square miles of Lake O. The conditions that gave rise to the bloom have persisted into July & have been blamed for affecting water quality all the way to Atlantic. [TC Palm] [Satellite Image 1] [Satellite Image 2] [Satellite Image 3]
   
Not All From the Lake (2016-07-06)
According to James Sasser, hopefully those most interested in the preponderance of algae blooms on the Treasure Coast take the time to actually read the results of the algae monitoring put out by the DEP. We all want the discharges from Lake Okeechobee to stop. And the blue-green algae too. [James Sasser Editorial] [Old Map] [New Map] [Photo James Sasser] [Levels of Algae Toxins]
   
Water Becomes Election Theme (2016-07-06)
Every local election develops 1 or 2 key themes but rarely does a single issue take on the kind of visceral role that water (specifically water from Lake O released down the Caloosahatchee) plays in 2016. Almost every challenger in the Aug 30 primary cites water as the major, if not only, issue. [News Press]
   
Photo Ops and Sound Bites (2016-07-06)
Comments by readers reacting to reports of Marco Rubio visiting the St Lucie River algae bloom sites reflect the feeling that many of our political leaders directly contributed to the catastrophe through their years of inaction and favoratism to big business, both agricultural and urban development. [Visit of Marco Rubio] [Photo Marco Rubio] [Video Marco Rubio] [Visit of Bill Nelson] [Photo Bill Nelson]
   
Uncertain Cost Effectiveness (2016-07-06)
One of Gov Scott's emergency directives to SFWMD was to store more water using dispersed water storage projects. This pays farmers to not release waters. But sources have said that during recent storms it reduced flow to the Caloosahatchee by only a couple hundred cfs, less than 10% of harmful flow. [TC Palm] [2014 Palm Beach Post] [2014 Inspector General]
   
Michael Grunwald Tweets (2016-07-05)
Michael Grunwald, author of The Swamp, has Tweeted about the algae bloom saying: My gripe with the original plan (CERP) was that it treated restoration as an afterthought, an add-on once all the economic interests got theirs. [Tweet Algae Bloom] [All Tweets] [Michael Grunwald]
   
Bill Nelson Visited Stuart (2016-07-05)
US Sen. Bill Nelson visited Stuart to see the blue-green algae that has spread dramatically in area waters. He called on the state to buy land south of the Lake O to make way for reservoirs and canals to clean water and send it into the Everglades instead of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers. [TC Palm] [Photos] [Bill Nelson] [Video]
   
Cold Water Blob (2016-07-05)
A cold water blob south of Greenland for the past few years could be an indicator that less warm water, and less heat overall, is making its way northward. This is a development long predicted as a result of climate change and could foreshadow danger. An alternate explanation is more benign. [Cold Blob Graphic 1] [Cold Blob Graphic 2] [Washington Post]
   
Caloosahatchee Flow Statistics (2016-07-05)
For the first half of 2016, the Caloosahatchee River flow rate has been at or above 'harmful' levels 70% of the time (days). Approximately 60% of the flow has come from Lake O and 40% from our watershed. 73% of harmful flows (those above 2800 cfs) have from Lake O and 27% from the watershed. [Flow Statistics Graphic]
   
SFWMD Derided Algae Warnings (2016-07-01)
On May 11, before this year's horrible algae blooms, Riverwatch held a public forum to discuss the risk of algae blooms in the proposed C-43 West Reservoir that will cost $650 Million. SFWMD reacted by calling the citizens "one-sided detractors in pursuit of an agenda without facts to support it." [SWFMD Press Release] [Public Forum] [Forum Presentations]
   
Lee County - State of Emergency (2016-07-01)
Gov. Rick Scott added Lee County to the state of emergency on Jun 30, regarding water conditions in Lake O. Massive algal blooms have shut down swimming beaches and recreational areas in the St. Lucie area. Lee joins St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties on the emergency declaration. [News Press] [Photo Turtle] [Letter State of Emergency] [Cartoon] [Video]
   
Urban Growth (2016-07-01)
Pollution from population growth and urban development — not water releases from Lake Okeechobee — is the primary cause of the foul-smelling slime turning many waterways in Martin County a bright blue-green, an expert in algae blooms said. [My Palm Beach Post] [Comment] [Photo Algae] [Video]
   
Emergency Declaration (2016-07-01)
After building political careers by eliminating water quality protections, Sen. Benacquisto and Reps. Caldwell & Rodrigues have seen the light (probably reflecting off the algae sheen) and are now asking Gov Scott to include Lee County in an emergency declaration to address blue-green algae blooms. [Florida Politics 1] [Florida Politics 2] [The 3 Lawmakers] [Map Lee County]
   
Jun 2016 CRCA Newsletter (2016-06-30)
The June 2016 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. [June Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]
   
Watershed Council on MFL (2016-06-30)
John Cassani submitted comments for inclusion in the SFWMD first meeting of the next update to the LWCWSP. He focused on the need to incorporate the new MFL flow target into the plans for the revised LWCWSP. Without this, it could be 2 cycles of the LWCWSP planning process before C-43 is complete. [Comments John Cassani] [Photo John Cassani] [Biography John Cassani] [Info Meeting LWC] [Agenda]
   
Emergency Seen Coming Mile Away (2016-06-30)
Gov. Scott declared an emergency after severe algae blooms on the St Lucie River & its beaches. Lee County wants a similar declaration for the Caloosahatchee side of Lake O. For years Gov. Scott has dismantled water quality regulations and blocked land purchases so this "emergency" was predictable. [Sunshine State News] [News Press] [Washington Post] [Video 1] [Video 2] [Video 3]
   
Caloosahatchee June 22-28 (2016-06-30)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 7,135 cfs, two and a half times the harm threshold. Lake O discharges to the river at S-77 averaged 4,156 cfs. Lee County Environmental Lab documented blue-green algae from the Alva boat ramp, and SCCFs Marine Lab documented elevated cyanobacteria levels. [Conditions Report] [Graphic] [Info] [More SCCF Reports]
   
Everglades Restoration is Failing (2016-06-29)
Contrary to the fantasy world in which the lawyers lived, over the last 20 years the Everglades continued to degrade in sediment quality as the TP in the hotspot sediments continued to recycle, migrate and spread, as Chris McVoy, Larry Edward Fink and others predicted. [Info] [Larry Edward Fink] [Facts]
   
Coral Crash Has Begun (2016-06-29)
Chris Langdon, a University of Miami marine biologist, didn't think this would happen for another 50 or 60 years. Langdon and his team discovered that as ocean water becomes more acidic, due to carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, Florida's coral reefs are disintegrating and dying off. [CNN] [Photos] [Chris Langdon] [Coral Bleaching] [Video]
   
Sea Level Rise - Impacts (2016-06-29)
South Florida faces immediate and long-term threats from climate change. Impact of sea-level rise is evident in the form of urban flooding during high tides and storms — saltwater intrusion that endangers groundwater supplies and inland ecosystems, and coastal erosion that is compromising beaches. [Urban Land Magazine] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Impact on Miami] [Adaptation Action Areas]
   
Runoff Darkens Beach Waters (2016-06-29)
Sanibel Director of Natural Resources, James Evans urged the Corps to reduce Lake Okeechobee flows to the Caloosahatchee. Photos compare water color effects from Lake O discharges on June 2 (3750 cfs) and June 26 (4150 cfs) plus watershed runoff rates of 750 cfs and 2850 cfs on the same dates. [WPTV] [Comparison Photos]
   
Caloosahatchee June 15-21 (2016-06-29)
Discharges into the estuary at S-79 averaged 9,046 cfs, over 3 times the harm threshold. Lake O discharges to the river at S-77 increased to an average of 4,261 cfs. Watershed inflows to the Franklin pool between S-78 and S-79 averaged 3,466 cfs. On Jun 16, blue-green algae appeared in the river. [Conditions Report] [Table] [More SCCF Reports]
   
Some May Never Swim Again (2016-06-28)
Martin County held an emergency meeting before July 4 weekend to discuss the incredible algae blooms on St. Lucie River and beaches. People are advised to avoid contact with the water. But like after a Jaws movie, it may be hard to get some to ever swim again once they see the horrible algae video. [Video Kenny Hinkle Jr] [Jaws of Algae] [Palm Beach Post] [Video WPTV] [Article WPTV] [TC Palm]
   
Both Ends of River (2016-06-28)
DEP is receiving reports of fish kills at both ends of the Caloosahatchee River - Clewiston (Lake Okeechobee), and Cape Coral (Estuary). Algal blooms are the suspected cause of the fish kills in both cases. But it is necessary to have water samples collected for further analysis. [Info] [Article from Earthjustice] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
CEPP or SMART (2016-06-28)
The CEPP projects north of Lake Okeechobee are designed to treat 0.25 million acre-feet of water per year to the 10 ppb level. However, the proposed southern flowway could treat 1.75 million acre-ft (4 feet of Lake O) to 10 ppb total phosphorus. [Info] [Report Larry Edward Fink] [Report ASCE] [CV Larry Edward Fink]
   
Half A Disastrous Year (2016-06-28)
In the first half of 2016 (the dry half) harmful flows to the Caloosahatchee Estuary (above 2800 cfs) will have totaled 900,000 acre-feet. 73% has come from Lake Okeechobee (18 inches of lake depth) and 27% from the river's watershed east of Franklin Lock (7 inches of watershed runoff). [Harmful Flow Graphic]
   
Florida Forage Fish Newsletter (2016-06-27)
Florida Forage Fish Coalition celebrates a Resolution in which FWC commits to doing its job of protecting the smaller fish species and their habitats so the larger fish have something to eat. But signing paper differs vastly from taking real action based on long-term science and logic. [Newsletter] [Forage Fish Infographic] [Forage Fish Resolutions]
   
US Out of Step and Touch (2016-06-27)
75% of Australians believe Climate Change is an important global issue. 57% of Australians want to act on climate change irrespective of whether other countries do or not. US public concern over climate change peaked at 72% in 2000 and then dropped to 51% by 2011 and now stands at 64%. [Article from The Conversation] [Article from Gallup] [Global Warming Trends] [Graphic Greatest Threats]
   
River Kidz (2016-06-27)
River Kidz is a non-profit organization that will cover the entire Caloosahatchee River Basin. The objective of River Kidz is to educate kids from ages 5-15 on environmental issues regarding our lakes, river basin, estuaries, tributaries and Gulf of Mexico. [Info] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [River Kidz Workbook] [River Kidz Song]
   
Critics - Hazardous Chemicals (2016-06-24)
Critical contend that DEP officials hope a lack of public scrutiny will allow them to push through changes to increase the amount of hazardous chemicals allowed in the discharge of industrial waste into the state’s rivers, streams, canals, lakes and coastal waters. [Florida Bulldog 1] [Florida Bulldog 2] [News Press] [Details]
   
Urban Resilience Climate Change (2016-06-24)
EPA announced the availability of the draft report which describes an assessment tool that uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative indicators to help cities identify areas of resilience and vulnerability to climate change impacts across different sectors. [EPA Article] [Report] [Federal Register Notice] [History]
   
Water Discharge Issue (2016-06-24)
The St. Lucie River watershed has 6 major inflows into the estuary: Lake O, Ten Mile Creek, the C-24, C-23, C-44 basins, and the tidal basin. The total annual average flows into the estuary are 321 billion gallons but this year the amount of water may greatly exceed the average volume. [TC Palm 1] [TC Palm 2] [Photo Algae]
   
Yes On Conservation 20-20 (2016-06-23)
Yes On Conservation 20-20 is a coalition of local citizens and organizations working to support the passage of the Lee County Conservation 20-20 referendum on Nov 8, 2016. Conservation 20-20 is Lee County’s willing-seller conservation lands acquisition and management program. [Flyer] [Brochure] [Informations 20-20]
   
Algae in St Lucie (2016-06-23)
Algae blooms in the St. Lucie River are getting more numerous, and a massive bloom in Lake O apparently is getting more toxic. Blue-green algae samples taken Jun 14 and 15 from Lake O contained more than 20 times the amount of toxins considered hazardous by the World Health Organization. [TC Palm] [Story JTL 1] [Story JTL 2] [Video 1] [Video 2]
   
Water Half Alive Not Half Dead (2016-06-23)
In their algae monitoring web page, Florida DEP chooses words to low-ball algae toxicity. DEP states that WHO considers a concentration of 10 ug/L to be low risk, rather than stating that concentrations above 10 are unsafe. This approach reflects DEP tendency to downplay environmental concerns. [DEP Web Page Image] [DEP Page (Jun 23)] [Current DEP Site]
   
Assasination of International Activists (2016-06-23)
The U.S. Congress is considering a bill to suspend all security aid to Honduras after the murder of an environmental activist in Honduras. Investigation revealed that Berta Caceres' name appeared on a hit list of a Honduran military police unit that was trained by U.S. Marine Corps and FBI agents. [Message Friends of the Earth] [Script Friends of the Earth] [Huffington Post] [Photo Berta Caceres] [Berta Caceres Info]
   
Master Gardener Cohort 2016 (2016-06-23)
The UF-IFAS Lee County Extension Service will conduct a Master Gardener training from Aug 19 to Nov 18, 2016. This 13-week comprehensive course will offer students thorough training on basic botany, agriculture, horticulture and on the principles of Florida’s unique and delicate ecology. [UF Message] [Master Gardener Application] [Brochure]
   
Dangerous Levels of Algae Toxins (2016-06-23)
Lake O researcher Paul Gray sent a message to DEP asking for stepped-up monitoring of algae blooms. DEP sampling on June 14-15 revealed algae toxin concentration more than 30 times the EPA safe level for contact with the water (10 ug/L) and 200 times the safe drinking water level (1.6 ug/L). [Message Paul Gray] [DEP Algae Report] [EPA Mycrosystin Report] [Photo Paul Gray] [Map]
   
Impacts of TS Colin (2016-06-22)
More rain means more water quality issues for cities such as Ft. Myers and Stuart, where Lake O water is released to prevent lands south of the lake from flooding. Coupled with stormwater runoff from the Caloosahatchee watershed, lake waters turned both coasts brown for much of the tourism season. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Video]
   
Another Party Line Vote (2016-06-22)
Citizens Climate Lobby boasts bi-partisan support on climate change issues. However, on June 10, the US House of Representatives denounced the idea of a carbon tax. The vote was mostly along party lines. 6 of 169 Democrats were against the tax, all 231 Republicans opposed a carbon tax. [CCL] [The Guardian] [Opportunities] [Photo Steve Scalise]
   
Conservation 20-20 Update (2016-06-22)
Conservation 20-20 is an environmentally-sensitive land acquisition and stewardship program in Lee County, which preserves and protects environmentally critical land in Lee County. The Conservation 20-20 program will appear as a non-binding referendum on the Nov 2016 ballot in Lee County. [Lee County Ordinance] [Meetings in June] [Ballot Language​] [Status Map]
   
July CRCA Board Meeting (2016-06-22)
The CRCA-Riverwatch Board of Directors will meet on Wednesday, July 6th, at the High Point Place conference room, in Fort Myers. This meeting is open to members of CRCA. Our goal is to educate and inform people on the importance of protecting the Caloosahatchee. [Location] [Photo High Point Place]
   
Comment - Judy Clayton Sanchez (2016-06-21)
According to Judy Clayton Sanchez (in response to the Everglades Coalition's guest commentary), U.S. Sugar is committed to getting the facts out about the complexity of our water system and the fresh water discharges that are unfortunately happening more often than any of us would like. Agree? [Clayton Editorial] [EvCo Editorial] [Judy Clayton] [Waters Crisis]
   
Waterkeeper Interview RFK Jr (2016-06-21)
Rains wash 80% of phosphorus fertilizers into streams creating algae that destroy the ecosystem. But farm & wastewater P can be transformed into a particular fertilizer that only dissolves when the plant roots release certain acids at times they need to take up the nutrient. The P never washes off. [Interview] [Photo RFK Jr] [Gibsons at Conference]
   
Lake O Discharges (2016-06-21)
The amount of Lake O discharges in 2016 passing through the St. Lucie Lock and Dam near Stuart surpassed 136.1 billion gallons, the amount of water released during 'The Lost Summer' of 2013. The water can be devastating to the estuary, as it needs to maintain a certain amount of salinity. [TC Palm] [Map] [Photo Lake Okeechobee 1] [Photo Lake Okeechobee 2]
   
Hazardous Pesticide Ingredients (2016-06-20)
A federal judge in California has ruled that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under no obligation to force pesticide makers to disclose supposedly 'inert' ingredients in their products - even where those ingredients are seriously hazardous to health or environment. [Article from The Ecologist] [Photo Pesticides] [Report Secret Ingredients in Pesticides] [ANPR] [Complaint] [EPA Letter]
   
Snorkeling Adventure (2016-06-20)
Charlotte Harbor Aquatic Preserves staff once again will provide snorkeling eco-adventures on select weekdays, from June to September. New this year: a separate, one-hour nature boat trip. The excursions depart from Gasparilla Marina, in Placida. [News Press Snorkeling] [Photo Aiden Perez] [Photo Melinda Brown] [Photo Laura Ruane] [Map Gasparilla Marina] [Reservations]
   
News Press Letters - Sugar (2016-06-20)
According to Tom Grier, we do not need that much Florida sugarcane. Let’s look at an inconvenient truth: Sugar profits from very lucrative government policies: non-recourse loans, minimum prices, production controls, tariffs and quotas. Other comments were published in the News-Press, on Jun 19. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [Cartoon Big Sugar]
   
Florida Going Downhill (2016-06-17)
For Philip Schwartz, a member of CRCA Board of Directors, anyone with any education or sense of social justice can see the Florida we once knew slipping away faster and faster. The voters are ignorant of what is really going. We, as a state, are going downhill faster than he ever thought possible. [News Press Philip Schwartz] [Photo Philip Schwartz] [Response] [Philip Schwartz Earth Day]
   
Comment - Malcolm Bubba Wade (2016-06-17)
Throughout the year, Floridians have watched with concern as the USACE has released billions of gallons of water from Lake Okeechobee in an effort to reduce pressure on the Herbert Hoover Dike, and also prepare for the rainy season. [Palm Beach Post] [Photo Malcolm Bubba Wade] [Map Herbert Hoover Dike] [Ray Judah Counterpoint]
   
Bacteria Closure (2016-06-17)
Once again, boaters and anglers are being warned to avoid the water in North Shore Park due to high bacteria levels. Health officials say a routine water test completed on Jun 9 turned up an unsafe amount of Enterococcus bacteria, and any contact may pose a high risk of disease or sickness. [Fox4] [Map Bacteria Closure] [Enterococcus Bacteria]
   
Commentary - Ray Judah (2016-06-17)
For Ray Judah, the driving factor to use the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie as the relief valves in response to rising lake water was to prevent flooding in the Everglades Agricultural Area south of the lake to ensure optimum growing conditions for sugar cane to the detriment of coastal estuaries. [Pine Island Eagle] [Photo Ray Judah] [Editorial Tom Rooney] [Photo Tom Rooney] [US Sugar Counterpoint]
   
Insurance Companies Warn Us (2016-06-16)
Lloyd's of London and the other large re-insurance companies long warned us of our lack of global action on climate change. Now they say the US government's National Flood Insurance Program subsidizes insurance coverage for vulnerable regions and in doing so encourages irresponsible beach building. [Article from FloodList] [Article from FT.com] [Presentation Lloyds] [Video Lloyds History] [Photo Houston Floods]
   
Gibsons Attend Waterkeeper Conf (2016-06-16)
Gene and Nan Gibson represented Caloosahatchee Riverwatch at the annual conference of Waterkeeper Alliance held June 1-6 in Wilmington, NC. They described the event as informative and inspirational. Keynote speaker at the opening session was Waterkeeper President Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. [Photo 1 Waterkeeper Conference] [Photo 2 Waterkeeper Conference] [Agenda] [Video Around the World]
   
Caloosahatchee June 8-14 (2016-06-16)
Blue green algae blooms are present over 27 miles of the river from the Alva Boat Ramp above the Franklin Lock downstream to the Colonial Bridge in the middle estuary. Discharges into the estuary at S-79 nearly doubled to an average of 9,054 cfs with flows as high as 12,801 cfs. [Conditions Report] [Table] [Photo Cyanobacteria Boat Ramp] [More SCCF Reports]
   
Billys Creek at FGCU Event (2016-04-22)
The FGCU Community Engagement Day (CED) on Apr 15, showcased the range of student service-learning projects. Riverwatch had a table highlighting the Billy's Creek cleanup in which nearly 50 FGCU student participated. [Eagle News] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video]
   
Methane Emissions - EPA Studies (2016-06-15)
Jim Warren filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the EPA, charging that a high-ranking EPA official connected to the fossil fuel industry committed scientific fraud in a case with sweeping ramifications for global climate change and the safety of workers and neighbors of natural gas sites. [Article from NC WARN] [NC WARN Complaint] [NC WARN Staff] [Sign the Letter of Support]
   
Graham Urges DEP (2016-06-15)
U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham expressed her strong opposition to proposed new standards and urging the agency to reconsider them. Indeed, DEP is in the process of updating its human-health criteria for 43 dangerous chemicals it regulates for rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters. [Tallahassee Democrat] [Photo Gwen Graham] [Biography Gwen Graham] [Public Blasts DEP] [Letter - DEP Standards ]
   
Sea Level Rise - Collier County (2016-06-15)
Riverwatch and other regional groups for many years have tried, through the SW FL Water Resources Conference, to get the SW FL communities and governments to join together in sea level rise planning. Differing from SE FL, our local leaders simply pretend the problem does not and will never exist. [Naples Daily News] [Map Sea Level Rise] [Map Collier County] [Photo]
   
Carbon Sink Becoming Source (2016-06-15)
Drs. Gregory Starr and Christina Staudhammer received $834,000 from the NSF to continue their study of greenhouse gases in the Everglades. They will look at how changes in fresh- and sea-water levels are affecting the balance of carbon-dioxide and methane emissions in the Everglades. [Article from UA News] [Photo Gregory and Christina] [Report 2013] [Photo Christina Staudhammer] [Photo Gregory Starr]
   
Boater Loses Friend to Gator (2016-06-14)
Gators normally stay in their area and do not come on docks. Occasionally gators must be removed when they lose their fear of people and are drawn by potential food. Each time we remove an overly bold gator a more reclusive one takes its place. Each time boaters are warned not to feed the gators. [NBC2] [Comments] [Photo of Robert Lineberger] [Photo of the Dog] [Video] [Fox4]
   
Legal Battle - Corkscrew (2016-06-14)
A legal battle over construction of a 1,300-unit residential complex on Corkscrew Road outside Estero was settled on Jun 7, with an agreement by opponents not to appeal in return for the developer dropping a bid to make them pay its legal bills. It was approved by Lee County Commissioners. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [Photo Corkscrew Farms] [Photo Joseph Cameratta] [Video]
   
Shifting Baseline Perspective (2016-06-14)
Bill Parks, diver & fisherman, says he refuses to be a victim of 'shifting baselines,' the practice of pretending that our Florida waters have always been the cesspool they are now. This approach of comparing things to only recent years & decades holds particularly true for the Caloosahatchee. [Article from Sunshine State News] [Map National Marine Sanctuary] [Shifting Baselines Definition] [Shifting Baselines Presentation]
   
Resiliency in Unending Crises (2016-06-14)
Resilience is the ability to cope. When a system goes unstable & slides into crisis, what's to be done? (1) Do nothing, except research. Wait to see if it fixes itself. (2) Try to return the system to a desirable state. (3) Admit the system is irreversibly changed. Adapt to the new, altered system. [Report by Lance Gunderson] [CV Lance Gunderson] [Photo Lance Gunderson]
   
Daltry Comments on News Press (2016-06-13)
Reacting to a News Press editorial, Wayne Daltry points out that if the water supply demand upon which CERP plans were based is not present then the 'build CERP' alternative would be worse for the environment than the 'no build.' So far, we have seen that to be true in our view from 1000 feet. [News Press View from 1000 Feet] [Daltry Comments] [Photo C-43 Reservoir] [Photo Wayne Daltry]
   
Diamond Comments on Kiker (2016-06-13)
Bruce Diamond says Larry Kiker's editorial is essentially unreadable bureaucratic gobbley-gook from the guy who used Big Sugar money to knock off Ray Judah, our leading advocate in the matter. Does anyone reading this "smoke and mirrors" believe for even a moment Kiker is on the side of the angles? [Larry Kiker Editorial] [Comments by Bruce Diamond] [Biography Larry Kiker] [Photo Larry Kiker] [Photo Bruce Diamond]
   
Opinion - Carl Hiaasen (2016-06-13)
Carl Hiaasen discusses Lake O problems and describes how Congressman Patrick Murphy presented a jar of dirty St Lucie water to Pres. Obama last year. It is unlikely that the federal government will feel particularly responsible when state officials have steadily dismantled water quality standards. [StAugustine.com] [Photo Carl Hiaasen] [Biography]
   
Reynolds Comments on Mann (2016-06-13)
Paul Reynolds comments that Commissioner Mann is right about the first hundred years, but he is wrong about the last 25. Effort is NOT being made to reverse course but rather to maintain the agriculture status quo and, at least, give the appearance of helping rivers, estuaries, gulf, and ocean. [Frank Mann Editorial] [Photo Frank Mann] [Biography]
   
Florida Farm Bureau Letter (2016-06-11)
Florida Farm Bureau has joined the water fray, describing the debate as coastal environmental extremists vs. the common sense farmers and Rick Scott. The letter arrived in boxes on a day that flow to the Caloosahatchee estuary reached 11,000 cfs, 4 times the ecological harm level. [Farm Bureau Letter]
   
Opinion - John Birkle (2016-06-10)
According to John Birkle, the 75 mega Watt solar plant capable of powering over 21,000 homes during the day light hours sounds great on the surface. Looking at the proposed change from conventional methods of producing power, there are some points Birkle claims we need to consider. [News Press] [Naples Daily News] [Map Babcock Ranch] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo John Birkle]
   
15-20 Feet of Shoreline Lost (2016-06-10)
Colin was a mild tropical storm, but parts of coastal Charlotte County still lost 15 to 20 feet of their shoreline, putting homes and condo buildings at risk of falling into the Gulf. As sea level continues to rise in coming decades, such gradual losses will be a recurring story throughout Florida. [NBC2] [CBC News] [Map] [Photo] [Video 1] [Video 2]
   
FGCU - STEM Education (2016-06-10)
FGCU (Florida Gulf Coast University) proposes some STEM scholarships for STEM Professionals interested in a second career in K-12 teaching, and for STEM Majors interested K-12 teaching. Actually, the Whitaker Center for STEM Education is helping to identify candidates for 3 different scholarships. [Informations] [Flier for STEM Professionals] [Flier for STEM Majors] [Flier Noyce at FGCU] [Video]
   
USGS Provides Missing Flow Data (2016-06-09)
After several days of rain from TS Colin and more rain continuing to fall while the SFWMD board mets in Ft Myers, online data sites did not show how much water was flowing to the estuary. An inquiry to the USGS office generated a response and updates of the data, plus a link to all FL data. [Franklin Lock Flow Data] [All Caloosahatchee Stations] [USGS Email Response] [Florida USGS Water Data Sites Map]
   
Project WILD - Aquatic WILD (2016-06-09)
The Trout Lake Nature Center will be facilitating a combined Project WILD/Aquatic WILD training on Jul 14, 2016, from 9am to 4pm. The goal of Project WILD is to develop awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment that will lead to informed decisions, responsible behavior and constructive actions. [Flier] [Map Meeting] [K-12 Guide] [Books] [Get Tickets]
   
Opinion - Sandra McClinton (2016-06-09)
According to Sandra McClinton, fracking is a danger to the state’s delicate ecosystem and shallow, interconnected underground waterways. It could increase global warming by releasing methane gas, risk earthquake tremors in brittle limestone and hurt property values and tourism business. [News Press] [Details] [Schematic Depiction] [Photo Sandra McClinton] [Photo DWC] [Cartoon Fracking]
   
Alva Boat Ramp (2016-06-08)
The Florida Department of Health is issuing a health advisory for the Alva boat ramp based on water sampling results. The Florida DEP found the presence of cyanobacteria and when algae is visible, the Health Department recommends individuals using the boat ramp avoid contact with the water. [News Press] [Map] [Photo Caloosahatchee River]
   
Benacquisto Questions DEP (2016-06-08)
Lizbeth Benacquisto is calling on the DEP to step up its efforts to ensure clean water is flowing through the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers’ estuaries. She also said the DEP should keep water quality standards as high as possible to protect Floridians. [Florida Politics] [News Press] [Biography] [Photo Lizbeth Benacquisto] [Photo Algae] [Photo Water Quality]
   
Sea Level Rise - Water Supply (2016-06-08)
Millions of people in South Florida get over 90% of their freshwater from the Biscayne aquifer. As sea level rise causes seawater to seep up from underneath, through the limestone bedrock, it contaminates the aquifer and the Everglades above it. [Article from NPR] [Audio File] [Graphic Rainfall Levels] [Map Land Elevation] [Diagram] [Photo Everglades]
   
Gov Rick Scott - Stories (2016-06-08)
Florida has hit a breaking point with: 88,000 gallons of oil has leaked from a Shell Oil pipeline into the Gulf of Mexico, massive seagrass die-off, & billions and billions of gallons of water discharge from Lake O. Why hasn't Gov Rick Scott jumped on board to help Florida? [The Huffington Post] [TC Palm] [Photo Rick Scott] [Photo Lake Okeechobee]
   
Rain Covered All Florida (2016-06-08)
Tropical Storm Colin could have dumped more rain in the Caloosahatchee than the 0.5 to 4.0 inches measured east of Franklin Lock. However the coastal estuary received more (2-8 inches) which will drain to the estuary. Lake O & the Kissimmee Basin received 1-4 inches which will flow to us eventually. [Florida Weekly Rain Map] [Caloosahatchee Region Weekly Rain]
   
Problem Not Fixed in 21 Years (2016-06-07)
Upon its creation in 1995, one of Riverwatch's first actions was to draw attention to the dumping of treated wastewater into the Caloosahatchee by the City of Ft Myers. 21 years later DEP is allowing this pollution to continue despite renewed complaints from Riverwatch and the City of Cape Coral. [Intent to Issue 1] [Intent to Issue 2 ]
   
Water Washes Over Politics (2016-06-07)
Jason Maughan, a Republican, said he is long been upset about the problems caused by water releases from Lake O into the Caloosahatchee River; fresh water with pollutants that cause problems for the saltier bays, beaches and Gulf. He said he camped along the beaches and up the Caloosahatchee. [News Press] [Island Sun] [Photo Jason Maughan]
   
Point of View - Ray Judah (2016-06-07)
Recent research has revealed a link between blue-green algae and the development of neuro-degenerative diseases. Blue-green algae, such as the harmful algae bloom in the Caloosahatchee, is a result of land-based nutrient runoff, including phosphorus and nitrogen, from the sugar cane fields. [My Palm Beach Post] [Photo Ray Judah] [Photo Algae Bloom]
   
Indian River Cities Meet (2016-06-07)
Polluted water flows right past political borders. So government officials, scientists and conservationists will brainstorm on Jun 11 ways to erase the boundaries to removing more muck, septic tank waste and other contamination in the Indian River Lagoon, in Florida. [Florida Today 1] [Florida Today 2] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Map]
   
River of Slime - Caloosahatchee (2016-06-06)
Here comes the green algae slime again. Why do we just watch it ruin our Caloosahatchee River, kill wildlife, spoil our waterways, and foul our air? For Jim Wawrzyniak, we expect more algae problems in the future so why don’t we start now to take corrective steps and invest in skimming equipment? [Mailbag News Press] [News Press Amy Bennett Williams] [Photo Green Algae] [Slimy River Water]
   
Arctic and Greenland Ice (2016-06-06)
Arctic Sea Ice is on a record setting run this year. This ice area is the smallest ever for this time of year, but total mass (area x depth x density) is extreme but not record setting, yet. Greenland ice melt has gotten off to an early start this year, 2 months early. [Article Greenland Ice] [Temperatures] [Ice Area] [Ice Volume] [Ice Mass] [Current Melt Area]
   
Power of the System (2016-06-06)
A judge found the Nuclear Regulatory Commission environmental report on the FPL Turkey Point power plant insufficient but required no action. Citizens Allied for Safe Energy president said: it really shows how powerless we are against a system where government supports big business. [Palm Beach Post] [Decision] [Map] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Graphic]
   
Bad News - Court Ruling (2016-06-06)
Clearly the circumstances of this particular case were extreme for it to result in a 8-0 Supreme Court Ruling. The case sought to limit a landowners right to mine peat on private lands in a manner that the Federal Government said would endanger water quality. [Miami Herald] [Article from Breitbart] [The Case] [The Supreme Court]
   
First Amendment Florida (2016-06-03)
Four environmental groups asked a court to accelerate its ruling in a lawsuit accusing the Florida Legislature of violating the state Constitution and misdirecting $299 million in Amendment 1 environmental funds into salaries and inappropriate operating expenses. [Tampa Bay Times] [Motion for Summary Judgment] [Summary Water and Land Conservation]
   
Climate Clock Ticking Down (2016-06-03)
Anything more than a 1.5C rise in sustained global average temperature and things get extremely serious for people on earth. The clock is ticking. Estimates show that at current emissions levels the clock runs out in as little as 10 years. [Skeptical Science] [Report] [Effects Table] [Heat Effects] [The Clock]
   
Wacky Growth Perspective (2016-06-03)
Gov. Scott says creating new cities the size of Orlando in undeveloped areas is good for the environment because they produce tax dollars to help repair the environmental damage that development causes. How's that for circular reasoning on top of Scott wiping out the growth management laws. [Article from Jacksonville] [Photo Ron Littlepage] [Photo Rick Scott] [Cartoon 1] [Cartoon 2]
   
Algae Interview - Fox4 (2016-06-03)
Everybody saw the pictures of sprawling algae bloom creeping down the Caloosahatchee. Local scientists, like John Cassani (an aquatic ecologist & Riverwatch director), called out the DEP for not finding any significant traces of it. DEP then quickly responded with an algae discovery press release. [Fox 4] [Video] [Photo John Cassani] [Photo Algae] [DEP Response]
   
DEP Reports Algae Toxins (2016-06-02)
In a June 2 press release, FDEP reported that its May 24 sampling at Alva Boat Ramp did reveal algae toxin levels above the safe limit of 20ug/L. This comes after a state senator wrote to DEP citing Riverwatch concerns over DEP's deficient reporting of the ongoing Caloosahatchee algae bloom. [Alva Sample Results] [Image] [Microcystis aeruginosa] [Microcystis Toxins] [Microcystis details]
   
Letter - DEP Standards (2016-06-02)
Patricia Krause, in her letter to Eric Shaw, can’t comprehend how any state can allow more toxins in environment for any reason. Florida is one of the most beautiful of places with so much that is fragile and precious, so the State should have the highest and best standards for all citizens. [News Press] [Tallahassee Democrat] [Video]
   
Waters of Florida are in Crisis (2016-06-02)
The Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries are choking from polluted overflows from Lake O, while Everglades National Park and Florida Bay are starved for freshwater. As Floridians, clean water is the lifeblood of our environment, economy, and quality of life, but all of which are in jeopardy. [News Press] [Photo] [Everglades Coalition] [Cara Capp] [Michael Baldwin]
   
Impacts of Polluted Water (2016-06-02)
According to Cris Costello (a water expert and senior regional organizing representative with the Sierra Club), algae blooms – that are harmful to marine life and also humans – will create a sure turnoff to both tourists and full-time residents alike. This bad situation affects everything. [Article from Creative Loafing] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Cartoon]
   
May 2016 CRCA Newsletter (2016-06-01)
The May 2016 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. [May Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]
   
Revisions Chemicals Products (2016-06-01)
The state is planning to increase the allowable limits of several cancer-causing chemicals in Florida’s rivers, streams, lakes and estuaries. The DEP is updating the standards for what is known as the Human Health Criteria. [My Palm Beach Post] [Frequently Asked Questions] [Treated Waters Maps] [Draft Technical Support DEP] [Frank Cerabino]
   
2016 Bad Water Bill (2016-06-01)
The bill integrates provisions blatantly favoring special interests, tying the hands of the Water Management Districts by further weakening current water protections, and largely ignoring the 2 most important requirements to protect these resources: conservation and stopping pollution at its source. [Bill Summary] [Bill Text] [Egregious Problems] [Details] [Palm Beach Post] [Florida Realtors]
   
Opinion Eve Samples (2016-06-01)
Eve Samples was surprised when she received in April an email from a public relations firm working for U.S. Sugar Corp. requesting a meeting with Editorial Board. Indeed, the last time journalists had a meeting scheduled with the Clewiston-based company, in 2013, U.S. Sugar canceled the day before. [TC Palm 1] [TC Palm 2] [Photo] [Eve Samples] [Video]
   
Cloud Effect Critical to Warming (2016-05-31)
Since the 1980's, we have known that the severity of global warming depends on how cloud cover responds to initial global temperature increases. The cloud effect has not yet offset climate change but there is hope clouds could help in the future. [Yahoo Finance] [Report 2013] [Report 2016] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
   
Slimy River Water (2016-05-31)
Green water tainted by potentially toxic cyanobacteria flows down the Caloosahatchee, state and county officials are silent on whether people should stay out of the river. The USACE closed the beach at W.P. Franklin Lock and Lee County Utilities' Olga Water Plant has stopped pulling from the river. [News Press] [Cyanobacteria] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video]
   
EvCo Law Workshop (2016-05-30)
The Everglades Coalition holds hits Summer Meeting & Environmental Law Workshop at the Conservancy in Naples, July 6-8. Friday will be our quarterly meeting with a shortened business agenda. [Details]
   
Watershed-Lake Cycle (2016-05-30)
The estuary damage experienced in Jan-Feb is repeating in late May. First the Corps stops discharges from Lake O into the Caloosahatchee while stormwater runoff from the watershed passes. Then they open up S-77 and start draining the Lake. The estuary is pummeled by these one-two punches. [S-79 Flow Graph]
   
DEP Says No Algae Problem (2016-05-27)
Contradicting Riverwatch sampling on May 20-23 and many TV reports, a DEP press release suggests no algae problem in the Caloosahatchee at that time. Clearly, DEP sampling and reporting is of little practical value in keeping the public truly informed on prevailing conditions in the Caloosahatchee. [DEP Algae Press Release Data]
   
Buying Land May Be Cheaper (2016-05-26)
C-43 West Reservoir analysis shows it will deliver under 75,000 ac-ft/yr of water to the estuary for $600 million. Buying EAA lands & reallocating that irrigation water from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee MFL would be more cost effective. Water allocation policy would be the limiting factor. [Public Forum Slides] [Water Storage Analysis]
   
Cape Justifying Lock Removal (2016-05-26)
Cape Coral claims it is conducting “special operations” at Chiquita Lock (leaving it fully open) for maintenance. But DEP says the Cape has set up monitoring equipment to collect water quality data. These data are needed to justify a permit application for removal of the lock. [DEP Email] [WINK-TV Video]
   
Microsystis Algae Bloom in River (2016-05-26)
FGCU Prof. Serge Thomas provided microscope images of algae samples collected by Riverwatch from the Caloosahatchee River at LaBelle, May 20-23. Microsystis is a freshwater cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that can produce hepatotoxin (microcystin). [Image 1] [image 2] [Image 3] [Image 4] [Image 5] [Image 6]
   
Photos of Vegetation Debris (2016-05-26)
Hendry County Extension Director Gene McAvoy identified photos of vegetation debris washing up on banks of the Caloosahatchee River downstream of Ortona as being the underwater rhizomes of spatterdock, typically firmly anchored to the bottom. They are probably landowner trash from canal cleaning. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Gene McAvoy]
   
David Guest - Earthjustice (2016-05-26)
David Guest was at the center of key environmental battles and earned him praise from allies and opponents alike. But he has earned enemies in communities that rely on Florida's sugar industry, which he has battled over water quality standards and the back-pumping of water from canals into Lake O. [Politico Florida] [Photo David Guest] [Biography David Guest] [Team Earthjustice] [Photo Algae Bloom]
   
Fox4 - Algae Blooms (2016-05-26)
The beach at Franklin Lock along the Caloosahatchee is closed. Cyanobacteria has left the water so contaminated, the Army Corps of Engineers have declared it a health hazard. The W.P. Franklin lock recreation area is ideal for families and friends to enjoy the beauty of Florida. But not right now. [Article Fox4] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Report Jacqui Thurlow Lippisch] [Video Fox4]
   
Opinion Malcolm Bubba Wade (2016-05-25)
For Malcolm 'Bubba' Wade, there is no truth in Ray Judah's claim the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie were the relief valves so the Everglades Agriculture Area (EAA) could maintain optimum growing conditions. The EAA is allowed to discharge three quarters of an inch of flooding per day. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [News Press 3] [Photo Malcolm Bubba Wade] [Photo Ray Judah] [Photo Tom Rooney]
   
Larry Kiker - Federal Funding (2016-05-25)
We must continue our past efforts to seek solutions to the impact freshwater discharges and other vital issues affecting our economy, environment and quality of life, said Larry Kiker. He will be traveling to Washington D.C. to advocate for full federal funding of critical water quality projects. [News Press] [Photo Larry Kiker] [Biography Larry Kiker] [Lee County Agenda 2016]
   
Thanks to San Carlos Marine (2016-05-25)
CRCA-Riverwatch thanks San Carlos Marine at 3300 Palm Beach Blvd in Fort Myers for the kind service on our new Waterkeeper boat. The future of our Waterkeeper program depends on the generosity of sponsors like San Carlos Marine. [Photo] [Map] [About San Carlos Marine] [Web Page]
   
Pat Oleszko Used Humor (2016-05-25)
Pat Oleszko, a 69-year-old artist from Manhattan, wore a sign on her back that read: Row vs Wade. Oleszko's sign was meant to be a pun, a play on the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade. The purpose of the sign was to draw attention to rising sea levels, one of many impacts of climate change. [News Press] [Photos] [Rauschenberg Residency] [Graphic Sea Level] [History Roe v Wade]
   
DEP Defends Rock Bottom (2016-05-25)
We will be at rock bottom, said Linda Young, of the Florida Clean Water Network comparing Florida safety standards to other states. However, DEP claims that their weakening of standards for toxic compounds allowed in the state's rivers, lakes, streams and coastal water pose no risk to Floridians. [Tallahassee Democrat] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Public Blasts DEP]
   
Collaborators in Corruption (2016-05-25)
Some 20 years ago, headlines informed readers that Indian River Lagoon was sick. Over two decades later, the diagnosis is grave. Why? Because the political and bureaucratic functions of government have become collaborators in failure throughout the layers of government and economic politics. [Florida Today]
   
NextEra/FPL Say No (2016-05-25)
Alan Farago & Lisa Versaci presented a shareholder proposal to require the company NextEra to report each year on the risk its faces from sea-level rise. NextEra (owner of FPL) shareholders rejected the proposal, with 65 percent opposed, arguing that this proposal would be a waste of time and money. [Miami Herald] [The Huffington Post] [The Palm Beach Post] [Tampa Bay Times] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Algae Bloom Aerial Photos (2016-05-24)
Photos of the Caloosahatchee algae bloom taken between LaBelle and Olga show extremely high algal concentrations in the more stagnant parts of the river, like at Oxbow 24 within the Old Ft Denaud development. Algal streaks are visible in the high flow velocity portions of the river as well. [Ft Denaud Bridge] [Franklin Lock] [Downstream of Franklin Lock] [Upper Estuary at River Forest] [Upper Estuary at Olga] [Oxbow 24 at Old Ft Denaud]
   
Green Stuff in Caloosahatchee (2016-05-24)
This brilliant green-marbled water means bad news for the Caloosahatchee and its watershed. Initially spotted along the LaBelle, Alva and Olga shorelines, the cause of the pea-colored water is likely a sudden bloom of cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae). [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Scott Perry 1] [Scott Perry 2]
   
Ten Options for NETs (2016-05-24)
NETs (negative emissions technologies) take more CO2 out of the atmosphere than they put in. No one single technology can solve climate change but many have been proposed that could contribute to reducing atmospheric CO2. 'Carbon Brief' takes a closer look at 10 of the most frequently proposed NETs. [Carbon Brief] [Ten Options] [Video Prof Joanna Haigh] [Video Prof Mike Stephenson] [Video Prof Richard Lampitt]
   
CHNEP Director Search (2016-05-24)
Qualified environmental professionals should apply for CHNEP director position. CHNEP provides excellent information products but on the policy side traditionally has been limited by its funding agencies to rubber-stamping the projects and positions of DEP. [CHNEP Director Announcement] [CCMP 2013] [Map] [Job Description]
   
An Obstacle to Solutions (2016-05-24)
EAA agriculture is not the primary source of Caloosahatchee nutrient problems but it is a major cause of our water volume problems through its irrigation demands and by serving as an obstacle to drainage solutions. It and others also contribute to water quality problems through political actions. [TC Palm] [US Sugar 1] [US Sugar 2] [US Sugar 3] [US Sugar 4] [US Sugar 5]
   
We Need a Drone (2016-05-23)
If you have a drone with a good camera and want to volunteer to help Riverwatch then please contact us. We would like to perform an algae bloom survey of the Caloosahatchee River and estuary. Aerial photos taken of the 2005 bloom had a huge effect in mobilizing the public to action. [Email Us]
   
Rob Moher Next Challenge (2016-05-23)
Speaking to about 40 members of the Naples Press Club at the Hilton Naples, conservancy President and Chief Executive Officer Rob Moher said the challenge going forward for the next few years will be to help shape public policy that reflects not one interest but the common interest. [Naples Daily News] [Biography Rob Moher] [Video Rob Moher]
   
Back To Engineering Basics (2016-05-23)
The Corps and State of Florida appear to be using falsified geologic data to assure the public that a proposed natural gas pipeline will not be vulnerable to sinkhole failures and leaks. With such examples, it is hard to trust any of their engineering assurances on other projects. [Suwannee Democrat] [Report Dennis Price] [SpectraBusters] [Letter to USACE] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Estero River Dangers (2016-05-23)
Estero River will be cleared of fallen tree limbs and overhanging invasive trees such as Brazilian peppers to remove potentially dangerous barriers to the river's flow (and moving urban drainage). Work to clear natural debris deposited in the Estero River is a volunteer campaign. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Map]
   
USACE and Lake O Discharges (2016-05-23)
A possibly toxic blue-green algae bloom is not enough of a concern for federal officials to stop Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie River. No agencies are saying it poses a threat, Army Corps of Engineers spokesman John Campbell said. [TC Palm] [Sun Sentinel] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Algae Bloom in River (2016-05-21)
Riverwatch Past President Scott Perry was interviewed on NBC-2 about the algae bloom he encountered on the Caloosahatchee in LaBelle while preparing for his annual kid's fossil camp. The algae blanketed the surface, obstructing any visibility of the river bed just inches below the water surface. [Scott 1] [Mathilde Laurendon] [LaBelle] [Scott 2] [WBBH] [NBC-2 Video]
   
Phillip G. Buchanan (1944-2016) (2016-05-19)
Phil Buchanan, champion of environmental and quality of life issues for Pine Island, Matlacha and our entire region, has passed away. A Riverwatch leader and issues advocate, his passing is a shock and great loss to the group and to each individual who knew him and called him friend. [News Press] [Pine Island Eagle] [Phil as an Author] [Phil as an Engaged Citizen] [Photos] [Facebook]
   
Chiquita Lock End Begins (2016-05-20)
The day after the passing of Phil Buchanan, the primary legal challenger to Cape Coral's 2008 removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift and the subsequent degradation of the Matlache waters, the Cape is now starting the same process at the southern end of the spreader canal by opening up Chiquita Lock. [Chiquita Lock Location] [Daily Breeze] [Phil Watching Officials]
   
Estero - CREW Headwaters (2016-05-20)
Estero supports an effort to secure $13.7 million of state funding for the preservation of 2,841 acres in southeast Lee County. The village council on May 18 agreed to send a letter endorsing the project, CREW Headwaters, to stewards of Florida Forever, the state’s public land acquisition program. [Naples Daily News] [History CREW] [General Management Plan] [CREW Boundary Map] [Photo] [Video]
   
Record Rainfall in Florida (2016-05-20)
Heavy rainfall increased the potential for algae blooms in the Indian River Lagoon. According to Mark Perry (executive director of the Florida Oceanographic Society), if you have dry conditions over time, and all of a sudden you get a huge rain, this flush will bring a lot of high bacterial levels. [TC Palm] [Florida Today] [Graphic SFWMD Rainfall] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video]
   
Get Ready, Here We Go Again! (2016-05-20)
The Kissimmee, Okeechobee and Calooshatchee Basins were hit with 4-5 inches of rain from May 17-19. The Corps halted Lake O discharges at Moore Haven while the river watershed runoff passes the estuary but will soon open the flood gates and send another prolonged blast of water to the estuary. [Flow Graph] [May 17-19 Rainfall Map]
   
Eye On Miami - Taxpayer Dollars (2016-05-20)
Eye On Miami describes how SFWMD is spending taxpayer dollars to wage a blatantly political agenda-driven campaign against citizens who are organizing to protest state water policies that put coastal lands and waters at severe jeopardy of continued pollution. [Eye On Miami] [Alan Farago (gimleteye)] [SPB] [Protester] [Cartoon]
   
Algae Headed Down River (2016-05-20)
Kayaking on the Caloosahatchee on the morning of May 19, former Riverwatch president Scott Perry photographed an algae bloom blanketing the shores near LaBelle. River flow is very high (6000 cfs) following the 3-5 inches of rain from May 17-19. This will move the algae to Ft Myers quickly. [LaBelle Algae 1] [LaBelle Algae 2]
   
Solar Benefits (2016-05-19)
Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits throughout the USA by 2050, according to a study from the U.S. DOE's. It shows that a U.S. electric system in which solar plays a major role, by supplying 14% of demand in 2030, and 27% in 2050. [Solar Thermal Magazine] [Report] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
   
Public Blasts DEP (2016-05-19)
Florida wants to weaken its standards for roughly two dozen cancer-causing chemicals it will allow to be discharged into its rivers, lakes, streams and coastal waters. DEP is in the process of revising limits on toxic chemicals that can be released into surface waters. [News Press] [Cartoon] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video]
   
Sanibel Resident Opinion (2016-05-19)
Jill Dillon of Sanibel writes that John Scott is running against Matt Caldwell who she describes as Big Sugar's poster boy. Cadwell spearheaded passage of the 2016 Water Policy bill successfully undermining Florida's statewide water resource protections from Apalachicola Bay to the Florida Keys. [News Press] [Sanibel Captiva Islander] [About John Scott] [John Scott Candidacy]
   
Matlacha Bridge - Protest (2016-05-18)
A handful of residents from Matlacha, Bokeelia, St. James City and Ft. Myers, took up a spot on the Matlacha Bridge to raise awareness for issues linked to water quality. Those who took part in the peaceful protest did signs, yelled slogans and offered information on why water quality was important. [News Press] [Pine Island Eagle] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]
   
Mitch Hutchcraft Editorial (2016-05-18)
C-43 Reservoir is just a component of overall solution to restore the river which includes water quality improvement, storage and operational changes to the water management system. But it's a crucial component that will provide tangible benefits to the river and estuary for decades to come. Agree? [Lehigh Acres Citizen] [Mitch Hutchcraft] [News Release SFWMD] [Opinion] [Biography Mitch Hutchcraft]
   
Seismic Testing in Big Cypress (2016-05-18)
A Texas Company won approval to explore for oil at Big Cypress National Preserve, after the NPS concluded the work would have no significant environmental impact. Environmentalists denounced the decision saying it will cause lasting damage to some of last extensive wildlife habitat left in South FL. [Naples Daily News] [Sun Sentinel] [Big Cypress Environmental Review] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Larry Fink - EAA Organic Soils (2016-05-18)
Sulfur levels in some US watersheds and rivers have steadily declined and farmers may need to consider applying sulfur soon. Larry Fink explains sulfur dynamics in South Florida soils, particularly the EAA organic soils where the contribute to the mercury problem in soils, water, and fish. [Environmental News Network] [Comments] [Technical Report] [Official Protests Larry Fink] [Larry Fink]
   
Pocket Green v Algae Green (2016-05-18)
A Caloosahatchee riverfront home with a Just Value of $6.6 million has an asking price of $25 million. But could the river's severe water quality problems depress the value of this 9532 sq ft home built in 2013? It sits on 0.75 acres at 1240 Coconut Dr FM and sold for $2 million in 2008. [News Press] [Valuation Card] [Aerial] [Photo] [News Press Link]
   
BOCC Says Let It Die (2016-05-17)
Lee County Commissioners Pendergrass, Hamman, and Kiker suggest the SW FL Regional Planning Council should die because it performs useless activities including climate change planning. History will place these misguided souls alongside Robert E. Lee - under whose portrait they meet and serve. [Sea Level Rise Work] [SFWMD Activities] [Commissioners] [SWFRPC] [BOCC Meeting VIDEO] [Cartoon]
   
Protect FPL Assets from FPL (2016-05-17)
The parent company of FPL is required by SEC regulations to include all shareholders of record, and to announce resolutions proposed by shareholders according to SEC rule. FPL is the largest business unit of NextEra. Its major market is the eastern seaboard of Florida, vulnerable to sea level rise. [The Huffington Post] [FPL] [Report] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Welcome to Sea Level Rise (2016-05-17)
Look at our yard, at the landscaping, a Miami woman said. That palm tree was super-expensive. She went on: it's crazy — this is saltwater. Welcome to rising sea levels, Professor Harold Wanless told her. Much of the Miami region may have less than half a century more to go. [The New Yorker 1] [The New Yorker 2] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Cartoons] [Video]
   
Solar Flight Without Fuel (2016-05-17)
Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have set out to achieve something that still seems impossible today: the First Round-The-World Solar Flight, powered only by the sun, with no fuel or polluting emissions. Solar Impulse wants to demonstrate that clean technologies can achieve impossible goals. [Explanations] [Destinations] [Tween Tribune] [The Plane] [The Team] [Video]
   
Nathan Blyveis - Observations (2016-05-16)
After reading the full-page ad from U.S. Sugar, Nathan Blyveis had a few observations, which he sent to the News Press. He wonders how many of the elected representatives that take money from U.S. Sugar are still in office. It would be nice to publish that information before the November elections. [News Press Mailbag] [Nathan Blyveis]
   
Global Effects of Canada Fires (2016-05-16)
While it is too soon to comprehend the full extent of the damage, we know that it is far-reaching and utterly devastating, said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Wildfires can strip away the protective vegetative blanket and release all that stockpiled carbon into the atmosphere. [New Scientist] [Map] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video]
   
Ocean Noise (2016-05-16)
Seismic surveying to map oil & gas reserves on the US Atlantic coast from Florida to New Jersey involves blasting the ocean floor with sound waves. It can be harmful to marine life, including endangered whales, turtles and dolphins. [Savannah Now] [McClatchy DC] [Techniques] [WWAY TV3] [Cartoon] [Map]
   
SFWMD - Key Agreement (2016-05-13)
SFWMD Governing Board approved, on May 12, an agreement that protects SFWMD's investment in the C-43 West Reservoir under construction intended to store and deliver water to benefit the ecology of the Caloosahatchee Estuary. This project is a top priority of SFWMD and some environmental groups. [News Release SFWMD] [Map SFWMD] [Information C43 Reservoir] [Map C43 Reservoir] [Video] [Debate]
   
Caloosahatchee Holds Wonders (2016-05-13)
For years, the Florida eco-illuminati have used a handful of alliterative verbs describing what's been done to our poor Caloosahatchee and its watershed: drained, dynamited, ditched, dredged, damaged. But, despite everything, the Caloosahatchee still holds wonders, according to Amy Bennett Williams. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Podcast]
   
Boating Class (2016-05-13)
Some local boat captains and kayak tour operators now have a better understanding about how to enhance the eco-tourism experience and become better stewards of Estero Bay. 10 participants completed all 4 sessions for the Ecotour Provider Environmental Education Program. [Marco Island Sun Times] [Florida DEP] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [John Kiseda]
   
Tarpon Scarce in Tournament (2016-05-13)
Only a couple tarpon were caught by the 230 fishermen in the Doc Fords Tarpon Tournament. Even knowing the weather reasons, the experts were surprised the teams caught so few fish. These are some of the best tarpon fishermen from all over, said Capt. Bill Hammond. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [Photo 1] [Tee-shirt] [Photo 3] [Results]
   
C43 West Reservoir Presentations (2016-05-12)
Watershed Council and Riverwatch Directors addressed an audience of 50 on May 11 describing the history, benefits, risks and deficiencies of the C-43 West Basin Reservoir first proposed in the 90's and now under construction at a cost of $600 million. [Forum Program] [Wayne Daltry] [John Cassani] [John Capece] [Jennifer Hecker] [William Mitsch (editorial)]
   
C-43 Public Forum - May 11 (2016-05-12)
On May 11 more than 50 people attended the Public Forum concerning the C-43 West Reservoir. The speaker engaged in shared conversations with the attendees for 70 minutes following 30 minutes of presentations. Reporters from FOX4 came to cover the event. [Flier] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]
   
Climate Class Online Sara Harris (2016-05-12)
Dr. Sara Harris teaches global climate change, environmental science, and oceanography in the department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of British Columbia. She proposes free online climate science courses to master the basics of climate science. [Skeptical Science] [Sara Harris] [Map] [Video] [Courses]
   
SFWMD Blasts Riverwatch (2016-05-11)
On May 11, SFWMD issued a press release suggesting it was not invited to the Riverwatch public forum on the C-43 West Reservoir. The email invitations were distributed to "Riverwatch Members and Friends" which included 40 @SFWMD.gov names and addresses. Riverwatch encourages SFWMD participation. [Event Flier] [SFWMD Press Release] [Get the Facts] [Just the Facts] [Splash Sheet] [CRCA Public Forum Invitation]
   
Stop Pollution and Save Water (2016-05-11)
According to Kathleen Brennan, a future with polluted water is grim. So where are those with the power to do something? For Dick Hasselman, there is no evidence that pollution in Lake O comes from the north. The evidence is there and must be fully communicated to the public so they better understand [Mailbag] [Cartoon] [Map] [News Press] [C43 Reservoir Project Debate]
   
Grand Resorts - Dirty Water (2016-05-10)
(1) According to Tom and Annie Babcock, the Grand Resorts development proposal for Fort Myers Beach must be consistent with a long established vision defined by a municipal Comprehensive Plan. (2) According to Bill Greggs, sugar interests have not forgotten thanks to several publications. [Mailbag] [News Press Grand Resorts] [Photo Grand Resorts] [Video Grand Resorts] [News Press Dirty Water]
   
Feud Over Injection Well (2016-05-10)
The fight between Cape Coral and 2 state agencies stems from a Florida Governmental Utility Authority’s proposal to dig a shallow injection well to remove surplus treated wastewater from its North Fort Myers plant. But, Cape residents could face contaminated drinking water and increased water bills. [News Press] [Injection Well] [Cape Coral] [North Fort Myers Neighbor]
   
Chemical Pearls in Oysters (2016-05-10)
According to a new study by Portland State University researchers, native Olympia oysters in Oregon's Netarts and Coos bays contain a cocktail of pharmaceuticals and chemicals, including pain relievers, antibiotics, mercury and pesticides. [Oregon Live] [About Oysters] [The Study] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Video]
   
Southwest Florida Water Blessing (2016-05-09)
Blessed water is poured into the Caloosahatchee River during the Southwest Florida Water Blessing Event recently at Centennial Park in Downtown Fort Myers. More than 100 people offered prayers and blessings for the water of Southwest Florida to include Lake Okeechobee. [News Press] [Happehatchee Center] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video]
   
The Work of Paul Gray (2016-05-09)
Dr. Paul Gray is the Audubon Society's science coordinator for the Lake Okeechobee watershed program, which means he essentially manages the wildlife sanctuaries on the lake and works to protect them. He has worked with the bird conservation nonprofit for 19 years. [Highlands Today] [Okeechobee News] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
   
Gary Goforth v US Sugar (2016-05-09)
Dr. Gary Goforth analyzes the U.S. Sugar advertisements and the case they make. He gives a more accurate interpretation of the actual facts and what the data tell us. Very clearly, the current solutions in place barely begin to address the water volume and quality problems of agriculture. [Presentation] [Resume] [Graphic] [Gary Goforth]
   
Water Crisis Coverage (2016-05-09)
We need to continue to focus on environmental concerns. We need to wake up, come out of denial, rid ourselves of status quo thinking, and for the sake of now and generations to come, seek to preserve the Gulf waters, animals and natural resources of the state. [News Press] [Photo] [Chad Gillis] [Video]
   
Efforts of Marco Rubio (2016-05-06)
Rubio's office has said if the bill passes, as expected, it will be the most significant action taken to authorize this important Everglades Restoration Project. Marco Rubio claims a major role to play in this success. Like most of Florida's congressional delegation, he has long advocated for CEPP. [Sunshine State News] [Fact Sheet] [Press Releases] [Timeline] [Marco Rubio] [Video]
   
6 Maps to Rethink the World (2016-05-06)
We don’t often question the typical world map that hangs on the walls of classrooms - a patchwork of yellow, pink and green that separates the world into more than 200 nations. But Parag Khanna, a global strategist, says that this map is, essentially, obsolete. [The Washington Post] [Maps] [Parag Khanna] [Book] [Video]
   
Babcock Ranch Project (2016-05-06)
Syd Kitson proposes to build baseball fields in Lee County and put up a movie theater and a hotel right in our Density Reduction Groundwater Recharge lands. The runoff from these businesses and fields will only foul the land south of the town and pollute the Caloosahatchee. [Guest Opinion] [News Press] [Map] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
   
Property Values (2016-05-05)
Dirty water is bad for business. That was a theme among industry leaders and politicians gathered on Apr 28, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Bell Tower to talk about the economic impacts of record January rains and the Lake O releases that followed. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Video] [Property Value Impacts]
   
Clawson and Dike Repair (2016-05-05)
Efforts to expedite repairs to the Herbert Hoover dike around Lake Okeechobee are moving along several legislative paths but ultimately come down to an $800 million question: Where would the money come from? The U.S. Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Bonita Springs, proposed fast-tracking the repairs in a bill. [TC Palm] [Map] [Naples Daily News] [Fact Sheet] [Photo] [Herbert Hoover Dike]
   
New Project Florida Forever List (2016-05-04)
Brenda McClymonds, with The Trust for Public Land, has submitted the Application to Add New Project to the Florida Forever List. The property she is requesting includes important sections of Hog Branch and Bear Branch, located in Charlotte County. This project concerns approximately 557 acres. [Completed Application] [Map] [Report] [Blank Application] [Priority List] [Florida DEP]
   
Estuary Bottom Once Sand Now Muck (2016-05-04)
Historically, the Caloosahatchee bottom was sandy, almost beach-like. Today it's difficult to tell what the bottom looks like because it's impossible to see through the suspended solids and excess tannins that have crippled part of the Caloosahatchee River & estuary. The river bottom is now muck. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Video]
   
US Chooses Ships Over Coral (2016-05-04)
The large-scale dredging of Miami’s port to accommodate the newest generation of freighters, an undertaking that prompted a long-running battle with environmentalists, caused widespread damage to a portion of the area’s fragile and already distressed coral reef. [The New York Times] [National Geographic] [Photo] [Report] [Video]
   
Kissimmee Basin (2016-05-03)
According to Alan Faber, we need to know more about the condition of the Kissimmee Basin flow into the lake. If the water condition is anything like that mentioned, what is being done about the problem at the source (the Kissimmee Basin) to clean up the pollution before it enters the lake? [News Press] [Map] [Photo] [Kissimmee Basin] [Fact Sheet]
   
Bears and Panthers are in Danger (2016-05-03)
When Scott ran for re-election in 2014, he claimed to be a born-again environmentalist. But just like an anole, he turns green when he needs to. Then FWC was widely despised with the bear hunt (or bear harvest). Next up on FWC's megafauna-that-needs-shooting list: the Florida panther. [Context Florida] [Cartoon] [Diane Roberts] [Bear Petition] [Panther Petition]
   
Sawfish Caught and Released (2016-05-03)
A huge smalltooth sawfish was caught and released off the Naples Pier on Apr 28. The endangered fish was too big for the fisherman to pull up to remove the hook. Instead he towed the line to the shore and with the help of other fishermen, pulled the sawfish to shore as a crowded looked on in wonder. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Smalltooth Sawfish] [Video]
   
Bad Computer Model Assumptions (2016-05-02)
A dye tracing experiment was used to test the computer model used to issue DEP permits in the Springs areas of Florida. The model failed the test when the dye appeared 6 months later at a spot halfway to the point the model said would take 100 years to reach. [Tampa Bay Times 1] [Tampa Bay Times 2] [Accurate Water Models] [Presentation] [Cartoon]
   
ECHCP - Sierra Comments (2016-04-29)
Sierra Club Florida opposes the Eastern Collier Habitat Conservation Plan (ECHCP) which would include an incidental take permit that would authorize the unintentional harm or killing of Florida panthers and other endangered species on 45,000 acres of new urban development. [Comments on ECHCP] [Letter] [Naples Daily News] [Map] [Presentation]
   
Massive Seagrass Die Off (2016-04-29)
The shallow coastal waters of Florida Bay are famed for their crystal clear views of thick green seagrass. But since mid-2015, a massive 40,000-acre die off here has clouded waters and at times coated shores with floating dead grasses. It is the latest sign we are failing to protect the Everglades. [The Washington Post] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Video]
   
501(c)(3) Organizations (2016-04-28)
Tax-exempt educational organizations may not engage in partisan activities for elections. This means: (1) no endorsing or opposing specific candidates or parties, (2) no money or resources to candidates, or (3) no rating, grades or ranking of candidates on their positions. [Commenting on Candidates and Campaigns] [Presentation 501(c)(3)] [Guide] [Election Related Activities] [Video]
   
Ray Judah Presentation (2016-04-28)
Clean water was the topic at the Matlacha Civic Association's monthly meeting last week. Ray Judah, former Lee County Commissioner and former coordinator of Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition, made a presentation about the State of Florida - Lee County Waters. [Pine Island Eagle] [The Tampa Tribune] [Ray Judah] [Biography]
   
Deoxygenation Marine Life (2016-04-28)
Climate change has caused a drop in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans in some parts of the world, and those effects should become evident across large parts of the ocean between 2030 and 2040, according to a new study led by researchers at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. [NSF] [Cartoon] [Firstpost] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]
   
EPA Report: How to Sue Us (2016-04-28)
You know the Obama Administration must be incredibly frustrated with states when the EPA issues a manual instructing people on how they can sue the government using the Clean Water Act. "Protecting Aquatic Life from Effects of Hydrologic Alteration" will surely become a very hot download. [Fact Sheet] [Draft Report] [EPA Comment Page] [Webinar]
   
April 2016 CRCA Newsletter (2016-04-27)
The April 2016 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. [April Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archives]
   
Comments - Agree or Not Agree (2016-04-27)
An Apr 25 story by Dan Peterson generated many questions and comments. Some people think that Sunshine State News and the Treasure Coast Star are propaganda machines for Big Sugar. Others say the technical debates over the best solutions are merely stalling tactics that have worked for decades. [Comments 1] [Comments 2] [Dan Peterson] [Treasure Coast Star] [Story]
   
Opinion of Mark Generales, SFWMD (2016-04-27)
SFWMD has significant experience in removing pollutants from Lake O water. Using its system of Storm Water Treatment Areas south of the Lake, it has met and exceeded the legal requirements for removal of phosphorus from the water going into Everglades' National Park. [News Press] [Comments] [Presentation]
   
Old Bridge Village Residents Join (2016-04-26)
In the first Riverwatch community association meeting presentation, at least 10 residents of Old Bridge Village joined Riverwatch, with many more expected. Thank you to Jack Kedian for hosting the presentation delivered by John Cassani. [Location] [Kedian & Cassani] [CRCA Intern Mathilde Laurendon]
   
LaBelle Fossil Camp 2016 (2016-04-26)
Fossil Camp 2016 will be held in July at LaBelle Heritage Museum. Kids have their choice between 3 camps: Jul 11-15, Jul 18-22, & Jul 25-29. The camp day will be 8am to 3pm daily. Campers will learn about the LaBelle area before the coming of humans. Register now! [Flyer] [Information] [Registration Form Paper] [Registration Form Online] [River Fossils Collection]
   
Indian River Lagoon Scorecard (2016-04-26)
The new Florida Today Indian River Lagoon Scorecard had served our intended purposes of generating community conversation and focusing attention on how we can do better. This report is a clarion call for our leaders to do better and for citizens to demand action on the Indian River Lagoon. [Florida Today] [Brevard State Legislators] [State Legislators] [Brevard County Commission] [Video 1] [Video 2]
   
John Scott Candidacy (2016-04-26)
State Rep. Matt Caldwell, R-North Fort Myers, has a Democratic challenger in the November election: John Scott. He has filed papers with the state to open a campaign account, and said he plans a formal announcement soon, but he declined to reveal details about his campaign at this point in the race. [News Press] [John Scott] [Matt Caldwell]
   
The Everglades Iran-Iraq War (2016-04-26)
While Mike Elfenbein's comments are offered "tongue-in-cheek" he astutely points out the irony of the prevailing $-centric debate among those who degrade the environment to produce ever-cheaper food and those who do it for sprawling development or merely for entertainment (tourism, hunting, etc.). [Elfenbein Sarcasm] [NPS Press Release] [Elfenbein on Parks]
   
Wastewater Discharges to River (2016-04-25)
Speaking at a DEP hearing, Riverwatch VP Gene Gibson called for enforceable timelines and milestones for the City of Ft Myers to eliminate all their wastewater discharges to the river. [Statement Notes] [Background] [Problem in 2007] [Same Problem in 1995]
   
Property Value Impacts (2016-04-25)
Riverwatch VP Gene Gibson explained to the Island Reporter newspaper that $1 billion was lost in property value for every foot of lost clarity in the water, and that's before the economic impact on tourism and the fisheries. Gibson says that's why we need Waterkeeper. [Island Reporter]
   
Phil Buchanan and Ceitus Barrier (2016-04-25)
Cape Coral removed the Ceitus Barrier in 2008 under an agreement that it would be restored with a lock to accommodate boaters. But, recent data collected by both Cape Coral and Lee County clearly shows the damages caused by the removal of the Barrier. [Letter] [2014 Complaint] [Background] [Phil Buchanan] [Ceitus Case Stipulation Signed]
   
Great American Cleanup (2016-04-25)
The Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup is the nation’s largest community improvement program, engaging more than 5 million volunteers and participants every year to create positive change and lasting impact in local communities. The Great American Cleanup enters its 18th year in 2016. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Presentation] [Cartoon] [Logo]
   
Herbert Hoover Dike (2016-04-25)
Herbert Hoover Dike is a 143-mile earthen dam surrounding Lake Okeechobee, the heart of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system. The project reduces impacts from flooding as a result of high lake levels for a large area of south Florida. People who live near the dike worry if it will hold. [Palm Beach Post] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Map] [Risk Level]
   
Lists Matter (2016-04-25)
In the wake of Apalachicola River being ranked as America's #1 Most Endangered Rivers, Senator Marco Rubio has called on Congress to force Florida, Alabama and Georgia to negotiate an agreement to improve the river and fairly allocate its waters. [TB Business Journal] [Montgomery] [Congress Must Act] [Rubio & Scott] [Bundy-style Seizure] [Apalachiocola Riverkeeper]
   
Keep It in the Ground (2016-04-23)
The U.S. continues to lease public land & water for fossil fuel extraction, going against claims made in Paris. Waterkeeper Alliance is a part of the Keep It in the Ground movement. We must embrace a full accounting approach to our energy options to avoiding the worst effects of climate change. [News Press] [Waterkeeper Alliance] [Keep It in the Ground]
   
Earth Day at the Conservancy (2016-04-21)
On Apr 16, Harrison Langley and Jesse Roberts from Collier County Waterkeeper, along with Phil Schwartz and John Capece from Caloosahatchee Riverwatch, joined together for an exhibit at the Conservancy of Southwest Florida in Naples to celebrate Earth Day. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Conservancy of Southwest Florida]
   
46,000 or 7,000 Dollars (2016-04-21)
If land is not bought, we will continue to spend millions of tax dollars every year, trying to clean up this ongoing economy-ruining mess of dirty water. In the long run, buying this land would be a bargain compared to the annual millions that will be spent. [News Press 1] [News Press 2] [News Press 3] [News Press 4] [Cartoon]
   
Big Sugar VS Bullsugar (2016-04-21)
Putnam stated: anyone affiliated with Bullsugar or buying lands in the EAA, would be vaporized. Here is a brief explanation of what Putnam said, according to a FB post by Michael Conner, a spokesperson for Bullsugar. Adam Putnam is Rick Scott's right-hand man. Aspiring to be Florida's next governor. [Eye On Miami 1] [Eye On Miami 2] [Adam Putnam] [Bullsugar] [Cartoon 1] [Cartoon 2]
   
Cape Coral Sued Over Pollution (2016-04-21)
Florida Clean Water Network filed a 60-day notice of intention to sue the City of Cape Coral over violations of their NPDES (water pollution discharges) permit. CRCA has a separate suit against the Cape over their removal of the Ceitus Boat Lift, the act that FCWN says led to the NPDES violation. [FCWN Announcement] [Legal Notice of Intent]
   
Amy Bennett Williams (2016-04-20)
We had an afternoon to kill: a long, clear early spring afternoon. That, and a back seat full of dogs. So the destination was never really in question: the river. Where else to keep two boys and three rowdy young canines entertained? Destination of choice: the Caloosahatchee. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Sound Cloud]
   
Humans and Global Warming (2016-04-20)
A new study has found that humans are responsible for virtually all of the observed global warming since the mid-20th century. It is not a novel result. In fact, most global warming attribution studies have arrived at the same general result, but this study uses a new approach. [Skeptical Science] [Diagram 1] [Diagram 2] [Diagram 3] [Video]
   
20-20 Ballot Language Matters (2016-04-20)
Lee County Commissioners are finalizing language which will appear on the Nov 2016 general election ballot, regarding the continuation of the county’s successful Conservation 20/20 land acquisition and management program. It may be one of the most important referendums to come. [News Press] [Cape Coral Daily Breeze] [Conservation] [Lee County Ordinance] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
How Runoff Can Kill Fish (2016-04-19)
It seems like every few years a blue-green algae bloom hits the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon. TC Palm clearly explains the process by which watershed stormwater runoff and Lake Okeechobee discharges can result in an algae bloom and then a fish kill. [TC Palm] [Algae Bloom] [Tyler Treadway] [Public Health Bullets] [Fact Sheet] [Cartoon]
   
Time to Break the Cycle (2016-04-19)
We are in a vicious cycle. Our tax dollars help create sugar subsidies. With the profits Big Sugar makes from the subsidies they donate millions of dollars to our elected politicians. In order to get re-elected, politicians do the bidding of the Big Sugar to keep the money into their campaign funds. [Letter] [Photo] [US Sugar] [Cartoon]
   
Lead Contamination in Florida (2016-04-18)
The FL Water Management Districts are afraid to meet their requirement to regulate lead and other poisons in our environment and waters. In attempting to limit off-site gun range lead contamination, state officials were legally intimidated by an NRA crafted action. [Tampa Bay Times] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Cartoon]
   
Glades Lives Matter (2016-04-18)
The swanky Biltmore in Coral Gables. The Breakers in Palm Beach. Upper-crust Everglades Coalition and Everglades Foundation folks have celebrated in style, making their case that working-class Glades residents should give up homes and livelihoods to make way for Lake O’s excess water. [News Press] [Janet Taylor] [Palm Beach Post]
   
Most Endangered Rivers (2016-04-18)
This report identifies the 10 most threatened waterways in United States and highlights the urgent need for conservation, greater efficiency, and better management of water resources to prevent further harm to river health, wildlife, fish and recreation. [American Rivers] [Map] [Tech Times] [Report]
   
SFWMD Good Stewardship (2016-04-15)
Attention to the health of South Florida's environment was intensified this winter by unprecedented rainfall and weeks of Lake Okeechobee releases to the coastal estuaries. But finger pointing at the SFWMD Governing Board is misdirected. [News Press] [Logo] [Photo] [Profile] [Statement]
   
Sediment Fingerprinting (2016-04-15)
Sediment fingerprinting is a method to allocate sediment nonpoint source pollutants in a watershed through the use of natural tracer technology with a combination of field data collection, laboratory analyses of sediments, and statistical modeling techniques. [ASCE Library] [Citations] [Explanations Larry Fink] [Sediment Fingerprinting Technique] [Photo James Fox]
   
Caldwell and Scott at FGCU (2016-04-15)
At an FGCU meeting with State Rep Matt Caldwell, CRCA Director John Scott stressed the need to purchase land south of the lake as the highest priority but noted that land north of the Lake is easier to acquire because the sugar industry isn't involved there. [Sun Bay Paper] [Matt Caldwell] [Biography Matt Caldwell] [John Scott]
   
Ruth Scott on Collier Development (2016-04-15)
Riverwatch Director Ruth Scott spoke at a meeting in Collier County addressing habitat concerns in reaction to an Immokalee regional urbanization plan for 45,000 acres with ag on much of the remaining lands. Developers seek a 50-year Fish & Wildlife Service permit. [NBC-2] [100+ Concerned] [Kenneth McDonald, FWS] [Video] [Ruth Scott]
   
National Report IWLA (2016-04-14)
The Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) has spent the last 6 months conducting an intensive investigation into how each state monitors its streams and rivers. IWLA found, alarmingly, that fewer and fewer water bodies are meeting state water quality standards and monitoring is insufficient. [Introduction] [Florida Report] [IWLA] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Videos and Photos]
   
Pro-Fracking Conference (2016-04-14)
On Apr 2, activists disrupted a speech entitled Friends Don't Let Friends Ban Fracking at FGCU. Liesa Priddy, vice chair of FL Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, spoke at this pro-fracking conference. She has a ranch near Immokalee and is a co-applicant for a 45,000 acre development permit. [Liberation] [Liesa Priddy] [Cartoon] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Historic Monroe Station (2016-04-13)
Monroe Station, one of the last original existing outposts on the Tamiami Trail, burned down on Apr 9, 2016 leaving the community in dismay. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. It was on the National Register of Historic Places. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Video]
   
Apalachicola - Most Endangered (2016-04-13)
American Rivers, a national organization that has published endangered-rivers reports since 1984, has named the Apalachicola the most endangered river in the nation. Apalachicola in the Florida panhandle is right now at the breaking point. [Sunshine State News] [Orlando Weekly] [National Geographic] [Map] [Photo]
   
Debated Since 2005 (2016-04-12)
The debate over the water quality aspects of the C-43 West Reservoir is not new. It goes back to 2005. The remedy was supposed to be a nutrient removal project on the south bank of the river at Ortona Lock. That project has yet to materialize. [News Press 2005] [News Press 2006] [News Press 2008] [News Press 2010]
   
C43 Reservoir Project Debate (2016-04-12)
Nature's ecosystems are so finely tuned that no matter which water quality solutions Florida pursues, it creates other problems. The question is whether our technology and lifestyle can evolve quickly enough to put Humpty Dumpty back together again. [News Press] [Reader Comments] [Detailed Answer] [Video William Mitsch] [Photo]
   
Catch Limits on Fish (2016-04-12)
A proposed federal rule that would give regional councils more say in setting catch limits on fish has sparked rare friction between the Obama administration and environmental groups. The proposal, years in the making, could take effect during the summer 2016. [USA TODAY] [News Press] [Tallahassee Democrat]
   
CHNEP Newsletter (2016-04-11)
The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) is a partnership working to protect the natural environment of southwest Florida from Venice to Bonita Springs to Winter Haven. It was established in 1987 by an amendment to the Clean Water Act to identify, restore and protect estuaries in USA. [Newsletter] [Map] [FYCCN] [Photo]
   
New Land Use Strategies (2016-04-11)
A new analysis published in the journal Nature and led by soil and crop scientist Keith Paustian at Colorado State University shows that changes in land-use practices can also help reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. [NSF] [SOURCE] [Keith Paustian] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Focal Point of John Cassani (2016-04-11)
An exploding population rate in Southwest Florida, combined with poor water management, has deteriorated the fragile estuaries this region depends on for its fishing industry, boating and tourism. That message was the focal point of John Cassani. [Captiva Sanibel] [Comments] [Santiva Chronicle] [John Cassani] [Video]
   
Fish Mercury (2016-04-08)
It is important, particularly for women of child bearing age to be aware of the limitations on eating Florida fish. Almost all coastal fish are contaminated with dangerous levels of mercury. Some inland fish as well. Tank-raised fish are safer relative to mercury. [Cartoon] [Mercury in Fish Tissue] [2016 Map] [Fish Card] [Fish Food Chain Mercury]
   
Farmers and Climate Change (2016-04-08)
Agriculture and fisheries are highly dependent on specific climate conditions. So, climate change is not going to be good news for agriculture. Studies have shown that it will likely reduce crop yields, create a malnutrition crisis, and make large portions of the globe inhospitable to staple crops. [Eye on Miami] [Climate Progress] [EPA] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Graphic]
   
Flood Hazard in California (2016-04-07)
Flooding is the most common and damaging of all natural disasters in the United States, and was a factor in almost all declared disasters in U.S. history. Flood damage has also been on the rise globally over the past century. [PLOS ONE] [Appendix] [Map] [PHYS ORG]
   
Ceitus Case Stipulation Signed (2016-04-07)
Riverwatch and the other plaintiffs submitted to the court a motion for summary judgement on the action seeking to compel Cape Coral and DEP to replace the Ceitus Boat Lift structure they removed in 2007. Ralf Brookes is the attorney representing CRCA in this case. [Ceitus Stipulation] [Statement of Facts] [Notice of Hearing] [Notice of Mediation] [Ralf Brookes]
   
Flooding in Miami Beach (2016-04-06)
A new study from the University of Miami (RSMAS) found that since 2006, flooding in Miami Beach has soared, 400 percent from high tides and 33 percent from rain. Miami Beach flood events have significantly increased over the last decade due to an acceleration of sea-level rise in South Florida. [Miami Herald] [Graphic] [RSMAS] [CNN] [Photo] [Cartoon]
   
Make Lake O a National Monument (2016-04-05)
Lake Okeechobee is already a monument to environmental mismanagement and state incompetence. So why not make it official and perhaps in doing so we chart a path towards cleaning up the estuaries mess without at the same time destroying the Lake O fish habitats. Sign the petition! [Press Conference] [Obama Petition Announcement] [Full Petition] [Sign the Petition] [NBC-2]
   
Riverwatch Director John Scott (2016-04-05)
The problem is known. The solution is known. The funding is available through Amendment 1. All that’s missing is the political will to make it happen. We must acquire land south of Lake O to store, treat and convey water south to the Everglades in order to save the fisheries and coastal communities. [John Scott] [Official Statement] [Video]
   
Point of View Lake O Discharges (2016-04-05)
Until the state steps up and buys the land necessary for storage and treatment, Florida will be locked up in this morass, and the high-volume discharges of Lake Okeechobee water into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers and their estuaries will continue to grow. [Palm Beach Post] [Jaclyn Lopez] [Cartoon]
   
Lake O Southern Flowway 101 (2016-04-05)
Larry Edward Fink of Waterwise Consulting provides an overview of the southern flowway concept, its issues and oppositional myths. It's an essential primer on those wanting to understand the debate and have a more informed perspective on this critical debate. [Scoping Level Evaluation] [Agenda] [Waterwise Consulting] [Larry Fink] [Curriculum Vitae]
   
Water as a Human Right (2016-04-04)
The negative effects by the Lake O discharges have reached the real estate market, the tourism sector, and the fishing industry. While these are not the life & death water issues of other nations, the SWFL Clean Water Movement is demanding that clean water be considered a basic human right. [Fort Myers Beach Talk 1] [Fort Myers Beach Talk 2] [Letter to the Editor] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
NWNA Wants More (2016-04-04)
The Northwest Cape Coral Neighborhood Association was formed in 2004 to advocate for development and property values. NWNA opposes restoration of the Ceitus Boat Lift structure and advocates alternatives so as to maintain unincumbered boat traffic. [Presentation] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
C-43 Reservoir (2016-04-04)
Water managers are clearing land for the Caloosahatchee River West Basin Storage Reservoir project, or C-43 reservoir. This project is meant to keep the Caloosahatchee Estuary healthy. The C-43 reservoir is planned along the Caloosahatchee River. [WGCU] [Caloosa Belle] [Project] [Facts and Information] [West Basin Storage Reservoir] [Photo]
   
Chad Gillis and News Press (2016-04-01)
Chad Gillis is an outdoors writer for the News Press. He written many articles related to the nature and the environment. In Mar 2016, he wrote a long article as a story, with 4 chapters, dedicated to the Lake Okeechobee and the water crisis. [News Press] [Mailbag] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4]
   
High Levels of Bacteria (2016-04-01)
The Florida Department of Health in Lee County is advising the public not to enter the water at North Shore Park due to high levels of bacteria identified in routine testing. These tests indicated that the water quality at the park does not meet the safety criteria for enterococcus bacteria. [News Press] [FOX 4] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
April Fools Joke...or Not (2016-04-01)
Chad (News Press) may be playing a joke on us. But the real joke might be that students really are holding a pro-fracking conference funded by Koch Brothers at FGCU, Florida's environmental university. But seriously, it is a topic worth exploring, discussing and debating. [News Press] [Announcment] [Cartoon] [Web Site]
   
March CRCA Newsletter (2016-03-31)
The March 2016 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 Newsletter] [Newsletter Archives]
   
Support the News Press (2016-03-31)
The News-Press is an essential leader & ally in efforts to achieve improvements for the SW Florida environment. Riverwatch relies upon its publications and journalists. Subscribe to the News Press to both educate yourself on the issues and support this most essential enterprise. [Subscribe to News Press] [Cartoon]
   
Sources of Estuary Problem (2016-03-31)
A debate raging back and forth is whether recent Caloosahatchee Estuary problems are from Lake O or the local watershed. It is a somewhat silly distinction since the local watershed is also dominated by agriculture. Nevertheless, analysis shows since Jan 15, Lake O = 49 days and watershed = 28 days. [Flow Graph] [Daily Breeze] [Clewiston]
   
Predicting US Heat Waves (2016-03-31)
The formation of a distinct pattern of sea surface temperatures in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean can predict an increased chance of summer heat waves in the eastern half of the U.S. up to 50 days in advance. This new technique could improve existing seasonal forecasts. [NSF] [HNGN] [PBS] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Ready for a Waterkeeper (2016-03-30)
Thanks to the generosity of Linda & Daniel Mattos, Riverwatch now has a great boat awaiting the first Caloosahathcee Waterkeeper. It's a wonderful Triumph 170 in great condition. And thanks to the Severus Foundation, CRCA can begin a serious fundraising campaign to support hiring a Waterkeeper. [Triumph 170]
   
Machine Gun Video (2016-03-30)
The BullSugar.org group has produced a series of videos delivering its points in rapid-fire sequence presenting the perspectives of the east coast estuary advocates. It's a new approach that may have an impact in this most unusual of election years. [Caldwell Poster] [Machine Gun Video] [Name Them Video] [Putnam Video]
   
Scott Blames Obama for Water (2016-03-30)
The polluted discharges from Lake Okeechobee and the surrounding watershed are not a new problem. The recent declaration by Gov. Rick Scott that the Barack Obama administration is largely to blame for the destructive flows of water heading east and west from Lake O makes for a nice press release. [Palm Beach Post] [Everglades Foundation] [Cartoon]
   
Captains for Clean Water (2016-03-30)
The first of what could potential be many future meetings by the Captains for Clean Water group was held Mar 22, and the message related was perfectly clear: stop harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee to estuaries. [Island Reporter] [Eagle News] [Forum] [Michael Donovan] [Daniel Andrews] [Facebook]
   
Missed Opportunity (2016-03-30)
Governor Rick Scott blames the Obama administration for the release of too much freshwater from Lake Okeechobee and the resulting environmental damage to our area. For him, Obama should have funded rapid repair of the Lake O dike so it could hold more water. [News Press] [WCTV] [Rick Scott] [Cartoon] [Charlie Crist]
   
Saudi Land Purchases in the US (2016-03-30)
A Saudi Arabian company bought 14,000 acres in drought-stricken CA & AZ to grow and ship home cattle forage. This raises debate about how water rights follow land ownership in the West. Exporting food, fiber or forage is the same as exporting water. [The Washington Post] [The Big Story] [CNBC] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
John Marshall (2016-03-29)
There was nothing John Marshall loved more than the Everglades and preserving the environment. It was his life’s work and CRCA had the privilege to work with him on east-west cooperation on St. Lucie, Lake Okeechobee, and Caloosahatchee issues. [Palm Beach Post] [WPTV] [Photo 1] [Photo 2]
   
Caloosahatchee BMAP (2016-03-29)
The state’s Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) to clean up the river clearly states that of the 61 percent of the primary pollutant to the Caloosahatchee, nitrogen, is coming from Lake Okeechobee. The BMAP is a plan with specific pollutant reduction projects and milestones. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Annual Meeting] [Everglades Foundation] [BMAP]
   
New State Water Policy (2016-03-29)
Of the new water bill promoted by Caldwell and signed by Scott, Senator Bob Graham said it weakens protection and management of Florida’s water resources. It will result in further corrosion of what was once hailed as the water management standard of the Nation. [Photo] [Tampa Bay Times] [Ocala] [Reader Comments] [Cartoon]
   
Fight Against Climate Change (2016-03-28)
We must address climate change with vigor. Water advocacy groups recognize the imperative of promoting alternative energies and reducing fossil fuel use. Waterkeepers have drawn up a list of energy issues in Florida and Georgia. [WWALS] [Map]
   
Discharge Permit for Fort Myers (2016-03-28)