September 18, 2014

River news

Dike Study Public Meetings

Sep 22 in Okeechobee; Sep 23 in Clewiston; Sep 24 in Jupiter; and Sep 25 in Fort Myers.

See the details...
* * *


Birding and Wildlife Festival

September 23-28, 2014 in Florida Keys.

See the details...
* * *


CRCA Meeting & Program

October 1, 2014 at 6:30pm Board meeting; 7pm program with Dave Ceilley of FGCU and Johnson Engineering in Ft. Myers.

See the details...
* * *


Kiwanis Kid's Day

October 18, 2014 from 10am to 2pm in the Barron Park in LaBelle.

See the details...
* * *


Caloosahatchee River Ride 2014

Sunday, November 9, 2014. The ride starts from 8am to 8:30 am at the Lee County Caloosahatchee Regional Park on SR 78 just West of Alva.

See the details...
* * *


2014 Audubon Assembly

October 17-18, 2014, Hutchinson Island.

See the details...
* * *


All About the Water March

October 18, 2014 from 4pm to 8pm from Naples Pier to Governor's Beachfront Home.

See the details...
* * *


Wildflower Day Bus Trip

September 20, 2014 from 8am to 5:30pm. Bus trip to Bok Tower Gardens and Pinewood Estate.

See the details...
* * *



CRCA - Riverwatch
Join Us!
Renew Membership

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



Register with form
Register online


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



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


Click on news box title and email it to others! 

The Water Expo (2014-09-12)

The Water Expo-Empowering WATER in the Americas-takes place on Sep 16 & 17, 2014 at the Miami Airport Convention Center and is supported by prestigious industry sponsors, partners and hemispheric institutions. [Program] [Register] [Web Site]

Service Learning Park Cleanup (2014-09-12)

Join us for the LaBelle Nature Park Cleanup on Saturday, Nov 15 from 8am to 1pm. Free lunch is provided. FGCU Service Learning students are welcome. For directions call Margaret England at 863-517-0202 or email margaret@caloosahatchee.org. [Flyer]

Wildflower Day Bus Trip (2014-09-12)

The City of LaBelle bus will meet at the LaBelle City Hall at 8am return at 5:30pm. The $35 fee for this event sponsored by the City of LaBelle includes transportation on 21 passenger bus and admission to both Bok Tower Gardens and Pinewood Estate. [Details] [News Press]

Good Conversations (2014-09-12)

Engineering and environmental sciences students met with CRCA directors Mary Rawl, John Capece, Nargiza Abduvohidova and Ross Wherry at an FGCU event on Sep 11 to discuss service learning and internships as well as the AWRA conference. [Event Photo]

Moving Water South Study (2014-09-04)

UF Water Institute Director, Dr. Wendy Graham has assembled a group of eminent scholars to review the options for moving water south from Lake Okeechobee to the Everglades. In the group are Drs. R Reddy, K Havens, T Frazer, MJ Angelo, & P Frederick. [Scope of Work]

Save Our Creeks Meeting (2014-09-02)

Members are invited to the Save Our Creeks annual meeting to be held on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 in Moore Haven at the Glades Historical Society Westergaard House at 11:00 am. We look forward to seeing you there! [Web Site] [Facebook] [Location Map]

Student-Professional Networking (2014-08-28)

AWRA Southwest Florida Chapter and the ASCE are inviting you to participate in the “Meet the Professionals” networking event at the FGCU, Holmes Hall on Sep 11th, 2014 from 5pm to 7pm. If you are interested in participating, please RSVP by Sep 4. [Invitation] [Flyer]

Caloosahatchee River Ride 2014 (2014-08-11)

On Sunday, November 9, join Riverwatch for the 18th Annual River Ride, the recreational bike ride around the Caloosahatchee. Routes for 15, 30, 40, and 62 miles. Register in advance or on the morning of the event at Caloosahatchee Regional Park. [Register with Form] [Brochure] [Register Online] [Caloosahatchee Regional Park map]

EPA Water Rule Public Forum (2014-08-29)

The EPA, in conjunction with Sierra Club, Conservancy of SWFL and Clean Water Initiative of Florida, will be holding a public forum to educate and raise awareness about the EPA Clean Water Rule in October TBD in Ft. Myers. [Location Map]

August CRCA Newsletter (2014-08-29)

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

Wetland Loss Hotspot (2014-08-28)

Southwest Florida has lost 148 square miles of land cover — an area 1 1/2 times the size of Cape Coral — to development and to changes in the region’s climate over the past two decades, a new government report shows. [Naples News] [Map by NOAA] [Coastal Wetlands Report]

2014 Audubon Assembly (2014-08-28)

The 2014 Audubon Assembly will be held at the beautiful Hutchinson Island Marriott Resort & Marina. The event dates are Friday, Oct 17 to Saturday, Oct 18. As usual, field trips start early on Friday morning, so it's a great idea to come a day early. [Invitation]

Next Victim: Pine Island (2014-08-28)

Activist Phil Buchanan says that Pine Island growth management is under siege by corporate interests that seek to buy up large amounts of island land and then develop it free of current regulations. [Back Ten Feet]

Caloosahatchee August 19 - 25 (2014-08-28)

Flows into the Caloosahatchee Estuary at S79 over the past 7 days averaged 1,757cfs. Nearly all flow to the estuary was from the Caloosahatchee watershed. The past 14 days, about 2% of Lake O outflows were delivered to the Caloosahatchee via S77. [Aug 19-25 Report]

Dike Study Public Meetings (2014-08-28)

USACE is holding a meeting on Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation on Sep 12 for government officials and four meetings for the public at the following locations: Sep 22-Okeechobee; Sep 23-Clewiston; Sep 24-Jupiter; and Sep 25-Fort Myers. [Details]

Another Party Line Action (2014-08-24)

120 Members of Congress are co-sponsoring HR5078, a bill seeking to block EPA jurisdiction over water quality. The bill sponsor is from Florida. 115 co-sponsors are Republican, 5 are Democrats. 12 of 17 Florida Republican Congressmen are on the list. [H.R.5078] [FL Co-sponsors] [FCC Alert]

Toxic Algae (2014-08-19)

With the help of a $715K funding contract with the Centers for Disease Control, Walter Bradley, a University of Miami neurologist, will conduct a research study of the toxic algae and its possible linkage to the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis disease. [Keys News]

CRCA Meeting & Program (2014-08-19)

The Oct 1 Riverwatch meeting at the Calusa Nature Center features Dave Ceilley of FGCU and Johnson Engineering as guest speaker. He will talk about restoring tape grass meadows in the Caloosahatchee. [Article] [Map]

Public Hearing Postponed (2014-08-19)

A DEP workshop to receive public comment on the Caloosahatchee River Basin TMDLs was originally scheduled for Aug 28, but has been postponed. Numeric Nutrient Limits have been set for the Caloosahatchee Estuary. [Notice] [NNC Rule] [Web Site]

Fall 2014 Webinars (2014-08-19)

1000 Friends of Florida has planned an exciting fall season of webinars including Sep state planning resources to address sea level rise, Oct Broward County's planning strategies for sea level rise, and Nov planning for complete streets in Florida. [Details] [Register]

Fish Fight Climate Change (2014-08-19)

A new study shows that fish have been doing a lot more world-saving than we thought, by way of sequestering carbon to stave off climate change. Fish are great at fighting climate change. Too bad we’re eating them all. [Grist] [Study]

Birding and Wildlife Festival (2014-08-19)

The 2014 Florida Keys Birding & Wildlife Festival is Tuesday, Sep 23 through Sunday, Sep 28. Now in its 16th year, the festival offers a variety of programs, field trips, workshops and speakers guaranteed to enthrall nature lovers of all ages. [Details] [Brochure] [Web Site]

Kiwanis Kids Day (2014-08-19)

Please mark your calendar! The Annual LaBelle Kiwanis Kid’s Day will be Saturday, Oct 18th from 10am to 2pm in the Barron Park (LaBelle). There will be bounce houses, a clown, games, activities, entertainment, and bike raffles. Don't miss it! [Flyer] [Details] [Map]

Air Potato Biological Control (2014-08-19)

USDA, FDACS and UF are working together to rear and release air potato beetles in Florida to combat air potato, a non-native invasive plant. Today public can obtain air potato leaf beetles by filling out and submitting an appropriate application. [Application Forms] [Program Web Site]

Actual Tourism Training (2014-08-19)

You know the situation is bad and permanent when hotels front desk personnel start getting training in how to explain water quality problems to their clientele. The event is 9:30 AM on Aug 25 on Ft. Myers Beach. [Action Alert]

Call for Public Participation (2014-08-19)

Facing the polemic of which water bodies should be protected by the Clean Water Act, the Florida Conservation Coalition call for public participation, to press EPA for a more careful protection of Florida's water. [Florida Conservation Coalition]

Mission Blue (2014-08-18)

Dr. Sylvia Earle has spent more than 7,000 hours - nearly a year of her life - underwater. So when she says the oceans are in trouble, you listen. "Misson Blue," a new documentary released by Netflix tells the story of Earle & her incredible mission. [Huffington Post] [Official Trailer]

Sea Turtle Day & Exhibit (2014-08-18)

"Ding" Darling is devoting an entire day to sea turtles as it unveils its latest Saving Sea Turtles exhibit in the free "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center on Aug 29th starting with the official exhibit unveiling at 10am. Public is invited! [Details]

Floridians and Water (2014-08-18)

The Public Issues Education Center's recent survey shows that when it comes to water, Floridians aren't aware of current issues, think quality and quantity are important, think quality is getting worse and are willing to conserve — to a point. [Visual Representation] [Web Site]

Vote Yes on 1 - Nov 4, 2014 (2014-08-18)

The FL Water and Land Conservation Amendment 1 gives Florida voters a direct opportunity to keep drinking water clean, protect our rivers, lakes, and springs, restore natural treasures like the Everglades, and protect our beaches and shores. [Flyer] [Poster] [Quick Responses] [Factsheet] [Web Site]

Take a Walk on the Wild Side (2014-08-18)

Interested in learning about native plants, seeing our public lands, and having fun for free? Then join the Florida Native Plant's Society on Sunday, September 7th 9am at Prairie Pines Preserve in North Fort Myers. Register in advance! [Flyer] [Registration] [Map]

CNC Sep Events Schedule (2014-08-18)

The Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium offers a variety of educational and fun events for family and friends in its Sep 2014 schedule, such as National Wildlife Day, International Observe the Moon Night, Space Racers and other. Everyone is welcome! [September Schedule] [Web Site]

All About the Water (2014-08-18)

The Stonecrab Alliance invites concerned citizens to march on Governor Rick Scott's Beachfront home on Oct 18 to express disapproval of Florida's handling of a range of water issues, from fracking to algae choked lakes, rivers, springs and estuaries. [Stonecrab Alliance] [Rick Scott Greenwashing Cartoon]

Caloosahatchee August 5 - 11 (2014-08-14)

Recent flow to the estuary have been in the high range (above 2400cfs) but all this water has come from our Caloosahatchee watershed, not from Lake Okeechobee. This points out the need for more local projects to address the lack of storage. [Aug 5-11 Report]

Coy Position on River (2014-08-14)

Lee County Commission Candidate Andy Coy said, if elected, he would vote against development on the DR/GR and would restore the now gutted and raided Conservation 20/20 land purchasing program and fund. [American Rivers]

Building Up the Muck (2014-08-14)

By securing permission now, during a regulatory vacuum and before there is any demand, ag companies are positioning themselves to become the primary inland developers. [News-press.com]

Dead Zones Are Everywhere (2014-08-14)

There are 200 dead zones in the USA and a total of 400 throughout the world. Most are a consequence of the fertilizer run-off from farms and wastewater from cities and industry. The number of these has grown exponentially in recent decades. [EcoWatch]

Land Use Intensification (2014-08-14)

As land owners move from less intensive land uses like forestry to more intensive uses like irrigated and fertilized cattle pasture, water pollution increases, regardless of whether BMPs are used. [Ocala]

Seems Logical (2014-08-14)

While it may be logical to use mangrove forests as natural barriers to coastal effects of sea level rise, the question in SW FL is whether houses will get out of the way to make room for mangroves. [International Water Power and Dam Construction]

Has It Come to This? (2014-08-14)

Tom Swihart suggests we trust DEP and skip the peer review process. While scientifically absurd, it is a rationally desperate attempt at progress given an agency that uses peer review to slow progress. [Watery Foundation]

Mosquitoes Proliferation (2014-08-13)

Rains and high tides are a very good scenario for the reproduction and proliferation of mosquitoes. Southwest Florida districts have been making a good effort to control the mosquito population. [News-press.com]

Off the Endangered Species List (2014-08-13)

On Jul 1st Federal officials announced, after a libertarian law group called the Pacific Legal Foundation sued the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Apr, that manatees have been taken off the endangered list. Manatees have been on the list since 1967. [Tampa Bay Times 1] [Tampa Bay Times 2]

Rising Seas of Southwest Florida (2014-08-13)

Sea level rise as consequence of climate change is increasingly present in our daily reality. Despite this, Southwest Florida governments seem unconcerned about future risks to its communities; they are taking no steps to planning for the transition. [News-press.com]

Reservoir Project on Hold (2014-08-11)

John Scott, CRCA director and the Co-Founder for the Clean Water Initiative of Florida, says he's okay with delaying the scaled-down version of the C-43 West Reservoir project until after this rainy season since he favors other options anyway. [Fox 4]

Caloosahatchee Forum (2014-08-11)

On Friday, Aug 8, SFWMD's Dan DeLisi hosted a forum attended by 70 people to get feedback on a range of regional projects designed to address Caloosahatchee River flow and water quality problems. [CRCA Report] [Links to Meeting Documents]

A Year-Round Fight (2014-08-11)

Agricultural corporations have bitterly fought even the most modest proposed restrictions on their pollution. With their Congressional friends they held EPA’s budget hostage until they removed language to enforced stronger pollution limits. [Earth Justice]

Water Warnings (2014-08-11)

Water quality in Florida and all American territories has been a cause of concern for the scientific community. Water bodies have already suffered environmental impacts and require urgent measures from the public and governments. [Ocala.com]

Central Everglades Plan Released (2014-08-11)

The Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) report from the Corps of Engineers was released on Aug 8. Word is SFWMD is still unhappy that the project leaves the state to pay the cost of water quality improvements, a debate dating back to 1990's. [Corps Releases Central Everglades Report] [Journey to Restore Everglades] [Old Debate] [Old Comments]

Florida Waters New Rulemakings (2014-08-08)

The Florida Department of Environmental protection has planning two rulemaking efforts to Florida's water bodies: the estuary-specific numeric nutrient criteria (NNC), and the revisions to Chapter 62-306, Florida Administrative code (FAC). [DEP]

Do We Have Enough Water? (2014-08-08)

The Lower Kissimmee Basin Water Supply Plan says there is sufficient water to supply Florida's needs until 2035. The concern is the increasing portion of that agriculture will consume. [Highlands Today]

Less Water Until August (2014-08-08)

During the first half of summer 2014, less water has been released from Lake Okeechobee down the Caloosahatchee than in 2013. However, into August and September conditions typically get wetter and more water will flow. [WGCU Southwest Florida]

Ft. Myers Storm Drains Covered (2014-08-08)

Ft. Myers has spent over $100,000 to cover 26 storm drains. It is part of a safety effort to avoid a repeat of an Aug 2013 incident where a 5-year-old was sucked down a storm drain, traveled 300yds in a pipe, and was flushed into the Caloosahatchee. [Wink News]

Waters Standards Precautions (2014-08-07)

Summer is the perfect season to relax and travel with family and friends, enjoying the beaches and other several water bodies. However, always important keep in mind are some important precautions to avoid contamination and remain healthy. [Florida Department of Health]

The New EPA Proposals? (2014-08-07)

The group, Clean Water Action, is circulating a concise description of proposed EPA regulations on extending Clean Water Act jurisdiction to more water bodies. It is a helpful summary. [Clean Water Action]

Desalination Technique (2014-08-07)

Researches from Rice University Center for Theoretical Biological Physics have working on an innovate desalination technique. Using a bacteria's protein, the researches intends to innovate the desalination and the industrial cleanup field. [National Science Foundation]

Lake Okeechobee Water Releases (2014-08-05)

On Aug 1st, a rally on the east coast at Phipps Park in Stuart Florida drew attention to the problems of water pollution and dirty water releases from Lake O to the coastal estuaries. One speaker from the west coast was CRCA director John Scott. [Fox 29] [Cartoon] [Speeches] [Photos Video] [John Scott]

July CRCA Newsletter (2014-08-02)

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

AWRA FL Technical Meeting (2014-08-01)

AWRA Florida's next technical meeting will be held on Sep 19 at 12:00pm in Tampa at the Rusty Pelican located at 2425 North Rocky Point Drive. The theme of the meeting will be the "Tampa Bay Water Quality Restoration Program". [Web site and registration] [Location map]

Call for Volunteers! (2014-08-01)

Gatorama is extending an invitation/call for volunteers for their 2014 Alligator Hatching Festival. Gatorama provides training. You just need to be positive and passionate about alligators and people! Be a part of this fun and unique activity. [Details] [Festival flier] [Web site]

Oil & Gas Drilling Concerns (2014-08-01)

As millions of dollars have been spent to restore the Florida Everglades - there are fears now that more damage could be on the horizon if oil and gas drilling is permitted. Sen. Bill Nelson flew into SW Florida to hear the concerns on July 14th. [NBC-2] [Video]

River Kidz of SLC (2014-08-01)

River Kidz of SLC is a proactive group of Kidz spreading awareness and educating our youth about the water concerns and environment surrounding our beautiful lagoon and the marine life that depend on clean water. Join today! Registration is free. [Kidz against Lake O discharges] [Blog] [Facebook]

Good News...for a change! (2014-08-01)

Out of a list of hundreds of popular beaches nationwide, NRDC's 2014 report, dubbed 35 beaches as Superstars! Bowman's Beach is one of three in Florida to achieve "superstar" status — these are beaches that didn't exceed the EPA's bacteria standard. [News-Press] [Superstar Beaches] [Testing the Waters 2014]

Red Tide Bloom (2014-08-01)

As reported July 31, the largest red tide bloom recorded in Florida waters since 2006 is lingering in the Gulf of Mexico and could move south over the next few days. Red tide, caused by Karenia brevis, is fatal for fish and harmful to humans. [News-Press]

Clean Water Rally - Aug 3 (2014-08-01)

Join the thousands for the 2nd Annual Clean Water Rally on August 3rd. Unite against the discharges from Lake Okeechobee. Stand shoulder to shoulder with us and demand that Lake Okeechobee water must move south. We need your voice! [Flier] [Details] [Video]

Seeking President (2014-08-01)

1000 Friends of Florida is seeking qualified candidates interested in serving as President of this respected statewide not-for-profit organization. The deadline is September 30, 2014. [Position description] [Web site]

CORPS Lock Webcams (2014-08-01)

CORPS Water Management Section monitors and manages the multi-purpose operations of Okeechobee Waterway spillways and locks among other number of projects. Webcams broadcast live images of S-77, S-80, S-308 as well as interactive map. [Webcams]

Operation 1-1-1 (2014-08-01)

Operation 1-1-1, is a platform for fishermen, restaurant owners, community leaders and other coastal residents to explain the importance of environmental restoration to their lives. Get the facts, tell your story and get involved today! [Web site]

Funds for Pilot Water Farming (2014-08-01)

As part of a cooperative effort to address the water restoration issues across Florida, the DEP has awarded $1.5 million in grant funds to the SFWMD, to investigate the benefits of “water farming” through a pilot study. SFWMD contributes $3 million. [FLDEP]

Readable Climate Warning (2014-08-01)

The US NAS and the U.K. Royal Society have achieved a breakthrough in readability with their new report, “Climate Change: Evidence & Causes.” The new report starts with a Climate Change Q&A, and begins each answer with a non-technical response. [Think Progress] [Report]

Reservoir to Prevent Pollution (2014-08-01)

A gigantic above-ground reservoir - the largest in Florida at 24 square miles - is rising above sugar cane fields in southwest Palm Beach County to help cleanse polluted water before it rushes into the Everglades. The project cost is $60 million. [Sun Sentinel] [Map]

Properties for Purchase (2014-08-01)

Four projects are being eyed for pur­chase under the Florida Forever program in Okeechobee Co. In Glades Co., 108,789 acres in the Fisheating Creek ecosystem & 13,515 acres south of the Caloosahatchee River SW of Ortona are also under consideration. [Okeechobee News]

Caloosahatchee (July 19-28) (2014-07-31)

Flow into the Caloosahatchee at Franklin Lock (S-79) was below the 2400 limit, averaging 1900 cfs from July 19-28. With the start of the wet season, SCCF's report switches to low salinity, oyster & sea grass graphic. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [SCCF Web Site]

CRCA Letter to EPA (2014-07-31)

CRCA calls upon EPA & Corps to take non-point sources of pollution into account in the permitting process. Exclusion of non-point sources has been treated as if they were insignificant. This willful tolerance of major pollution should not continue. [Riverwatch Letter]

Another NASA Prediction (2014-07-31)

Two teams of scientists say the long-feared collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet has begun, kicking off what they say will be a centuries-long, "unstoppable" process that could raise sea levels by as much as 15 feet. [NBC News] [Web site]

Community Water Concern (2014-07-31)

Residents of Charleston Park, one of the five designated “blighted” communities in Lee County, are concerned about the look, taste and color of Charleston Park’s drinking water. Now the government has stepped in. [WGCU] [Location Map]

Unfunded Mandate? (2014-07-31)

SW FL water bodies were far cleaner back in 1972 when the Clean Water Act was adopted and told states not to trash their waters. After ignoring guidelines for more than 40 years, communities are now acting surprised that their ignorance has costs. [News-Press]

Possible Water Veto (2014-07-31)

Obama may veto water & energy bills (HR4923 & HR2609) due to riders that would prevent the Corps & EPA from defining what water bodies are subject to Clean Water Act regulations or would fast-track projects at the expense of environmental reviews. [Circle of Blue]

20/20 Helps Cope with Growth (2014-07-29)

SW Florida's population continues to grow, putting pressure on basic public services and the natural resources of Lee County, particularly water and habitat. Programs like Conservation 20/20 are essential in coping with growth and should be restored. [John Cassani Editorial] [Growth Cartoon]

Hunting Trek to King Ranch (2014-07-29)

David Guest of Earth Justice questions how Gov. Scott selects appointees to SFWMD. But Mitch Hutchcraft's selection was endorsed by Audubon's Eric Draper who wrote a letter backing Hutchcraft as a good choice for the WMD seat. [Tampa Bay Times] [Miami Herald]

Another Result of DCA Demise (2014-07-29)

An important environmental group, 1000 Friends of Florida is facing reductions in the scale of its operations. They cite changes in growth management laws and the elimination of the Dept of Community Affairs as root causes. [The Palm Beach Post] [Joanne Davis]

Lake Okeechobee Releases (2014-07-23)

The U.S Army Corps of Engineers increased the flows from Lake Okeechobee to the Caloosahatchee estuary. The Corps say this measure is needed to slow the water level rise in Lake O. Opinions differ on the degree of risk this represents. [Fox 4]

Land Conservation and Water (2014-07-22)

According to Ray Judah, it is preferable to focus on the environmental and social benefits of Lee County waterways restoration rather than focusing only on the punitive side of it. Judah lists some options which could reduce the restoration costs. [News-press.com]

Victory Party (2014-07-16)

A victory party was held on July 17 in celebration of the interruption in Southwest Florida drilling operations by Dan A. Hughes company. This appears to be a major setback for fracking-based fossil fuel extraction in Florida. [Invitation]

Turtle Poachers in Okeechobee (2014-07-16)

Turtles have been threatened not only by the trash and debris in water bodies, but also by hunters who capture these animals and sell them. There continue to be cases of illegal turtle captures in the Lake Okeechobee area. [Turtles Hunt in Okeechobee Area]

Trash Free Waters (2014-07-16)

Trash Free Waters (TFW) is a program developed by EPA with the purpose to educate, raise awareness, and encourage trash reduction in oceans and coasts. The public participants in the program include state and municipal governments, NGOs and business. [Trash Free Waters PPT]

Warm Water Precaution (2014-07-15)

Summer season is time to relax and travel. While enjoying beaches, springs and other water bodies, attention and care must be taken to avoid contamination and diseases, such as Naegleria fowleri infection. Some prevention steps are provided. [Warm Water Precaution] [Life Cycle] [Naegleria Temperature Chart]

Sea Level Rise Symposium (2014-07-15)

The Riverwatch summer intern and all the other Intelligentsia students attended the 2nd Annual Sea Level Rise Symposium held in West Palm Beach. It focused on how east coast cities must adapt to rising tides. [Group Photo] [Program] [Amanda (Riverwatch intern)]

Harborside Takes Shape (2014-07-15)

The Harborside Event Center will be expanded and connected to a planned Sheraton hotel. The project still needs Fort Myers City Council approval to advance. Lee County has been asked to contribute $4 million to the renovation effort. [News-Press.com]

Sea Level Rise Task Force (2014-07-15)

Due to concerns over sea levels rise, a report with recommendations to County leaders was produced by Miami-Dade County's Sea Level Rise Task Force. The recommendations include make the Everglades restoration a priority plan. [Broward/Palm Beach New Times]

Our Mismanagement of Water (2014-07-15)

The consequences of the humanity neglecting water challenges have already affecting all of us, from devastating floods to reflections on the economy. However, there still a lot that we still can do to mitigate these effects. [The Guardian]

LNG No Climate Benefits (2014-07-15)

Several researchers have shown the environmental impacts of the use of the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). Comparisons and projections support the arguments to that Liquefied Natural Gas should not be a priority for now or the future. [Climate Progress]

Community Forum (2014-07-09)

Join the SFWMD for the latest "first" in a series of planned Caloosahatchee Community Forums on Friday, Aug 8, 2014 at 1pm at the Riverside Community Center, 3061 E Riverside Dr, Ft. Myers. We've done it before, but need to do it again.
[Agenda] [Projects] [Criteria] [Engagement Rules] [Flier] [Web]

Barriers to Arsenic New Data (2014-07-08)

Recent studies have revealed that Arsenic is 17 times more toxic than previously believed. But EPA has not yet enacted new rules that take this into account. The reason is that Arsenic is so prevalent that addressing the problem will be expensive. [O89.3KPCC]

Ranchland-Ecology Hats (2014-07-07)

On June 6 the MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center(MAERC) hosted a program on beef cattle management. Ranchers learned more about landscape management and affordable, environmentally friendly techniques. [MacArthur Research Center]

Algaes Concern (2014-07-03)

The increasing in the algae population in the Southwest Florida waterways, including Lake Okeechobee, have concerning the academic and local population. The algae have disturbing the ecological equilibrium and threatening the community well-being. [ABC7 WZVN]

June CRCA Newsletter (2014-06-30)

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

Matt Caldwell at CRCA (2014-06-30)

State Representative Matt Caldwell spoke at the June Riverwatch meeting. He summarized the past legislative season in Tallahassee. He believes SW FL should not depend on others to solve its water problems but should strive to implement local projects [Mary Rawl & Matt Caldwell] [Photo gallery]

Caloosahatchee June 17 - 23 (2014-06-30)

The Caloosahatchee Condition Summary for June 17 - 24, 2014 brings data and information about the biological and physical situation of Caloosahatchee River. It also brings the impacts of these attributes may cause to the estuary environment. [June Condition Report]

Explanations (2014-06-30)

Rae Ann Wessel of SCCF explains. "In the dry season, we're usually asking for more water to the Estuary. When there's too much water, there's extra nutrient loads and low (salinity levels)." [News-press.com]

Has Hell Frozen Over? (2014-06-30)

Some thought it would never happen, but dirt will start to turn on initial phases of the C-43 West Reservoir. The project is intended to partially relieve dry season salinity problems is the Caloosahatchee Estuary. [Fort Myers Beach Talk]

Okeechobee Issues Event (2014-06-30)

On July 13 the Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina is holding an event to bring attention to water issues of Lake Okeechobee. Part of the money collected will be dedicated to organizations which work with water issues. [Digital Journal]

Water Infrastructure Finances (2014-06-30)

The Environmental Financial Center of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill received funds from EPA to finance to promote researches and technologies in stormwater and green infrastructure. [Environmental Finance Center] [EFC Resources] [EFC Events]

Caloosahatchee June 17 - 23 (2014-06-30)

Estuary salinity has remained within acceptable levels this dry season. With Lake O starting to rise and our daily thunderstorms starting to generate local runoff, average salinity should begin trending downward. [June Condition Report]

New Director: Ruth Scott (2014-06-30)

Ruth Scott is a new Riverwatch Director. Strongly concerned with environmental issues, she is always reporting on environmental topics, working with groups like Florida Clean Water Initiative and reducing her own impact on the environment. [RiverWatch Director Ruth Scott]

Southern Waters Toxic Pollution (2014-06-30)

Industrial activity in America has brought unintended consequences to the water quality of American waterways, and to the American people as well. The Environmental Protection Agency's Toxic Release Inventory lists some of these consequences. [EPA Toxic Release Inventory]

Lake Rising Again (2014-06-29)

Only a week behind its average turning point date, Lake Okeechobee began its wet season water level rise around June 10. As of June 29 it is at 13ft, 1ft lower than last year but 2ft more than 2 years ago. [Lake O Stage Graph (6/24)] [Current SFWMD Graph] [Current Corps Stage]

Improve Your Gardening Skills (2014-06-25)

Interested in plants management and how to improve your skills with plants? Come to discover and learn more about the benefits the native plants can bring! The meeting is going to be July 5, at Garden Center. Complete Information below. [Gardening Improvements] [Invitation]

Walking in the Wild Side (2014-06-25)

Have an amazing experience taking a walk on the wild side, discovering new plants species, meeting new people and having fun. The meeting is going to be on July 13, August 17 and September 7 in three different places. Complete information bellow. [Take a Walk on the Wild Side]

Kiker on C43 Reservoir (2014-06-24)

Larry Kiker writes, "Until the reservoir project is complete and other projects come online, we still must rely on Lake Okeechobee for needed freshwater releases." This reflects the severe limits of the reservoir to solve our water problems. [Kiker on C43 Reservoir]

Increasing the Water Releases (2014-06-24)

The Army Corps of Engineers have been allowing the increase of discharges from Okeechobee River to the Caloosahatchee. The measure aims avoid floods during the rainy season. [Increasing Water Releases ] [WZVN-HD]

No-show Rubio Shows Up (2014-06-24)

The U.S Sen. Marco Rubio was in Stuart on June 20 to discuss the St. Lucie River. After taking some abuses, Rubio said he supports diverting the lake water south rather than dumping it into local waterways.
[TC Palm] [WPTV]

Squeaky Wheel (2014-06-23)

On June 18 the Army Corps of Engineers decided to partially open the St. Lucie structure on Lake Okeechobee, backflowing water into Lake O. At the same time the Corps released water from Lake O to flow down the Caloosahatchee. [Palm Beach Post]

Bill for Toxic Algae Problems (2014-06-23)

U.S Senator Bill Nelson authored legislation to provide $82 million to help with the algae environmental problems in the Caloosahatchee River. The expectation is that the President Obama sign the bill into a law. [ABC-7] [S-1254] [GovTrack.us]

Treatment for Citrus Greening (2014-06-17)

The University of Florida's researches have successfully developing a treatment against a devastating disease in citrus trees in Florida. The treatment, which has been tested in laboratory only, is already to be tested in actual citrus groves. [Punta Gorda Herald]

Kids Outside (2014-06-17)

Outdoors recreation with parents can bring benefits to kids, beyond keeping them far from drugs and other social problems, Keep them together with their parents, beyond it could be an amazing experience. [OutdoorHub]

OK for Water Reuse (2014-06-17)

Oklahoma is generally known for its Congressmen and Senators who deny and ignore environmental problems. But water supply problems are causing them to begin pursuing water reuse as a way of addressing their shortages. [Water Reuse Bill]

Everglades Projects (2014-06-17)

Progress on Florida water bodies was achieved when impasses on two Everglades restoration projects were solved in June. These projects seek to achieve better flow patterns and improve water quality. [Everglades Projects Advance] [Miami Herald]

Support Limits on Carbon (2014-06-16)

EPA has established a new standard for carbon emissions from power plants in the U.S. The Climate Reality Project encourages you to let the EPA know your opinion on their efforts to slow climate change. [The Climate Reality Project]

Environmental Assessment (2014-06-16)

The assessment report for Fisheating Creek Wetlands Reserve Program describes the case and process for conservation easements within this highly sensitive and ecologically valuable watershed north of the Caloosahatchee Basin. [Environmental Assessment]

Everglades and Climate Change (2014-06-16)

Scientists have studying the impact that Climate Change may have in the Florida's water bodies, such as the Everglades. The consequences of such phenomenon would be sea level rise, tropical storms, and changes in landscape, among others. [Everglades Restoration] [Climate Change and Water Management] [Everglades Plan]

Few Wet Turkeys or Pork (2014-06-11)

Gov. Scott vetoed none of the $88.5 million in local water projects in the 2014-15 state budget. He vetoed more than $50 million in water projects during his previous 3 budgets. Only a very few water-related projects made the Taxwatch turkey list. [Water Projects Finances] [Taxwatch Turkeys Report]

Final Phase Of BP Oil Spill Trial (2014-06-11)

In 2010, SP and its partners were responsible for the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Almost four years later, the final phase of the judgmental case is in process. The U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is the responsible for the process. [Final BP Oil Spill Phase]

Water Issues in India (2014-06-11)

India has been at risk from the predicted El Nino this year. The phenomenon has affected the food supply in the country, and consequently the economy. The Indian government has been accused to be negligent in providing water services. [El Nino in India] [Water issues in India] [The Times of India]

US Water Utilities (2014-06-10)

The aging infrastructure of old water pipes in the US is an example of why utilities will have to increase water prices. Many thousands of communities will need to upgrade their infrastructure in coming decades. [Water Utilities]

Economic Benefits of Springs (2014-06-10)

Recent studies by The University of Florida show the economic and environmental benefits that springs can bring to the community and State. The research was conducted in ecosystems of North-Central Florida, where so many have been terribly degraded. [Spring Benefits]

Locking Okeechobee Waterway (2014-06-05)

Because of the decrease water level on Lake Okeechobee, the US Army Corps of Engineers of Jacksonville District announced this Thursday, June 5, restriction on lock operations in the waterways of the said Lake. Boaters also should be alerts. [US Amy Corps of Engineers]

Egg Is On Whose Face? (2014-06-05)

Rep. Matt Caldwell says UF/IFAS has egg on its face for reversing its decision to close the Immokalee Research Center after an outcry from local constituents. But isn't the egg really on the face of the state for cutting then re-funding IFAS? [Naples News]

Nargiza Abduvohidova (2014-05-31)

Added to the Riverwatch board of directors is Nargiza Abduvohidova. Nargiza serves as CRCA Membership Chair. She has a Master's Degree in Elementary Ed & is office manager of Alpha Epsilon Lambda, the national honor society of graduate students.

Ray Judah on Board (2014-05-31)

Joining the Riverwatch board of directors for the first time is Ray Judah, former Lee County Commissioner. Ray is currently working as coordinator of the Florida Coastal and Oceans Coalition. Ray was the most forceful river advocate in government. [Ray Judah Bio] [Florida Coastal & Ocean Coalition]

Four Directors Added (2014-05-31)

Riverwatch added four new directors to its roster at the May 7 meeting in LaBelle. Joining the board were: Ruth Scott, Ray Judah, Greg Rawl, and Nargiza Abduvohidova. The board now numbers 15 with 6 seats still available.

Silly Steps...Better Direction? (2014-05-31)

DEP Deputy Secretary for enforcement has resigned and is replaced by Clifford D. “Cliff” Wilson III. Littlejohn is known for ordering Connie Bersok, the agency’s leading wetlands expert, to approve a permit that she asserted violated state law. [St PetersBlog] [Clifford Wilson]

C-43 West Reservoir Authorized (2014-05-31)

The U.S. Senate on May 22 voted 91-7 to pass Water Resources Reform and Development act that authorizes $12.3 billion in water projects, including the $313 million C-43 West Reservoir. The bill now awaits Obama's signature. [The Hill] [WRRDA Text]

Sawfish Caught and Released (2014-05-31)

A group of friends caught a 6 1/2 foot sawfish off the banks of the Caloosahatchee River by the US-41 bridge on May 13. As an endangered species, landing smalltooth sawfish is illegal. They must be released as quickly and safely as possible. [FOX News] [Sawfish Catch Video]

CRCA Meeting & Program (2014-05-31)

The next CRCA meeting is on Jun 4 at 6pm followed by a program at 7pm with the guest speaker Rep. Matt Caldwell, Chair of the Florida House Ag and Natural Resources Subcommittee, who will provide an update on water projects in the basin. [Details]

Benaquisto on Water Quality (2014-05-31)

$18 million is set aside to clean & store polluted water from Lake O before it goes into the Caloosahatchee. Benacquisto says this project has been on the boards for a long time. Gov Scott is expected to approve the budget line. [Fox News] [Video]

Still Downward (2014-05-31)

Despite a couple of false starts upward earlier in May, Lake O water levels have continued to decline, now entering a more limited water use range. Statistics suggest another few weeks of falling water levels before the lake starts to rise. [May 27 Graph] [Palm Beach Post] [Current Graph]

Why Citrus Greening Matters (2014-05-31)

Insecticide use skyrocketed as farmer try to fight Citrus Greening. FL citrus growers now spend about $240 million a year on insecticides - 30% more than 2004, even though they're farming about 30% less land and yielding half as much fruit. [Huffington Post]

Are We All Drinking Drugs? (2014-05-29)

Recent researches have shown that sharks which live in the Caloosahatchee river area are contaminated with several different kinds of drugs. Riverwatch members and officers are quoted in a Florida Weekly story on pharmaceuticals in our local waters. [Florida Weekly]

Water Quality Reality (2014-05-29)

On May 8 Ray Judah, Florida Coastal and Oceans Coalition Coordinator, was in Fort Myers talking about the current problems that occur in the Caloosahatchee river. The spoke talked about several diverse and divergent problems around the River. [Ft. Myers Beach Talk]

Caloosahatchee River Meeting (2014-05-29)

The Audubon of Southwest Florida is glad to inform the interested that the Annual meeting about Caloosahatchee River will happen this Saturday, May 29, in the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium.

SW FL Waterways: Reminiscing (2014-05-29)

The Southwest Florida Watershed Council and the Calusa Nature Center and Planetarium are glad to invite all citizenship to meet and remember amazing experiences lived in the Southwest waterways of Florida. The event is June 7, 2014. [Flyer]

Paying for the L.A. Clean-up (2014-05-29)

The quality of water in Los Angeles and San Gabriel rivers' now are going to be a Los Angeles County responsibility by ruling of a U.S. Supreme Court decision. The costs of the process are going to be supported by Los Angeles' citizens in tax form. [Stormwater]

More Freshwater in Everglades (2014-05-29)

Officials need to rethink their prioritizing phosphorus reduction choice over water flow. Since the 1990s, progress has been made toward reducing phosphorus: Today, average phosphorus levels in water entering the central Everglades are 18 ppb. [Miami Herald]

Never Drink Purple Water (2014-05-28)

Water reuse brings benefits not only for the environment- it brings economic and social benefits as well. In terms of water reuse, the State of Florida has become a leader. Purple pipes and fixtures indicate recycled water. [SFWMD Press Release] [SFWMD News Site]

SFWMD Water Levels Positioned (2014-05-28)

The start of the wet season in Florida should bring consequences for the environmental and society in the south of the state. The South Florida Water Management district makes a prediction of these changes. [SFWMD Wet Season News Release] [Web site]

Caloosahatchee Condition Report (2014-05-28)

Caloosahatchee River salinity has crept up as water managers reduce releases from Lake Okeechobee. But onset of the summer rains will keep salinity below harmful levels. The only question is when the waters will become too fresh. [Caloosahatchee Conditions Report ] [SCCF Website]

Pieces of the Water Puzzle (2014-05-28)

Given divergent political and environmental tasks and interests, achieving water quality restoration requires economic, political, and public support. The News Press outlines current projects and the history of water quality efforts in our region. [News Press]

Silver Bullet? Use It Now! (2014-05-28)

The discharges that have occurring in the Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie River, Indian River Lagoon and Caloosahatchee Estuaries have been catching the public and political attention for a solution with efficiency and applicability now. [Palm Beach Post]

Memorial Day 2050 (2014-05-28)

The environmental issues our society now face challenge us to address our system of "development" in a more sustainable way. With the responsibility of a new future in our hands, alternatives stands out to help us to reach this goal. [New York Times]

Waste Of Money (2014-05-07)

According to Ray Judah, the Everglades resoration plan is a bad idea because there is not enough water going to the Everglades. He says we need to provide storage of water released from Lake O, treat it and then send it south. [Florida Watchdog] [Land Needed] [Video]

LA Must Clean Up (2014-05-07)

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court will protect millions of people living near and visiting Los Angeles rivers and beaches from the harmful effects of water pollution. Los Angeles County must now clean up its toxic discharges. [Storm Water Solutions]

Septic Tanks Dominate (2014-05-07)

The nitrate polluting one central Florida spring travels 10 years from source to spring. Sources, past and present include: 40% - septic tanks, then cattle ranches, horse farms, drainage wells, and residential fertilizer. [Ocala News]

Slow Progress (2014-05-07)

The Kissimmee project is vital for the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon because it would slow the flow of polluted water into Lake O. The Kissimmee restoration project will add about 100,000 acre-feet of water storage. [TC Palm] [Role of Kissimmee]

Change Requires Risk (2014-05-06)

All too common in the FL environmental saga is a retired DEP or WMD employee/leader telling the public how terrible their agency & the legislature was and is. Complaining while employed risks their job & promotions, so best to wait until retirement. [Rattler News]

Surprising Find in Cure Search (2014-05-06)

Citrus Greening is a hardship for growers. UF researchers discovered citrus greening attacks roots long before the leaves show signs of damage. Early root loss severely compromises citrus tree health long before the grower even knows it is infected. [UF News]

Lake O Turns Corner (2014-05-06)

On May 4, Lake Okeechobee changed from a trend of decreasing stage (volume) to a trend of increasing stage. Thus, it appears the dry season may be ending for this year without the Caloosahatchee having suffered any low flow (high salinity) problems. [Lake O Stage] [Graph] [Current Data]

Nelson Gets Involved (2014-05-06)

On May 1, Sen. Bill Nelson said the EPA should get involved in the SW FL fracking issue by reviewing deep injection wells that store the massive fracking waste water. DEP has also stepped in to halt drilling at 5 sites pending additional review. [LA Times]

Don Chambers at FGCU (2014-05-06)

Dr. Don P. Chambers speaks at the FL Native Plant Soc meeting on Sat, May 17 at FGCU. His research documents a 60-yr sea level oscillation. This supports beliefs that sea level rise is not as dramatic or immediately threatening as IPCC reports claim. [Announcement] [Research] [Florida Native Plant Society]

Seagrass Need Protection (2014-05-06)

In places where habitat loss harms fish, protection and restoration are a very real opportunity says a new study. Every acre of seagrass could add US$80,000 of commercially important fish to the oceans every year. [National Gepgraphic] [Sunken Billions] [Report]

House Drops The Ball (2014-05-05)

The Florida Senate took an important step in the effort to protect Florida’s springs and groundwater by unanimously passing the Springs and Aquifer Protection Act. Taking up the bill at this point would a logistical hurdle according to Weatherford. [FCC Legislative Update] [Senate Bill 1576]

Boaters vs Manatees (2014-05-05)

A Citrus County business group want manatees off the endangered species list so boat speeds can increase. They are suing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saying protecting manatees hurts their fishing and tourism profits. [Naples News]

Scientists as Bureaucrats (2014-05-05)

According to a report released by the National Science Foundation Board, excessive regulations are consuming scientists's time and wasting taxpayer dollars. The report recommends how to reduce principal investigators' administrative workloads. [National Science Foundation] [Report]

Energy Efficiency (2014-05-05)

A new study by ACEEE shows how the EPA could use four common energy efficiency policies to set a carbon pollution standard that reduces emissions to 26% below 2012 levels. ACEEE executive director Steven Nadel says energy efficiency is the answer. [ACEEE] [A New Study]

Apr 29 Condition Report (2014-05-05)

For the period Apr 22-28, average flow at S-79 was 457 cfs. Advocates had requested average flows of 650 to 800 cfs. Estuary salinity was 3.8 - 8.3 psu. The average salinity at Shell Point (30 psu) was slightly above the optimal range for oysters. [Condtion Report] [Salinity Graph] [Past Reports]

Be Part of The Solution (2014-05-05)

Say YES to clean water and NO to dirty drilling. On May 17, join hands in Naples - ground zero for fracking in Florida, and call on policymakers to reject dirty drilling in our watershed and Everglades. [Event Details] [Some Good News] [Facebook] [Map]

Annual Earth Week Event (2014-05-01)

Earth Week is held at the Hendry House and LaBelle Nature Park. Kids participate in 5, 20-minute presentations & activities on natural resource issues. Among the expense sponsors are Rotary, Kiwanis, & Hendry/LaBelle Recreation Board. [Exhibits 1] [Exhibits 2] [Exhibits 3]

April CRCA Newsletter (2014-04-30)

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

$ for St Lucie & Caloosahatchee (2014-04-29)

Senator Negron announced that lawmakers have agreed to fund short and long-term recommendations to improve the environmental and economic health of the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee River systems and the Indian River Lagoon. [Press Release] [More Information] [IRLLOB Report]

BOMA Land (2014-04-29)

Lee County and the SFWMD bought the Boma property in 2007 to improve water quality in Caloosahatchee. Three impoundments will store up to 651.7 million gallons of water, but to get to that point, the district needs money according to Steve Sentes. [News Press] [Comments] [Boma Land]

Earth Week 2014 (2014-04-29)

CRCA & Audubon director Margaret England is once again hosting the Earth Week activities to 1000 Grade 2-4 students in Hendry & Glades Counties. This year Riverwatch & Intelligentsia are doing climate change & solar energy presentations. [Presentation] [Solar Panels] [Hendry House]

Sailing With Henry Mox (2014-04-29)

After a long day of Earth Week presentations, CRCA members & volunteers took a boat ride with member Henry Mox. Henry arrived in LaBelle Saturday from Michigan via Key West on his way sailing to Europe. He gave his new crew some sailing lessons. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3]

Judge Rules in Favor of Estuary (2014-04-26)

The Conservancy of SW FL won a court ruling against SFWMD's attempt to structure its Rservation Rule to exclude reopening of existing and new water use permits for reductions when the C43 reservoir fails to eliminate low flow violations. [Court Ruling on C43 Reservoir]

Stuff Needs Fixin (2014-04-25)

American Society of Civil Engineers says that lots of money needs to be spent on water infrastructure due to decades of delayed maintenance & underinvestment. $1 trillion is needed over the next 25 years to replace just the water pipes. [Circle of Blue] [Report Card]

Additional Briefing Needed (2014-04-25)

The CEPP final report has been presented to Corps leadership at the CWRB in D.C. to discuss the recommended plan to restore the central Everglades. Additional time is needed to finalize the document assessment prior to releasing the report. [Dredging Today] [Project Fact Sheet]

April 22 Condition Report (2014-04-24)

For the period Apr 15-21 average flow at S-79 was 800–1,000 cfs. Advocates had requested average flows of 650 to 800 cfs. Estuary salinity was 5.0 - 8.9 psu. Low salinity zones are expanding the habitat volume for larval fishes and invertebrates. [Condtion Report] [Salinity Graph] [Past Reports]

Delay In Restoration (2014-04-24)

The Army Corps of Engineers voted to delay Everglades restoration projects. Eric Eikenberg said the Army Corps will be held responsible for future environmental and economic damage, and that they are stumbling past important deadlines. [News Press] [Comments] [Rae Ann Wessel Explanation] [CEPP]

Q&A with John Capece (2014-04-24)

Roger Williams, a writer for Florida Weekly is looking at the growing problem of pharmaceuticals in the Caloosahatchee and tributaries, and by extension at the general health of the river. CRCA Secretary John Capece gives his comments to Roger. [Interview]

Community Impact Grant (2014-04-24)

Come and discover next ideas with Southwest Florida Community Foundation June 11, 8am- 2pm. You can be part of the design of ideas to sparke regional change. More details will be unveiled on May 11. [Flyer] [Website]

Rally Against Power Plant (2014-04-24)

Seminoles and Environmental groups called for support against FPL power plants in the Everglades. They fear impacts on their drinking water and other aspects of the regional environment. Others simply want no more fossil fuel power plants built. [More Information] [Flyer] [Banner] [Everglades Earth First] [Facebook] [Video]

Wanted Dead & Filleted (2014-04-24)

Since Lionfish were first reported off Lee County in 2011, they've become increasingly prevalent and more of a threat to local fish populations. Marine scientists have organized a Lionfish fest because the fish is very bad but taste good. [News Press] [Video] [Lionfish Fest]

May 7 CRCA Meeting (2014-04-23)

The next Riverwatch Board of Directors Meeting will be held on Wednesday May 7 at Bridge Street Coffee Shop at 23 Ft. Thompson Ave (west of Bridge St) in LaBelle at 6:30pm. [Map]

Q&A With Rob Moher (2014-04-23)

The Conservancy focus on the critical environmental issues related to Southwest Florida, with a mission to protect our water, land and wildlife. The organization's President & CEO Rob Moher answers questions about their work. [News Press] [Website]

Big Turnaround (2014-04-23)

Scott's fertilizer is making changes of substance and style to adapt to a new residential consumer who is concerned about not only their lawn, but the environment beyond their own yard. Some companies embrace change. [Scotts Miracle-Gro]

Coastal Restoration vs Oil (2014-04-23)

For every $1 million invested in coastal restoration, 17 jobs were created on average according to a new report. That’s almost double the 8.9 created per $1 million invested in offshore oil and gas development. Benefits include improved fish stocks. [Climate Progress] [Report]

Land Use Rules Violated (2014-04-22)

According to Darla Letourneau, the Lee County Board of County Commissioners did not follow their county attorney’s legal advice on the River Hall comp plan amendment. Neither are they following the law or protecting the taxpayers. Videlock disagree. [News Press] [Property Rights by Larry Videlock]

I-75 Bridge Building (2014-04-22)

Expanding the lanes of an interstate bridge poses a challenge to ensuring that sensitive areas of the environment are protected. According to Steve Coker, the "top-down" approach being used in this project, lessens environmental encroachments. [News Press] [I- 75 Project] [Photo]

DEP Busts Oil Company (2014-04-22)

The Florida DEP revealed that it has fined the Dan A. Hughes Co. $25,000 for violating its permit for one of its wells in Collier County in an area surrounded by the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, which is a major nesting site for wood storks. [Tampa Bay Times]

Florida Water Resources (2014-04-22)

Victoria Tschinkel says we have a House of Representatives who will spend only enough money, when available and convenient, to try to forestall the total collapse of our water systems. Tschinkel doubts Mother Nature is impressed by the governor. [Sun Sentinel]

Friends of The Parks (2014-04-21)

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

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

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

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

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

Backpumping Saves Homes? (2014-04-21)

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

Lake O Water South (2014-04-21)

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

Most Endangered Rivers (2014-04-18)

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

A Sweet Victory (2014-04-18)

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

DEP Ignores Protection (2014-04-18)

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

Mayors Team Up (2014-04-18)

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

Condition Report (2014-04-17)

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

Not Without a Fight (2014-04-17)

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

Money vs. People (2014-04-17)

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

Headed Toward Collapse (2014-04-17)

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

SB 1464 Decleared Dead (2014-04-16)

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

Rare Whooping Crane (2014-04-16)

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

Additional Storage Needed (2014-04-16)

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

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

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

C43 West Reservoir (2014-04-16)

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

Tell Congress (2014-04-15)

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

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

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

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

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

Population On The Rise (2014-04-15)

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

Public Discuss Oil Drilling (2014-04-15)

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

Seeking Board Members (2014-04-14)

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

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

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

FCC Legislative Action Alert (2014-04-08)

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

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

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

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

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

New Riverwatch Officers (2014-04-08)

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

CRCA President Mary Rawl (2014-04-08)

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

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

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

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

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

DEP Secretary Discussion (2014-04-04)

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

Condition Report (2014-04-04)

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

House Bill 71 (2014-04-03)

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

Big Announcement From EPA (2014-04-03)

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

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

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

EPA News Notes (2014-04-03)

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

Joint Ceitus Discussions (2014-04-02)

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

Watershed Stewards Course (2014-04-02)

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

Senate Bill 1464 (2014-04-02)

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

Flushing Away the Future (2014-04-02)

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

Tribes Prepared to Fight (2014-04-02)

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

One Hour Workshop (2014-04-01)

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

Climate Change Warning (2014-04-01)

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

Fix Filthy Deluge (2014-04-01)

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

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

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

EPA Asserts CWA Upstream (2014-04-01)

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

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

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

March CRCA Newsletter (2014-03-30)

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

Earth Day in LaBelle (2014-03-30)

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

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

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

Victory in Court! (2014-03-29)

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

River Hall (2014-03-27)

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

Florida Native Americans (2014-03-27)

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

New CRCA Directors (2014-03-25)

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

Protect Florida Waters (2014-03-19)

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

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

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

Coal Ash Ponds Pollution (2014-03-17)

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

Global Warming (2014-03-17)

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

Harmful Water Grab Bill (2014-03-17)

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

Flood Insurance Reprieve (2014-03-17)

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

Innovation in Water Space (2014-03-13)

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

Making Problems Worse (2014-03-12)

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

Liquid Courage (2014-03-12)

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

Public Hearing Gets Loud (2014-03-12)

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

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

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

Private Landowners (2014-03-12)

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

Now Is The Time (2014-03-12)

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

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

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

Not a Political Game (2014-03-11)

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

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

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

Move Water South (2014-03-11)

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

BP Environmental Damage (2014-03-10)

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

County Buying Property (2014-03-10)

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

Regional Park Programs (2014-03-10)

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

Activists Beg The State (2014-03-07)

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

Reservoir Project Funding (2014-03-06)

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

Local Wetlands Destruction (2014-03-06)

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

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

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

Conservancy Evenings (2014-03-06)

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

Flows Have Declined (2014-03-06)

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

Conservation Land (2014-03-05)

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

Water for Energy (2014-03-05)

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

Setting a Precedent (2014-03-05)

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

Water Woes Are Urgent (2014-03-05)

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

Flood Insurance (2014-03-05)

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

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

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

Riverwatch at Harns Marsh (2014-03-04)

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

Dry Season (2014-03-04)

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

Water Storage (2014-03-04)

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

Climate Change Primer (2014-03-04)

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

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

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

Corkscrew (2014-03-04)

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

Plan 6 Dead (2014-03-04)

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

Oil in Everglades (2014-03-04)

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

Decades of Delays (2014-03-03)

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

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

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

Phil Buchanan Opinion (2014-03-03)

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

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

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

Possibility for El Niño (2014-02-28)

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

Wayne Daltry Editorial (2014-02-28)

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

Cassani & Daltry Comment (2014-02-28)

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

Future Climate Change (2014-02-28)

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

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

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

Coral-Killing Sponges (2014-02-27)

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

LaBelle Nature Park Tour (2014-02-27)

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

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

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

Cassani Letter (2014-02-27)

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

Canoe Contest Winners (2014-02-27)

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

Dispersed Storage (2014-02-26)

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

SFWMD Responds! (2014-02-26)

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

Impaired Waters (2014-02-26)

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

Canoe Contest Winner! (2014-02-24)

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

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

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

2014 CRCA Annual Meeting (2014-01-23)

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

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

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

Increase In Wading Birds (2014-02-20)

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

Negron Press Release (2014-02-20)

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

Flood Insurance Costs (2014-02-20)

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

Lake O Restoration Plans (2014-02-20)

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

CRCA Cap is Cool (2014-02-20)

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

Water Pollution Fight (2014-02-19)

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

Riverwatch President Opinion (2014-02-21)

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

Caloosahatchee Projects (2014-02-19)

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

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

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

Florida Crisis Mode (2014-02-19)

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

Rally in Tally (2014-02-19)

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

West Coast Projects Presentation (2014-02-17)

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

Riverwatch at Tally Rally (2014-02-19)

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

Insurance Must Reflect Risks (2014-02-17)

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

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

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

Watershed Council Meeting (2014-02-17)

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

Citrus Greening Disease (2014-02-17)

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

Case on Flood Rates (2014-02-14)

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

Pine Island Shrimp Farms (2014-02-17)

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

More Drilling Off Florida (2014-02-14)

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

Caloosahatchee Reservoir (2014-02-14)

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

Increase in Manatees (2014-02-14)

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

Water Managers (2014-02-13)

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

Graham Blasts Scott (2014-02-14)

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

High Flow (2014-02-13)

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

The Future is Here (2014-02-13)

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

SCCF Interactive Programs (2014-02-12)

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

Vortex Slows & Wobble (2014-02-12)

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

Air Potato Roundup (2014-02-12)

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

Florida Needs to Act (2014-02-12)

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

California Drought (2014-02-12)

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

Meet the Nexus Guide (2014-02-12)

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

Southwest Weirs Project (2014-02-11)

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

Water Supply Plan Update (2014-02-11)

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

Clash Over Nutrient Content (2014-02-13)

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

League of Cities Deception (2014-02-11)

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

Muddying the Chesapeake (2014-02-11)

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

Green Mussels (2014-02-10)

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

Dock Fees Protest (2014-02-10)

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

Arctic Lakes Losing Ice (2014-02-10)

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

Canoe at Swamp Cabbage (2014-01-30)

The Win-A-Canoe Contest is back again this year thanks to The Seminole Tribe of Florida, Inc. You can buy tickets online, at Estero Outfitters, from CRCA directors, or at the Swamp Cabbage Festival's Riverwatch exhibit, Feb 22-23 in LaBelle. [Contest Poster] [Tickets by Email] [Tickets Online]

DEP Presentation to CRCA (2014-02-10)

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

UF Water Institute Symposium (2014-02-11)

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

More Water Flow Needed (2014-02-07)

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

Kicking the Can (2014-02-07)

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

Mineral Rights on Preserves (2014-02-07)

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

Water Threat (2014-02-05)

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

Drop in the Bucket (2014-02-04)

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

Flow and Nitrate (2014-01-30)

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

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

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

CRCA February Meeting (2014-01-23)

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

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

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

Many Pilot Whales Dead (2014-01-28)

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

Wetlands Disappearing Faster (2014-01-28)

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

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

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

Big “O” Birding Festival (2014-01-28)

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

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

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

SAV in Estuary 1984 (2014-01-28)

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

Shared Blame for Dredging (2014-01-26)

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

Riverwatch Interns Go Solar (2014-01-27)

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

Record-breaking Donor (2014-01-25)

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

FGCU Service Learning Fair (2014-01-25)

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

February Meeting Speakers (2014-01-25)

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

Neighborhood Lakes (2014-01-23)

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

SCCF Hosts Influential Pollster (2014-01-23)

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

Service Learning Contact (2014-01-22)

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

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

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

Water Conference Organizing (2014-01-22)

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

Organization Mission & Issues (2014-01-22)

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

Membership (2014-01-22)

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

History of the Organization (2014-01-22)

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

Water Conference SOPs (2014-01-22)

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

Other River Projects (2014-01-22)

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

Nature Park Plant IDs (2014-01-22)

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

River Ride Organizing (2014-01-22)

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

CRCA Website (2014-01-22)

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

FGCU Information Tables (2014-01-22)

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

Swamp Cabbage Festival (2014-01-22)

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

Labelle Nature Park (2014-01-22)

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

Protest Water Quality (2014-01-21)

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

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

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

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

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

Salinity Approaches Harm (2014-01-20)

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

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

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

Yet Another Algae Toxin (2014-01-20)

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

Surface Water Withdrawals (2014-01-20)

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

Whales Make Wrong Turn (2014-01-20)

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

Spreader Canal Project (2014-01-20)

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

Water Rights & Wrongs (2014-01-17)

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

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

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

Watershed Council at FGCU (2014-01-17)

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

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

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

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

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

Everglades Restoration Memorial (2014-01-17)

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

Land Purchase Amendment (2014-01-17)

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

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

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

Cape Coral Cruise Club (2014-01-16)

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

Everglades Needs Freshwater (2014-01-16)

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

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

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

Delay in Flood Insurance (2014-01-15)

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

Distilling Corps Comments (2014-01-15)

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

Everglades Invaders (2014-01-15)

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

Charade (2014-01-15)

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

Water Protest Killings (2014-01-14)

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

Corps at EvCo Caloosahatchee (2014-01-14)

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

Algae Blooms Return (2014-01-14)

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

Hicpochee Slough Projects (2014-01-14)

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

Ceitus Saga Continues (2014-01-14)

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

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

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

Compliance Costs vs Profits (2014-01-13)

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

Caloosahatchee Tours (2014-01-13)

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

Oil Spill Fines (2014-01-13)

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

The Lost Summer (2014-01-10)

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

Water Pollution Limits (2014-01-09)

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

Redirecting Flatwoods Runoff (2014-01-09)

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

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

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

Arrested Enforcement (2014-01-09)

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

Try, Try Again (2014-01-09)

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

EPA v Poultry Grower (2014-01-08)

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

Watershed Moment (2014-01-08)

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

FDACS Water Initiative (2014-01-08)

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

Wind Turbines & Birds (2014-01-08)

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

Our Opinion Endangered (2014-01-07)

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

Shrimp Festival (2014-01-07)

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

Water Top Regional Issue (2014-01-07)

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

Reservoir Not Much Use (2014-01-07)

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

Lake O Disgusting (2014-01-07)

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

Waterway Distress (2014-01-07)

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

Florida SEE Grapevine (2014-01-06)

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

Growing Ceitus Insistence (2014-01-06)

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

Caloosahatchee River Too Salty (2014-01-06)

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

Starfish Are Dying (2014-01-06)

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

Fort Myers Downtown Basin (2014-01-06)

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

Warmest November (2013-12-18)

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

Sea Level Rise (2013-12-18)

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

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

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

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

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

Weather Impact on Manatees (2013-12-17)

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

Achieving Efficient Misdirection (2013-12-17)

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

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

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

Red Algae Invade Beaches (2013-12-16)

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

Teen Clean Up Caloosahatchee (2013-12-16)

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

Water Resources Development Act (2013-12-15)

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

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

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

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

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

Economic Impact Data Survey (2013-12-13)

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

Sugar Money to Committee (2013-12-13)

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

Real Estate Divestment (2013-12-12)

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

Salvaging Trust (2013-12-11)

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

Rain Gardens (2013-12-11)

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

2014 Donations and Dues (2013-12-11)

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

Love The Lake (2013-12-11)

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

River-Aquifer Connections (2013-12-11)

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

Wolves in Sheep Clothing