January 31, 2015

River news

Water Resources Conference

February 6, 2015 at Florida Gulf Coast University.

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Pumping into Nicodemus Slough (2015-01-31)

Storing water in places like Nicodemus Slough, located adjacent Fisheating Creek and Lake Okeechobee, is one way SFWMD is limiting excess flows to the Caloosahatchee during this abnormally wet year for Lake O. [WPTV, Jan 30] [WPTV, Jan 14]

A Land Remembered (2015-01-27)

On Jan 28 Patrick Smith's son Rick will talk about his father and the extraordinary experiences that enabled him to write about Florida pioneer, the Seminoles and others in World War II. The program starts at 7pm at LaBelle High School Auditorium. [Flier]

Riverkeeper Speaker Rescheduled (2015-01-21)

This season's flu requires that we reschedule the Indian Riverkeeper presentation by Marty Baum. Watch this web page for future updates on when Marty can come talk to us. Get well soon Marty!

650 million to 1 (2015-01-16)

NOAA and NASA say 2014 was the hottest ever recorded (135 years of data). The odds are 650 million to 1 it's just a fluke that earth's 10 hottest years have all happened since 2000. [News Press] [Earth Temps]

Indian Riverkeeper Presentation (2015-01-08)

The Indian Riverkeeper, Marty Baum, delivers a presentation to Caloosahatchee Riverwatch at 7pm on Thursday, Jan 22, at the Calusa Nature Center in Ft Myers. He will describe his experience as the local member of the national Waterkeeper Alliance. [Indian Riverkeeper] [Waterkeeper Alliance] [PRESENTATION POSTPONED!!!!]

Florida Makes Top 10 (2015-01-03)

Florida ranks in the top 10 of state corruption according to a survey of journalists by Harvard researchers. The survey looked at legal and illegal corruption in the executive, legislative and judicial branches. AZ was most corrupt and MA least. [Research Seminar] [Harvard Center for Ethics]

December CRCA Newsletter (2014-12-31)

The December 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. [December Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

Caloosahatchee & Lake O Status (2014-12-31)

Lake O level was 15.25 ft on Dec 23. Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,483 cfs over the past week with 53% of flow originating from the watershed. The salinity at Iona (14 psu) this week was in the optimal range for oysters. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [Lake O Stage & Forecasts] [SCCF Web Site]

Officials May Gut 20/20 (2014-12-31)

Lee County Commissioners Brian Hamman and Larry Kiker may undermine voter desires by gutting the Conservation 20/20 program. While attempting to maintain the appearance of support, their strategy appears to be to eliminate the bulk of the funds.
[Hamman Defunding] [Kiker Defunding]

Blackfish & Competition Affect SeaWorld (2014-12-31)

SeaWorld CEO resigns after a 40% drop in stock prices. The Blackfish documentary criticizing Orca treatment in the park is part of the cause, but declining attendance is also due to increased competition from parks like Universal Studios. [Stockholders Class Action] [SeaWorld Press Release] [Cartoon] [Video Report]

Lt Gen Bostick Signs CEPP Report (2014-12-31)

The long awaited approval of the Corps of Engineers "Chief's Report" on the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEEP) has happened. Final approval of this 8000-page document clears the way for the next step - federal funding. [Palm Beach Post] [Corps Press Release] [TC Palm] [LTG Bostick] [Future Posting Location]

Donate & Support 20 Years (2014-12-31)

2015 is here and it's time to renew your membership & donate to Riverwatch. This is our 20th Anniversary and you can help revitalize the organization as it restructures for its ongoing mission to help make SW FL a better place to live. [Pay Dues & Donate Online]

Environmental Top 10 (2014-12-31)

Bruce Ritchie of SaintPetersBlog has assembled his list of Florida's top 10 environmental stories of 2014. Whether candidates or elected officials want to acknowledge it’s true, the environment always is important in Florida. [SaintPetersBlog]

Pope on Destruction of Creation (2014-12-30)

Pope Francis will officially urge Catholics to push for action on climate change. He stated "Climate change, the loss of biodiversity and deforestation are already showing their devastating effects in the great cataclysms we witness.” [Ars Technica] [Opponents Quickly React] [The Atlantic] [The New Republic]

Vegans Save 1100 gal/day (2014-12-30)

Animal agriculture is the most destructive industry on earth. However the cattle industry denies it. It behooves the rest of us to learn the truth and act upon it right away or we won’t have a habitable planet. [Gainesville Sun] [CowSpiracy]

Cruising the River with NOAA (2014-12-30)

Riverwatch often gets requests asking where to find nautical charts or the Caloosahatchee. NOAA offers charts of the entire US coastline, including the Caloosahatchee Estuary and the Okeechobee Waterway from the Gulf to the Atlantic. [Caloosahatchee Estuary Chart] [Caloosahatchee - Okeechobee Waterway Chart] [Online Charts]

Lake Erie Dreaded Algae Blooms (2014-12-30)

Ohio’s lawmakers are taking their first step toward slowing the spread of algae in Lake Erie since a toxin contaminated the drinking water for more than 400,000 people. Dredging sediment from the lake and livestock manure spreading on the fields.... [The State]

Ag Water News from FDACS (2014-12-30)

The FL Dept of Ag newsletter describes BMP of SW FL farmers & ranchers. 90% of eligible acres are enrolled in the BMP program. But BMPs do not assure that a farm is sustainable, just less unsustainable. But BMPs are better than doing nothing. [Fall 2014 Newsletter] [BMP Enrollment Map (Sep 2014)] [Unsustainable Ag]

Denying Motion to Dismiss (2014-12-30)

Another milestone was reached on the long trek towards holding DEP and Cape Coral accountable for their misdeeds in removing the Ceitus Boat Lift more than 6 years ago. A judge ruled to deny their motion to dismiss CRCA & others' case against them. [Court Ruling] [Cartoon]

California Drought Bill (2014-12-30)

California politicians are making a push to get drought legislation through Congress. Their bill would send more water to farmers in the San Joaquin Valley at the expense of other uses. This is a vision of the future water-scarce world competition. [The Sacramento Bee]

Big O Birding Festival 2015 (2014-12-30)

The 14th Annual Big “O” Birding Festival 2015 registration is open! The festival is a Hendry County event organized to showcase the migratory and resident birds located in South Central Florida near the Southwest shores of Lake Okeechobee. [Registration Info] [Web Site]

Water Storage Costs Audit (2014-12-30)

A SFWMD audit found paying ranches to absorb flood waters costs $100/acre-ft compared to $8 on public land, whereas centralized deep reservoirs costs $167. CRCA requested such an accounting be done many years ago. It is essential for good planning. [Palm Beach Post] [SFWMD Audit]

Florida Has a Fracking Problem (2014-12-30)

Florida's utilities – Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy – want permission from utility regulators to charge consumers for its fracking exploration for natural gas reserves in other states. [Orlando Sentinel]

Elections Have Consequences (2014-12-30)

This is just like the banking deregulation, letting them get into tangential, risky businesses with government protections as well as monopoly status. How bizarre a twist is that on the traditional approach to regulated monopolies. Very scary! [News Press]

Moonlight on the Marsh Lectures (2014-12-30)

Some of the world’s most distinguished experts on coastal landscape ecology, hydrology and ecological engineering will share their knowledge during The Bernard and Susan Master “Moonlight on the Marsh” 2015 lecture series presented by FGCU. [Flier] [Details]

30 Days of Flooding by 2050 (2014-12-30)

A new report from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)finds that much of the coastal United States will see more than 30 days of flooding by 2050, due to sea level rise. [Huffington Post]

Floridians for Clean Water Rally (2014-12-30)

Put Feb 18 on your calendar & start making plans to travel to Tallahassee for the clean water and Amendment 1 rally to make sure legislators properly implement the voters' constitutional amendment. “Talk water” with your own legislator. [Invitation] [FCWD Campaign] [Graphic] [Web Site] [Facebook] [Photos]

Audit Dispersed Water (2014-12-30)

Timothy Beirnes, CPA, Inspector General and Jankie Bhagudas, CPA, Lead Consulting Auditor prepared a report with an objective primarily focused on assessing the effectiveness of the District's Dispersed Water Management Program and comparison. [Report]

Ocean Acidification (2014-12-30)

The mortality of larval Pacific oysters in Northwest hatcheries has been linked to ocean acidification. Yet the rate of increase in CO2 in the atmosphere and the decrease of pH in near-shore waters are severe enough to cause the die-offs. [Natioanl Science Foundation]

Pendergrass Double-talk (2014-12-30)

Lee Co Commissioner Cecil Pendergrass responded to a News-Press commentary regarding changing rural land designations telling residents that they are nowhere near becoming a replica of Miami. What he doesn't say is that his actions move them nearer. [Pendergrass] [Mann] [News Press Opinion]

Windfall Water Storage Revenue (2014-12-29)

SFWMD approved water storage agreements with various land owners including $136 million to Alico in Hendry Co. Alico will store 100,000 acre-ft of river watershed water at a cost of $120 per acre-ft per year for 11 years. [Sunday News] [Palm Beach Post]

Jon Steverson New DEP Head (2014-12-29)

On Dec 11 Governor Rick Scott announced the appointment of Jonathan P. Steverson as Secretary of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, effective Dec 29. The appointment met with mixed reviews from environmentalists. [Details] [WFSU]

14-year Drought in SW USA (2014-12-29)

Lake Mead behind Hoover Dam is at the lowest level since the reservoir was created 75 years ago. If the drought, which began in 2000, continues into 2016, ag irrigation water users will be cut off, eliminating much of the farming in the region. [AzCentral]

Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper (2014-12-29)

Biscayne Bay Waterkeeper defends, protects, and preserves Biscayne Bay and surrounding waters through citizen involvement and community action. BBWK works to ensure swimmable, drinkable, fishable water in Biscayne Bay for all. [Web Site]

SWFL Water Quality Projects (2014-12-29)

The South Florida Water Management District and dozens of water quality scientists, elected officials and environmental groups met to discuss options at a Caloosahatchee River forum on Dec 2, 2014. [News Press] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5]

Happy 20th Anniversary FL-CWN! (2014-12-29)

20 years ago this month, the Florida Clean Water Network was born. Initially it was just a handful of state affiliates of national groups. Today the network has over 300 groups and thousands of individuals, and is still growing. Happy Anniversary! [Details] [Web Site]

Sugar Hill Sector Plan Rejected (2014-12-29)

The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity rejected the 67-square-mile “Sugar Hill” sector plan sought by U.S. Sugar and Hilliard Brothers of Florida in Hendry County. The sector plan now looks at a new city on the southern shores of Lake O. [The Palm Beach Post] [Map]

Holiday Party at Hendry House (2014-12-04)

It was a beautiful December evening at the Captain Hendry House in LaBelle for the CRCA annual holiday party. More than 30 members, family and friends gather for good food and fellowship. Thanks to all the great cooks who brought specialties. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5] [Photo 7]

November CRCA Newsletter (2014-12-01)

The November 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. [November Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

New DEP Secretary (2014-11-30)

Clifford Wilson takes over as Interim DEP Secretary upon the resignation of Hershel Vinyard who departs on the heels of Rick Scott's re-election as Governor. Wilson ran the DEP regulatory program that was criticized for lack of enforcement actions. [Tampa Bay Times] [SaintPetersBlog] [Clifford Wilson] [Previous Clifford Wilson News]

18th Annual River Ride (2014-11-30)

Over 50 riders braved cold, wind, & rain to participate in the 18th Annual CRCA Caloosahatchee River Ride. The annual fund raising event is a safe event thanks to escorts by Hendry County Sheriff's deputies. [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Photo 4] [Photo 5] [No shows]

20th Anniversary Celebration (2014-11-30)

Save the date! On April 1, 2015 plan to attend a very special 20th anniversary celebration of the founding of Riverwatch. Hosting the event will be the Ft. Myers News-Press. CRCA was born in 1995 after a community forum organized by the News-Press.

CNC December 2014 Schedule (2014-11-30)

On Dec 4 - Learning to live in harmony with SW Florida’s unique insects, birds, mammals and other wildlife is easy when you understand, know and respect them. SCCF's own Dee Century will explain with pictures and video. FREE with paid admission. [December 2014 Schedule]

Landslide for Land Buy (2014-11-30)

Floridians spoke clearly, with 75% of voters approving a constitutional amendment to dedicate money to conservation and recreation. Next will be for lawmakers to implement it properly...or again attempt to thwart the desires of voters. [News Press Editorial] [SCCF] [Miami Herald]

River Hall Development Density Debate (2014-11-30)

Changing Lee County's Comprehensive Plan to allow for a 50 percent increase in density, in what up to now has been called rural lands, may not have caught the attention of many local citizens, but it scares me half to death, says Frank Mann. [Frank Mann Opinion] [Process] [Decision] [News Press Opinion] [Fred Burson Opinion]

Nutrients that Feed Red Tide (2014-11-30)

The "food" sources that support Florida red tides are more diverse and complex than previously realized, according to five years' worth of research on red tide and nutrients published recently of the scientific journal Harmful Algae. [Phys.org]

Red Tide (2014-11-30)

While the Caloosahatchee estuary and nearby beaches are free of red tide, it lurks off Naples. Scientists have identified a dozen nutrient sources that feed blooms, but they say no single source is responsible for the toxic outbreak. [News Press] [Current Conditions Map] [Phys.org]

Monkey Suit (2014-11-30)

Citing concerns about the potential spread of Ebola, a group is suing Hendry County on behalf of residents who live near a future primate breeding facility. The 34-acre compound could house more than 3,000 primates in the Caloosahatchee watershed. [News Press]

Holiday Party on Dec 3 (2014-11-30)

You are invited to the CRCA Annual Holiday Party on Wed, Dec 3, from 6pm to 8pm at the Captain Francis A. Hendry House, 512 Fraser Ave, LaBelle. Bring a covered dish. Riverwatch will provide the meat dishes. RSVP to Riverwatch@caloosahatchee.org.

Oxbow and Riverlore Cruise (2014-11-30)

Join SCCF on an Oxbow and Riverlore Cruise to experience the historic Caloosahatchee. Guided by Rae Ann Wessel, these trips provide a relaxing opportunity to gain a personal perspective on the river - its history, folklore, issues and solutions. [Flier]

Fort Myers Yacht Basin (2014-11-30)

Residents at the Ft. Myers Yacht Basin like the current operations and there is little they would want to see changed. They do not like the idea of Ft. Myers outsourcing or creating a public-private partnership to handle the yacht basin’s resources. [News Press]

People of Influence: Ray Judah (2014-11-30)

Riverwatch counts another of its leaders among the News Press list of "People of Influence." CRCA director Ray Judah was added to the prestigious list this month. Elected to the Lee Co. BOCC, he served 6 terms for a total of 24 years as Commissioner. [News Press]

Manatee Paparazzi (2014-11-30)

Cooler weather locally means cold weather up north and our annual influx of snow birds and manatees. Both gather this time of year at Lee County Manatee Park - a must-see jewel of our area across from the FPL power plant on SR80 east of I-75. [Cartoon] [Manatee Park Facebook] [Manatee Park Webpage]

LaBelle Heritage Museum Speaker (2014-11-30)

Melissa Timo of Florida Public Archaeology will be a guest speaker at the LaBelle Heritage Museum on Wednesday, Jan 7, 2015. Miss Timo’s presentation will cover the steamboats that played a very important role in the early development of Florida. [Details] [LHM Web Site]

Initial Cost: CO2=$25/ton (2014-11-30)

In his book Climate Casino, Yale's Dr. William Nordhaus says we have to be grown-ups and invest in climate change mitigation, just like we invest in other long-term returns, like educating 4-year-olds. [NY Times] [NPR] [William Nordhaus ]

Guided Nature Walks (2014-11-30)

Guided nature walks are provided by Conservation 20/20 volunteers and IFAS Master Gardeners on Saturdays during the winter season, between December-March. Parking is free and no fee or registration is required. [Flier]

People of Influence: Wayne Daltry (2014-11-30)

He's Lee County's resident sage — futurist, historian, sociologist, demographer, consensus-builder. For more than four decades, Wayne Daltry helped shape Southwest Florida. Before retiring as director of Lee County's Smart Growth department in 2010. [News Press]

It is Sooo Complicated! (2014-11-30)

NSF-supported scientists have concluded that the seasonal variations (squiggles in the upward atmospheric CO2 trend line) are due to the green revolution that has provided more food for more people. [National Science Foundation]

FSA Winter Conference (2014-11-30)

The 2014 Florida Stormwater Association Winter Conference will be Wed, Dec 10 - Fri, Dec 12, 2014 in Orlando. Engineers, scientists, stormwater managers, policy makers and elected officials throughout Florida are encouraged to attend. [Registration] [Web Site]

Audubon Christmas Bird Counts (2014-11-30)

The Hendry-Glades Audubon Christmas Bird Count is scheduled for Saturday Jan 3, 2015. If you would like to participate, contact Margaret England: mlelighthouse@embarqmail.com, 863-674-0695 - cell: 863-517-0202. [Flier]

Caloosahatchee (Nov 18-24) (2014-11-30)

Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,247 cfs over the past week with 57% of flow originating from the watershed. The salinity at Iona (20 psu) this week continues to be below the optimal range for oysters. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [SCCF Web Site]

Come Discuss River Projects (2014-11-19)

SFWMD invites interested stakeholders to collaborate on science & projects benefiting the Caloosahatchee River & Estuary. The Dec 2 meeting will focus on prioritizing regional and local projects. [Details]

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]

Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club (2014-11-06)

Joining the Nov 9 River Ride will be members of Caloosa Riders Bicycle Club, a family of 300+ SW FL cyclists. They have been a key supporter of this Riverwatch event for the past 18 years. [News Press] [Banner Photo]

New EvCo Representatives (2014-11-06)

Riverwatch appointed two directors (Ray Judah and Mary Rawl) to represent CRCA in meetings of the Everglades Coalition. The EvCo annual conference is Jan 8-10 with the theme "Send it South: Water for America's Everglades." [2015 EvCo Conference]

New Board Members (2014-11-05)

At the Nov 5 CRCA meeting, five new directors were added to the Riverwatch Board: John Cassani, Jennifer Hecker, Alexis Meyer, Phil Buchanan, and Rae Ann Wessel.

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]

CRCA Nov Meeting Program (2014-10-29)

CRCA's Nov 5 meeting program will be a presentation by Dr. John Capece who will describe the history of Riverwatch activities and restoration efforts for the Caloosahatchee oxbows. Presentation begins at 7pm at Bridge Street Coffee Shop in LaBelle. [Map]

October CRCA Newsletter (2014-11-02)

The October 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. [October Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

Wharf Walk on Caloosahatchee (2014-10-14)

Go for a stroll along LaBelle's downtown Caloosahatchee waterfront and enjoy food, beer & wine, Jazz music, and art exhibits on Saturday, Nov 8 from 4pm to 9pm. It's part of the LaBelle downtown revitalization program. [Flier] [Downtown Walking District Plan] [Previous LaBelle Walking District] [Web Page] [Facebook]

Death of a River Exhibit (2014-10-31)

On display in the reading room of FGCU Library is “Death of a River,” a set of individual and large-scale collaborative prints showcases artists responding to the ecological impact of water releases from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River. [Andy Owen] [Nicole Klebosis artwork]

Attorney General Candidates (2014-10-31)

Attorney General candidates differ on environmental law issues. Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer & Republican Pam Bondi want to curb federal action on water quality while Democrat George Sheldon opposes Bondi's lawsuit to block EPA's clean up efforts. [Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer] [Republican Pam Bondi] [Democrat George Sheldon]

Crist Visits Caloosahatchee (2014-10-31)

CRCA Directors John Scott (Clean Water Initiative) and Ray Judah hosted Charlie Crist for a campaign press conference highlighting the gubernatorial candidate's support for cleaning up the Caloosahatchee River. [News Press] [Photo]

Gov vs Gov on Issues (2014-10-30)

The Campus Election Engagement Project created non-partisan position comparisons of a candidates across the nation, including the two Florida candidates for governor. [Non-partisan] [Sierra Club]

Local Solar Rules (2014-10-30)

The price of an average U.S. home solar power system is about $20,000. (That’s before a 30% federal tax credit and any state, local and/or utility incentives.) A new report from LBL demonstrates that steep declines are possible in the near term. [Renewable Energy World]

Green Infrastructure Webinar (2014-10-30)

An EPA webcast on Nov 4 will provide an overview of green infrastructure financing strategies and highlight a community which leveraged state funds for a flood mitigation project that provided multiple economic, environmental and social benefits. [Details] [Register] [Green Infrastructure Program 2014]

Caloosahatchee (Oct 21-27) (2014-10-30)

Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 1,047 cfs over the past week with 53% of flow originating from the watershed. The salinity at Iona (18 psu) this week is in the optimal range for oysters. It's good to have good news to report from time to time. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [SCCF Web Site]

Dialogue on Water Conservation (2014-10-30)

Riverwatch President Mary Rawl and Secretary John Capece represented CRCA-Riverwatch at the Terry Tempest Student Dialogue at FGCU on Oct 27th. The working title for the event is "Talking on Water: Transforming Education into Action." [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [Photo 3] [Program]

Ft. Myers Stormwater Project (2014-10-30)

On Oct 14 DEP and City of Fort Myers announced a $1.7 million project designed to reduce pollutants reaching the Carrell Canal and the Calooshatchee River by building filter marshes and control structures at a city golf course. [News Press]

Pushing for Solar Freedom in FL (2014-10-30)

Debbie Dooley, co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party and national coordinator for Tea Party Patriots, plans to push for more solar in Florida as she has in Georgia. Her ultimate goal is to challenge the monopoly control of Florida's major utilities. [Tampa Bay Times] [Photo]

Crist Vows to Clean up River (2014-10-30)

At Centennial Park on Oct 16, Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist blasted opponent Gov. Rick Scott's environmental record and vowed to clean up the Caloosahatchee River. [News Press] [Photo] [News Press - Gov Poll] [Politico - Latest Poll] [2014 Senate Race Ratings]

FNPS WetPlan Workshops (2014-10-30)

Neighborhood Lakes and Ponds Management Workshop is coming to your neighborhood! These workshops, free and open to the public are designed to help residents make a positive change. The workshops are on Nov 14 in Lehigh & on Jan 27 in Bonita Springs. [Flyer] [Details]

FGCU Hosts State Water Posters (2014-10-30)

All students doing research on water issues are invited to submit abstracts for the AWRA statewide research poster contest to be held on Feb 6 at the 24th Annnal SW FL Water Resources Conference, co-hosted by Riverwatch. [Details] [Submit Your Abstract Online] [Web Site]

Invasive Species Workshop (2014-10-30)

The Southwest Florida CISMA and FGCU's Wings of Hope program are asking for presenters for the 19th annual Southwest Florida Invasive Species Workshop that will be held on Jan 22, 2015 at FGCU. The presentation application is due Nov 12, 2014. [Call for Presentations] [Application]

Red Tide Reports (2014-10-30)

Water samples have confirmed the presence of up to low to moderate concentrations of Karenia brevis (commonly known as Florida red tide) offshore and in the bay regions of northern Lee County. The potential exists for some respiratory problems. [Details] [HAB Condition Reports] [Local Observations]

Selling and Buying Water Rights (2014-10-30)

Scientists have developed an algorithm that can match potential water rights buyers and sellers, sift through the complexity of local physical and regulatory systems, and reach a fair deal designed especially for them. [National Science Foundation]

CNCP Open House (2014-10-29)

Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium is having an OPEN HOUSE on Nov 6th from 5pm–7pm, FREE and open to the public. Sierra Club, Calusa Herpetological Society and Southwest Florida Astronomy Society are meeting that night! Come and join us! [Press Release] [Flier] [Web Site]

Monopoly Customers Pay (2014-10-29)

Environmental advocates want the Public Service Commission to reject a request by FPL to use the monopoly's income from electricity ratepayers to lobby against new federal clean-water rules. [The Tampa Tribute]

Global Choke Point (2014-10-29)

Circle of Water's symposium on global choke points shows how journalists documenting a nation's water, food, & energy dramatically capture that country's overall economic & social situation and point out future bottlenecks to sustainability. [Symposium Video]

KLCB Monofilament Madness (2014-10-29)

All boaters are invited to join Keep Lee County Beautiful Monofilament Madness in cleaning Estero Bay on Nov 1, 2014 from 8am to 1pm at Fish Tale Marina Fort Myers Beach. Please fill out and return the registration form. Lunch will be provided. [Details] [Registration Form] [Web Site]

The Risks of Cheap Water (2014-10-29)

California’s water authority declared that wasting water—hosing a sidewalk, for example—was a crime. Las Vegas has paid out $200 million for homes and businesses to pull out their lawns. It will get worse with climate change and population growth. [New York Times] [Graph] [Photo]

Trip to Archbold Biological Station (2014-10-28)

Trip to Archbold Biological Station in Lake Placid. Nov 7, 2014. Carpool from Barron Park (Bridge Street on River) in LaBelle. Leave at 7:30 am from 9 am-noon. $4 each. Bring Picnic Lunch. Guided walk. Contact Margaret England for Reservation. [Details] [Email for Reservation]

Thank You from the Grass Beds (2014-10-28)

Linda Young of Florida Clean Water Network thanks everyone who signed on to the save Florida sea grass beds comment letter. The letter has been submitted to Corps of Engineers with almost 150 names of organizations, businesses and individuals. [Details] [Comment Letter]

Hunting Sawfish in Caloosahatchee (2014-10-28)

Sometimes you just don't catch the fish you're looking for. Three Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission fish biologists were hunting smalltooth sawfish in the Caloosahatchee River but instead caught a 3.5-foot female bull shark. [News Press]

Seagrass Partnership (2014-10-12)

David Ceilley invited CRCA to join his seagrass restoration coalition. The plan is to plant enough Vallisneria so that overgrazing does not cause it to again disappear. Years ago bad water quality devastated thousands of acres our estuary seagrasses. [Presentation Photo]

Wetlands Community Forum (2014-10-06)

Learn how protecting upstream wetlands can help solve downstream Caloosahatchee water issues. EPA specialists are flying into Ft. Myers for a 1-day forum on Tuesday, Oct 14 from 6:30pm-8pm at Harborside Event Center. [Details] [Announcement] [News Press]

25th Annual Ding Darling Days (2014-10-07)

Mark your calendars for this year's "Ding" Darling Days birding and eco-festival at J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida, the week of October 19-25, 2014. Bring family and friends! [Details] [Web Site]

Watershed Council Meeting (2014-10-07)

The SWFL Watershed Council's theme for the Oct 16 Water Wisdom presentation will be Conservation 2020. Members of Lee County staff will discuss the program with an emphasis on water resources. The meeting is open to the public and there is no charge. [Details] [Location Map] [Conservation 2020]

Oxbow Kayak Clinic (2014-10-07)

This class will introduce you to the basic techniques of paddling and then you will have the opportunity to use your new skills for a guided trip. We will paddle the beautiful oxbow islands of the Caloosahatchee River for a two-hour guided tour. [November Programs at Caloosahatchee Regional Park]

Guided Walk (2014-10-07)

Join the Hickey's Creek Mitigation Park staff on a stroll through natural plant communities on Nov 4. See firsthand the plants and animals that make southwest Florida so unique. Participants should be able to walk approximately one and a half miles. [November Programs at Hickeys Creek Mitigation Park]

Cooperative Funding Program (2014-10-07)

The SFWMD looks forward to partnering with local governments and other water users on projects that offer solutions to our shared restoration, flood control, water quality and water supply challenges. The application process will start Oct 16, 2014. [Details] [Just the Facts] [Cooperative Funding Program]

Organic Farming in Ft. Myers (2014-10-07)

Tucked away in an industrial sector of Ft. Myers, Florida Urban Organics & Selovita aim to change how food is grown around the world. The farm, already certified organic by DOA, became the first aquaponics/hydroponic facility ever to be Global G.A.P. [News Press] [Directors]

Planners Against Sugar Hill (2014-10-07)

SW FL Regional Planning Council reviewed the Sugar Hill Sector Plan and concluded it does not adequately address a wide range of region issues. It also challenges the plan’s job-creation potential. [SWFRPC Report] [DEP Comments]

Citizens Climate Lobby Meetup (2014-10-07)

Citizens' Climate Lobby is an international group promoting a carbon fee and dividend proposal. This is a group for people who are concerned about the effects of global warming, and yet do not want the economy to suffer when we look for a solution. [Ft. Myers Meetup] [Miami Meetup]

Save Florida Sea Grass Beds (2014-10-07)

Your immediate help is needed to save several acres of grass beds in the Florida panhandle. Linda Young of FL-CWN seeks permission to add your organization, business or individual name to the comment letter addressed to the Corps of Engineers. [Sign-on Details] [Details] [Comment Letter]

Sugar Hill Sector Plan (2014-10-07)

On behalf of the FWF, NPCA, Sierra Club, 1000 Friends of Florida, SCCF, and Rhonda Roff, Everglades Law Center Inc. submitted objections & comments for consideration by the County & DEO as they review and consider the proposed Sugar Hill Sector Plan. [Comment Letter]

See It Coming A Mile Away (2014-10-07)

Steve Crisafulli, a Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives wrote to News Journal trying to paint a rosy picture of the Legislature's record relative to it actions affecting Florida's natural resources. [News Journal] [Miami Herald] [Audubon of Florida News]

I am Not a Scientist (2014-10-06)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined the growing ranks of politicians and political figures who actively oppose any policy to fight climate change, but also claim to not know the science of climate change. [Think Progress]

Protesting Big Sugar (2014-10-06)

Two coastal communities ravaged by algae from Lake Okeechobee discharges held simultaneous protests on Oct 1 to demand Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) reject US Sugar’s proposed city in the Everglades and send water south. [Photo] [WGCU] [nbc-2] [News Press]

September CRCA Newsletter (2014-09-30)

The September 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. [September Newsletter] [HTML Version] [Newsletter Archive]

Do Not Feed The Monster (2014-09-30)

The monster is a harmful algae bloom that is fed by excessive nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. Overuse of these fertilizers threatens the health of the Peace, Imperial and Caloosahatchee rivers. Please learn how to fertilize smart. [Article] [Brochure] [Photo] [Web Site]

Algae Creates Bird Brains (2014-09-30)

A type of algae that lives on hydrilla contains a neurotoxin that is making the birds mentally sick. Hungry coots devour the hydrilla then become clumsy and unable to fly & then are eaten by eagles. [Environmental Health News]

Highest of High Tides (2014-09-30)

Highest of the high tides will soak Florida Keys shorelines on Oct 8 and 9, with photos wanted. "The highest high tides of the year will be the average water levels of the future," says a statement from Monroe County's Sustainability program. [Keys Info Net] [Tide Tables]

CRCA Meeting & Program (2014-08-19)

The Oct 1 Riverwatch meeting at Calusa Nature Center features Dave Ceilley of FGCU & Johnson Engineering who will talk at 7pm about restoring tape grass in the Caloosahatchee. Dave has provided technical assistance to CRCA since 1996. [Article] [Map]

CNCP Haunted Walk (2014-09-25)

It’s that ghoulish time of year again, when “Freaks of Nature” roam freely at the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium. Be sure to dress up in your finest freaky getup; if you blend in maybe you’ll be safe! Dates are October 10,11,17,18,24-31 7:30pm. [Details] [Flyer]

Marshall Foundation Input (2014-09-29)

John Marshall has weighed in, providing comments to the UF Water Institute that has begun work on a scientific review of the concepts for moving more wet season water south from Lake Okeechobee rather than dumping it to the estuaries. [JAM Message to UF]

Lake O BMAP Draft (2014-09-29)

The draft Lake O Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) is available for review. Public comment period runs through Oct 3, submitted to Katie.Hallas@ dep.state.fl.us & Yesenia.Escribano@ dep.state.fl.us. [Announcement] [Draft Lake O BMAP] [Land Use Map] [Participation Map]

Volunteers Needed (2014-09-29)

Volunteers are needed for Girl Scout park outdoor activities at LaBelle Nature Park on Wed, Oct 23, 3:30-5pm. To help RSVP to Margaret England. Educational program includes a nature walk, gopher tortoise observation,& paint bird or butterfly house. [Details] [RSVP]

Brokeback Politics (2014-09-29)

Scott, Putnam, House Speaker Will Weatherford have been sneaking off on secret hunting trips to the legendary "Big Ranch" in Texas. At least 20 of such trips paid by U.S. Sugar, to the GOP. The men will not discuss those trips — a ritual. [Pensacola News Journal] [Web Site]

A River Runs Through It (2014-09-29)

U.S. cities' waterways show consistent patterns of evolution. Recent studies by urban ecologists show that the cities' ecosystems, especially their waterways, are all threatened by road salt, dissolved concrete, sewage overflows and algae blooms. [National Science Foundation] [Web Site]

Dirty Water Politics (2014-09-29)

A proposed rule that would clarify what bodies of water fall under federal regulation has created a political firestorm in Florida, pitting environmental groups against a powerful coalition of big business, big agriculture & conservative politicians. [Ocala]

River & Estuary Sediments (2014-09-29)

SFWMD is analyzing Caloosahatchee bottom sediments. They are performing tests to estimate the rates at which nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus both accumulate on and release from the riverbed. Final reports are coming in July 2015. [Project Summary Report] [Diagram]

Miami Marches for Climate Action (2014-09-29)

On Sunday, September 21, Miamians took to the streets in solidarity with the NYC People’s Climate March. More than 100 people gathered downtown at the Freedom Tower and marched one mile through Museum Park to Biscayne Bay. [Sierra Club Florida News] [Photo 1] [Photo 2] [YouTube Video] [WLRN Herald Radio News] [Channel 10]

Turner Defends Plans (2014-09-29)

Hendry Commissioner Karson Turner replied to a stand taken by the Sierra Club about the U.S. Sugar & Hilliard Brothers plan to change zoning in a large portion of eastern Hendry County. Turner stated that he disagrees with the Sierra Club’s remarks. [Turner Letter] [The Sierra Club Remarks]

Sugar Hill - Take Action! (2014-09-29)

Join Sierra Club and other groups in speaking out against Sugar Hill Sector Plan. Sierra wants Rick Scott and other officials to protect the Everglades and the coasts by immediately directing the FDEO to deny the US Sugar development plan. [Sierra Club Florida News] [Take Action]

ASR Regional Study (2014-09-29)

Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) is proposed as the greatest component of new water storage volume in the CERP; 333 5-MGD ASR wells to store 1.6 BGD formerly lost to tide; and store water for long periods (years) to provide drought relief. [Presentation]

SFWMD 2015 Budget (2014-09-29)

On Sep 23 the SFWMD Governing Board adopted a $720.4 million budget for FY 2015. The annual budget funds the agency's core flood control and water supply missions as well as its continued progress to restore and protect the South Florida ecosystem. [The Ripple Effect] [Web Page]

Sugar Lands Sector Plan (2014-09-29)

Mark Perry of FL Oceanographic Society produced a presentation describing how the Sugar Hill sector plan could be a problem for the state’s deadline of purchasing much of the land by Oct 2015. [Mark Perry presentation]

Stop Sugar Hill (2014-09-29)

Oct 3 is the deadline for FDEP & SFWMD comments to the DEO on the Sugar Hill Sector Plan - the DEO process is such that denial is impossible without negative comments from the agencies. [Details] [Sign-on Letter] [Memo to SFWMD FDEP] [Sector Plan & Option Lands] [Water Management DEP Issues]

Utility vs. Industrial (2014-09-28)

Judge Donald Mason ruled electric power plants are industrial, not utilities land use. Hendry County thus incorrectly approved zoning for an FPL power plant on the north edge of the Seminole Reservation in southern Hendry County. [Court Ruling] [Ruling Notes] [WGCU Report] [About Judge Mason]

Sugar Hill (2014-09-26)

U.S. Sugar & Hilliard Brothers have created a development plan for 67sq miles west of Clewiston. Some say approving the "sector plan" would hinder land purchases for a southern flowway out of Lake O. Much of the land drains to the Caloosahatchee. [Palm Beach Post] [Miami Herald] [Map] [News Press] [Jacqui Thurlow-Lippisch] [WGCU Gulf Coast Live w/Rae Ann Wessel]

Dialogue on Water Conservation (2014-09-26)

The Center for Environmental & Sustainability Education at FGCU is holding its Terry Tempest Student Dialogue on Oct 27th from 5pm to 8pm. The working title for the event is "Talking on Water: Transforming Education into Action. Vendors are welcome. [Details]

NE Interagency Meetings (2014-09-26)

Northern Everglades Interagency meetings will be held on Sep 30 in Stuart and Oct 1 in Ft Myers. The main purpose of these meetings is to go over information in the annual and the 3-yr River Watershed Protection Plan Evaluations. [Sep 30th Agenda (St. Lucie)] [Oct 1st Agenda (Caloosahatchee)] [Draft RWPP Evaluations ]

River Network Webinar (2014-09-26)

Earlier this year, EPA and the Corps of Engineers released an important draft federal rule clarifying which waters are protected under the Clean Water Act. Join the webinar on Oct 9th to hear about the content of the proposed rule and its benefits. [Details]

A $10 Million Science Prize (2014-09-26)

On Sep 21 Everglades Foundation announced "The Grand Challenge," a $10 million prize to anyone who can develop a cost-effective technology for removing and recycling phosphorus from our waterways with a method to recycle it for agricultural use. [Press Release] [The Grand Challange Fact Sheet] [Facts About Phosphorus]

Caloosahatchee (Sep 16-22) (2014-09-26)

Flows to the estuary at S79 averaged 2,221 cfs over the past week with 98% of flow originating from the watershed. The salinity at Iona this week continues to be below the optimal range for oysters. [SCCF Caloosahatchee Condition Report] [Graphic] [SCCF Web Site]

North Spreader Salinity (2014-09-26)

As usual, the North Spreader is all fresh water during the rainy season. When the drought returns, without the Ceitus Barrier, it will convert to largely a salt water system. The lack of fresh water flows defeats the normal functions of an estuary. [Details] [Salinity Readings] [Graph]

Restoration Project Story Map (2014-09-25)

NW Florida coastal communities are planning with DEP to use BP oil spill disaster RESTORE funds for various city and county stormwater projects, showing how other areas along the Gulf of Mexico might do the same. [Details] [Story Map]

Five Feet for Huckabee Home (2014-09-25)

Despite laws intended to curb development where rising seas pose the greatest threat, Reuters finds that government is still more than happy to help the nation indulge in its passion for beachfront living, particularly for the powerful. [Details]

Streets Alive (2014-09-25)

Downtown Fort Myers, Sunday, Nov 2, 11am-4pm. Streets Alive is free; all invited to bike, walk, skate or stroll; all ages and abilities; sports, games and activities; nutritious and delicious food vendors; and more. Come join Riverwatch at the event. [Web Site]

Butterfly Conservatory (2014-09-25)

Oct 4 at 11am, Michael Orchin from Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife will cut the red ribbon, and officially open the door of the conservatory for visitors. To celebrate, the CNCP will be giving away three one year family memberships. Don't miss it. [Details]

$20M for Everglades Project (2014-09-25)

The Feds promised $20M to Florida for the construction of bridges across Tamiami Trail. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fort Myers, said the money will improve driving conditions and also help further progress of the $10 billion Everglades restoration program. [News-Press]

EPA Drinking Water Centers (2014-09-25)

EPA announced funding over $8 million to create two national centers for research and innovation in small to medium sized drinking water systems. The recipients are at university centers in Boulder CO and Amherst MA. [EPA Press Release]

The Rick Scott Record (2014-09-25)

For the last 50 years, FL's governors have been reasonably responsible stewards of the state's fragile environment. In just four years, Gov. Rick Scott has bulldozed a record of environmental protection that his predecessor spent decades building. [Tampa Bay Times]

Hendry County Development (2014-09-25)

Environmental groups are pushing the state to stop a development plan in eastern Hendry Co. that would allow 18,000 homes & 25 million sqft of industrial & commercial space, but advocates say the area needs jobs & tax dollars the project could bring. [News-Press]

Florida Goes Down the Drain (2014-09-25)

On Miami Beach, rising sea levels have interesting consequences. The ocean periodically starts bubbling up through local drainpipes. By the time it’s over, the concept of “going down to the water” has extended to stepping off the front porch. [New York Times]

Same Conclusion as SWFWRC (2014-09-25)

In 2013 CRCA co-hosted the SWFL Water Resources Conference on water & energy. Professors from Pennsylvania where fracking is common said shoddy workmanship in drilling accounts for most groundwater contamination cases. A new study concludes the same. [ABC News]

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]

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]

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)