We are waiting to see the outcome of this meeting. We also hope to see more names of known environmentalists who are indeed environmentalists. We are happy to see Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassini mentioned, but where are the Sierra Club and the Florida Springs Council?
Yes, we do have a Florida water quality crisis. Water management district managers, please take note. See the original article in NewsPress.com.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-
Bonita Springs summit seeks solutions to Southwest Florida’s water quality crisis
Sixth generation rancher Carey Lightsey describes life along the Kissimmee River and chain of lakes. Andrew West and Chad Gillis, The News-Press
The water quality crisis in Southwest Florida is bringing more than 400 concerned residents and environmental experts to The News-Press Media Group’s “Save Our Water” summit this morning at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point in Bonita Springs.
The mission of this sold-out event is to educate the public with the help of authoritative speakers from around the region and the state.
The speakers list includes representatives from the South Florida Water Management District, Florida Gulf Coast University, Lee County, the Everglades Foundation, the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Council and the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council.
They’ll share updates on a variety of water projects, including the C-43 reservoir in Hendry County, the Herbert Hoover Dike restoration, what is going on in the Everglades with the Picayune Strand and much more.
There also will be a moderated panel discussion focusing on solutions and how to go forward.
The News-Press held the first summit in September 2016 after record water releases from Lake Okeechobee down the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers that led to algal blooms and other problems.
Cindy McCurry-Ross, USA Today Network Regional Editor, addresses the audience with the opening remarks for the Save Our Water Summit, May 11, 2018. Ricardo Rolon, [email protected]
Today, Everglades Foundation CEO Erik Eikenberg and Mitch Hutchcraft, a former water district governing member, will discuss water resources and recovery efforts in separate question-and-answer sessions.
Water quality isn’t just an adult concern, as a video of a class project from Fort Myers’ Franklin Park Elementary will show.
And, The News-Press environmental team will provide some extras:
Reporter Chad Gillis and photojournalist Andrew West will provide their unique insights into how the water flows down the state from the head of the Kissimmee River to Lake Okeechobee and on to the Caloosahatchee River and eventually the Gulf of Mexico.
Gillis and West embarked on a nine-day journey in February, paddling their canoe over a 100-plus mile stretch of waterways.
Reporter Amy Williams will read her essay on water, to conclude the conference.
Check news-press.com throughout the day, for summit updates, photos and more.
Follow the summit on social media at #saveourwater.
More on the featured speakers and their topics:
*Phil Flood, South Florida Water Management District regional representative, and Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will give updates on Everglades restoration.
*Eric Milbrandt, marine laboratory director, Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation, will share lessons learned from Hurricane Irma.
*Marisa Carrozzo, senior environmental policy specialist, Conservancy of Southwest Florida, will present an “Estuaries Report Card.”
*Greg Tolley, professor of Marine Science and chairman of the Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences department at FGCU, will discuss water security.
*Jim Beever, planner with the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, will offer ideas on what we can do to promote water health.
A panel discussion moderated by Tom Hayden, senior engagement editor for The News-Press, will feature Hendry County Extension Director Gene McAvoy; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds; scientist and Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassini; Crews Environmental President Robert Himschoot; and Audubon Florida Director of Policy Celeste De Palma.