3 Ways to Have Your Voice Heard on Clean Water

From our partners at the Sanibel Captiva Chamber of Commerce:

Follow the links in the PDF to take action on letting our elected officials know how important the health of the water is to all of us, and sign the Now Or NeverGlades Declaration.

[gview file=”http://blog.sccf.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Attention-Chamber-Members-Your-Action-is-Needed-NOW1.pdf”]

And Thank You to everyone who’s signed!

Florida Bay in Crisis

FL BayWhile the Caloosahatchee has been getting sufficient to excess rainfall the past year, Florida Bay, located at the southern end of the Everglades ecosystem is facing serious ecological damage from an ongoing drought that has been isolated over the lower east coast and Everglades.  The severe drought has persisted for the first 8 months of 2015 with that region suffering from 87% below normal rainfall.  With no connection to Lake O and low inflow from the Water Conservation Areas, rainfall is critical to provide needed freshwater to Everglades National Park and Florida

The drought conditions and lack of flow have caused hyper-saline conditions of 60-70 psu, over twice the normal salinity.  The lack of freshwater flow has also dessicated soils upstream and even exposed some to salt that will take sustained freshwater flow over a period of time to flush out.  Add to this high temperatures in the shallow bay and the oxygen drops to harmful levels.  Sulfide accumulation in the bay bottom combined with high temperature and hyper-salinity has triggered a seagrass die off.  The dead seagrass decomposes feeding algal blooms that further drop oxygen levels and obscure light from getting to grass that could provide oxygen. This downward spiral is the anatomy of an ecological collapse that literally takes decades to recover from.  Unfortunately we’ve seen this before. It was just such an unfortunate series of events that conspired in the 1980s that brought attention to the need for Everglades restoration and prompted an expansive seagrass research program in the Bay.

 

2015 ConditionsThe solution is in Everglades restoration, and some help from mother nature in the form of rainfall.  Full implementation of the C111 spreader canal project and advancing the Central Everglades Planning Project, known as CEPP, are critical to getting water moving south at the southern end of the system.  Operational changes that prioritize water supply deliveries to natural systems -as envisioned in Florida’s Model Water Code- instead of prioritizing the growing demand from  permitted users, is needed here and throughout Florida to maintain healthy, resilient natural resources that are the driving force of Florida’s economy.

Business leaders of Southwest Florida tell Gov. Scott to “Buy the Land!”

Letter to Governor Scott and the 2015 Legislature from business leaders of Southwest Florida

By Dreamtime Entertainment, compliments of Jensen’s Twin Palms Marina.

Speakers included the following:

  •  John Lai, Lee County Hotel Association
  • Sandy Stillwell, Stillwell Enterprises
  • Shane Spring, VIP Realty
  • Paul McCarthy, McCarthy’s Marina and Captiva Cruises
  • Marty Harrity, Doc Ford’s Rum Bar
  • Jim Collier, Tarpon Hunters Fishing Club
  • Denice Beggs, Beggs Realtors
  • Ann Brady, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation
  • Eric Pfeifer, Pfeifer Realty
  • Dall Burnsed, Santiva Saltwater Fishing
  • Bud Nocera, Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce
  • Sarita Van Vleck, artists and resident
  • Nancy MacPhee, Lee County Visitor and Convention Bureau

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Realtor Study Links Water Quality to Home Values

New research by Florida Realtors, The Impact of Water Quality on Florida’s Home Values, shows that the effect of polluted water on homeowner property values is a potential decrease of nearly $1 billion in Lee and Martin Counties.  Click here for a PDF of the study.  Click here for the Florida Realtor website and other research studies.front page

Study highlights:
As water degrades, home values decrease nearly $1 billion in Lee and Martin Counties alone.(Lee County $542 million and Martin County $428 million.

  • Property values decline when water quality is poor.
  • Property values increase when water quality is good.
  • When polluted water from Lake Okeechobee is dumped into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers and estuaries, water quality is devastated

This study was supported in part by the Everglades Foundation.