Latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Water Education Video Highlights Caloosahatchee River
By: Edie Ousley
Collaborative Effort with FAU Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Focuses on Science-Based Research Solutions
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (May 17, 2018) – Strengthening efforts to secure Florida’s water future, the Florida Chamber of Commerce today is releasing the latest in a series of water education videos demonstrating the importance of following science-based research solutions.
Securing Florida’s Water Future: Caloosahatchee River features research produced by Florida Atlantic University – Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute Research Professor Dr. Brian LaPointe. Despite recent impacts of heavy rainfall and fresh water discharges, strategies are underway to improve the health of this natural resource located on the southwest Gulf Coast of Florida.
Securing Florida’s Water Future: Caloosahatchee River features the following environmental and business leaders:
- Drew Bartlett, Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
- Ernie Barnett, Executive Director, Florida Land Council
- Roland Ottolini, P.E., Director, Natural Resources Division, Lee County Board of County Commissioners
- Colleen Depasquale, Executive Director, Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce
Manmade changes to the Caloosahatchee River and its watershed have altered the hydrology of the region. Heavy rainfall often results in large influxes of freshwater runoff from Lake Okeechobee and the local basin. In order to address local basin issues, stakeholders and government agencies are working on other strategies to improve the health of the Caloosahatchee Estuary.
What Environmental Leaders Are Saying:
“Agriculture, residential and cities, urban runoff is adding nutrient loads that have exceeded the capability of the system. Lee County also has numerous septic tanks and we want to move forward and see where opportunities exist to put those folks onto a centralized sewer system.” – ROLAND OTTOLINI, P.E., Director, Natural Resources Division, Lee County Board of County Commissioners
“A typical septic tank will put out about 60 milligrams per liter of nitrogen through a drain field, we’re trying to get one or less into the estuary. We absolutely have to deal with the septic systems, get them out of the ground for this pollution. But how can we make sure it’s successful? And that’s by bringing state level funding to try to offset the homeowner costs so a utility can make the investment to run the line and we can get people to abandon their septic tanks.” – DREW BARTLETT, Deputy Secretary for Water Policy and Ecosystem Restoration, Florida Department of Environmental Protection
This is the eighth in a series of water research educational videos. Previous videos include:
- Kissimmee River Restoration Project
- Kissimmee River & Tributaries North of Lake Okeechobee
- Lucie Estuary
- Southwest Florida
- The Florida Keys
- Indian River Lagoon
“When it comes to securing Florida’s future, there are few issues more important than water,” said MARK WILSON, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “With six million more people expected to call Florida home by 2030, science-based data is key to meeting the challenges Florida faces.”
Click here to view the complete series or visit www.FloridaChamber.com/WaterVideos.
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The Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.