Water-Related News

Pine Island organization discusses water quality

FORT MYERS - The Greater Pine Island Civic Association invited Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani to its meeting last week to discuss the water quality issues Southwest Florida has recently been facing. Beaches in Charlotte, Lee and Collier counties have seen record levels of dead sea life for the last several months due to red tide and blue-green algae blooms.

Cassani is a career scientist and director/officer committee chair of the Calusa Waterkeeper. The group was previously known as CRCA-Riverwatch.

"The Calusa River Watch was started in 1997 and after getting our full licensing in 2016 became the Calusa Waterkeeper, Inc.," Cassani said. "A lot of what I do is policy development and the Waterkeepers in Florida are trying to get the 'Harmful Algae Bloom' (HAB) task force reinstated."

The state Legislature created the HAB task force "for the purpose of determining research, monitoring, control, and mitigation strategies for red tide and other harmful algal blooms in Florida waters."

In 2018, Southwest Florida has been faced with the worst cyanobacteria and red tide exposures in many years.