Concerned citizens discuss clean water at CHNEP CAC meeting
PUNTA GORDA — The Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership (CHNEP) is a group of citizens, elected officials and resource managers working together to protect and restore water and wildlife habitat in Central and Southwest Florida. The partnership has recently invited both government officials and concerned citizens from Glades and Hendry counties to join and participate in their conservation efforts.
On Dec. 18, 2019 CHNEP held a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) meeting, where representatives from both Glades and Hendry county were present. CHNEP formed the CAC as a way of bridging the gap between the partnership and the public, as stated on their website, “by giving input regarding their concerns and ideas. The CAC is also an essential mechanism for sharing program information and resources with key community organizations and individuals that may not be directly involved with the partnership.”
During the meeting they conducted a review of the final CHNEP Communications Strategy, discussed the Conservation Grant program, and held a screening of the Calusa Waterkeeper documentary on harmful algae blooms, titled “Troubled Waters.”
In the film, it is explained that while most people know to stay out of contaminated water, and to keep pets away, there have been new findings that dangerous cyanobacteria and toxin readings have been detected by equipment well over 10 miles away. Much remains unknown about this new and serious health risk, and possibly not just to those who live on or near the water. The film points out that there is a dire need for more studies, and that need is urgent.