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SCCF River Spotters

river spotter map
SCCF has established a group of volunteers who are keeping an eye on the river from Moore Haven to Cape Coral .  The SCCF River Spotters provide updates on water conditions in the river.  These real time observations will help us correlate human observations with the RECON sensor readings and develop a data base to better track what is happening in the river.

Sign up to be a River Spotter. 

Conditions on Sept. 19, 2008

This photo was  taken Friday, September 19, 2008 by River Spotter Don Doggett at the confluence of Hickeys Creek and the turbidityCaloosahatchee river upstream of the WP Franklin Locks.  The photo clearly highlights the difference between the dark tea colored water common in the upper river system and the turbid (muddy) water washing into the river from the creek.  This is a good example of stormwater runoff  which occurs when rain washes too quickly off the land into the water carrying with it everything in its path.  This is caused by increased impervious area on the landscape  that reduces “residence time” on the land and by ditching and piping that drains water off the land too fast.

We can each help reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from our lots and land. 
  • Don’t drain it - let water soak into the ground where it falls, this allows muddy particles and silt  to settle out, allows plants to trap nutrients, recharges the aquifer and allows water to slowly seep toward the river instead of gush. 
  • Keep land vegetated and leave a natural vegetated buffer from the waters edge- keep all areas where water sits or flows  and water front borders vegetated to prevent erosion. 
  • Don’t fertilize in the summer rainy season - Lee County now has a fertilizer ordinance that restricts the use of phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizers during the summer rainy season. 
These are small steps that we can all take to improve our rivers water quality, habitat value and our property values!

Friday, September 19, 2008, river spotters submitted reports of foam in the river along Billy’s Creek & the Fort Myers Yacht foambasin.

Foam on the river and in the estuary, as seen in these photos taken Friday near Billy’s Creek in downtown Fort Myers,  appears where two water masses  collide; often where salt water with low organic levels (low CDOM) meets fresh water with high organic levels (high CDOM).  Organic material comes from a number of sources.  When water in the estuary is fresh as it is right now the organic material comes from vegetation washed into the water from land.  Wind  and breaking waves mix the two water masses causing  foam to form.   Foam can accumulate in lines where two water masses meet. The foam could indicate high organic content in the water column.

Thanks to River Spotter Alis Jordan for photos of this event.