Caloosahatchee and Estuary Conditions
River Woes Again in 2012
For the third year in a row, there are algal blooms on the Caloosahatchee because freshwater flow from Lake Okeechobee has been cut off. Learn more...
A Broken System
The Lee County Health Department issued an advisory on June 7, 2011, recommending caution near the Caloosahatchee river because of toxic algal blooms. Read the advisory
. Glades and Hendry counties issued an advisory
on June 10. Learn about the algae
A Connected SystemToo much water. Too little water.
The Caloosahatchee and the waters surrounding Sanibel and Captiva are directly impacted by water management decisions affecting the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee. Historically not connected to Lake O, the Caloosahatchee now serves as the main release valve when lake levels have to be lowered. Conversely, the Caloosahatchee is cut off from releases during the dry season, when freshwater inflow is needed to maintain natural salinity levels and to keep the upper river from becoming stagnant. Click here to learn more about salinity, the Caloosahatchee and Lake O management.
Click here for Caloosahatchee Condition Reports. The reports are prepared by the Lee County participants in the weekly Periodic Scientists Conference Call: Rae Ann Wessel and Dr. Rick Bartleson, SCCF; James Evans, City of Sanibel; Keith Kibbey, Lee County Environmental Lab; and Paul Tritaik and Tara Wertz, J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge.
Lake O Stats
Get current release data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers web site:S-77
(Moore Haven) releases from Lake OS-79
releases from the Franklin Lock
Lake O levels chart
Working to Protect Our Water
Resolution and Letter supporting releases to the Caloosahatchee from the Everglades Coalition in April 2011. All 53 members of the coalition supported the Resolution.
Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners of Martin County supporting releases to the Caloosahatchee, dated March 15, 2011.
Letter from SCCF to SFWMD on March 14, 2011
The Rivers Coalition, a group of 55 organizations and businesses representing a community over 300,000-strong, advocates for the east coast St. Lucie river estuary. On February 9, 2011, they passed a Resolution supporting dry season flows to the Caloosahatchee. The Resolution was forwarded to the SFWMD and the Army Corps of Engineers. We are tremendously grateful for thier ongoing support. Click here to read the Resolution. Click here for more info on the Rivers Coalition.
SCCF wrote the Lee County Board of County Commissioners for assistance in providing documentation to provide a basis of support for providing water from Lake Okeechobee to benefit the estuary and river. Click here for Feb. 1, 2011 letter.
SCCF signed onto the November 2010 nomination of the Caloosahatchee as one of the Ten Most Endangered Rivers in the U.S. The nomination, prepared by the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, was also signed onto by Riverwatch (the Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association). Click here for PDF of nomination.
In July 2010, SCCF's Rae Ann Wessel and James Evans from the City of Sanibel's Natural Resource Department prepared a paper at the request of Vice Mayor Mick Denham outlining the inequities in the water management system. Click here for a PDF.