Captains For Clean Water
On January 6th Gasparilla Vacations and Gulf Coast International Properties hosted an event for the Captains For Clean Water. We had a sell out crowd and the Captains delivered a great presentation, see videos below.
Gasparilla Vacations is partnering with Captains For Clean Water, a grassroots 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that advocates for the elimination of harmful, large-scale Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie River Estuaries by restoring the natural flow of Lake Okeechobee water south into the Everglades and Florida Bay. Restoring the natural southern flow of Lake Okeechobee water is essential to the survival of our estuaries, the health of the Everglades, and the long-term viability of South Florida’s largest drinking water source (the Biscayne Aquifer).
Our little slice of paradise has also been effected. We want to make sure we are able to enjoy our pristine waters around Boca Grande for years to come.
The water quality in southwest Florida is the lifeblood for many business. It's no secret that Florida number one industry is tourism. Anyone who's ever been to a southwest Florida beach knows how awesome our beaches and what it means to so many. The water quality is a problem. With over 100 million people visiting Florida per year. $11.3 Billion dollars in state and local tax revenue. 1.4 million Florida residents employed by tourism. $108 billion infused into Florida economy by visitors.
Captains for Clean Water started out as a group of fishing guides from Fort Myers, FL that “had enough” of Florida’s poor water management practices. We have witnessed the long-term decline of estuaries across south Florida – and we have seen the acceleration of that decline over just the last ten years. Inexplicably, no significant progress has been made to solve this enormous problem – and that is simply not acceptable to us.
Given the destruction we have seen firsthand, we are convinced that if everyone knew what we knew, this problem would have been fixed already. Unfortunately, the solution to this problem has been obstructed by large corporate agricultural interests and government mismanagement. The science has been proven time and time again- the state needs to acquire land south of Lake Okeechobee to store, treat and convey water south. This consensus solution has been delayed decades because our state’s lawmakers have enjoyed large-scale campaign contributions from agricultural corporations seeking to benefit from the status-quo, combined with a lack of public awareness.