Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works) 108 Army Pentagon Washington, DC 20310-0108
Dear Ms. Darcy,
On behalf of CCA Florida’s 16,500 members, CCA’s 120,000 members nationwide, and recreational anglers throughout Florida, I write to you about CCA’s concern over the toxic algae blooms that have wreaked havoc in the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuary systems this summer. I realize you are well aware of this problem, having been involved in the Everglades restoration since the early 1990’s and having heard from several of Florida’s elected representatives recently on this very issue. We appreciate the recent decision by the Corps to reduce discharges out of Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries, and understand this to be a temporary measure.
On June 11, 2016, CCA Florida was a proud participant in the first ever Indian River Lagoon (IRL) Compact Summit in Melbourne, Florida. The summit was termed a "historic moment" by Dr. Duane DeFreese, Executive Director of the IRL National Estuary Program and pioneer of the "One Lagoon - One Community - One Voice" perspective. Municipal officials from the Treasure Coast and Space Coast joined together with representatives from Volusia County and Martin County, CCA, and members of the general public to work on finding and implementing solutions to begin cleaning up the 156 mile long IRL within the next year.
The Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA) continues to team on various habitat restoration projects in the Indian River Lagoon (IRL). In partnership with Capt. Paul Dritenbas and the CCA Treasure Coast Chapter, oyster reef CCA #2 was deployed on May 7, 2016. The reef consists of 1,020 oyster mats located in the IRL in Vero Beach on the northwest side or Spoil Island IR26, northeast of Loggerhead Marina and west of the Johns Island subdivision. The 1,020 oyster mats contain an area of approximately 1,800 square feet!
Over 50 volunteers participated and included the CCA Treasure Coast Chapter, the Rotary Club Vero Beach Sunrise, the Vero Beach Power Squadron, the Walking Tree Brewery, and the Indian River High School Girls & Boys Rowing Team. Paul Dritenbas also deployed oyster spat traps at 3 additional locations for the future deployment of a new, permitted CCA #3 oyster reef. The deployment for CCA #3 is tentatively scheduled for the Fall 2016 or Spring 2017. To date, CCA Florida has donated almost $18,000 to this habitat restoration project!
Water (chemical formula: H2O) is a transparent fluid which forms the world's streams, lakes, oceans and rain, and is the major constituent of the fluids of organisms. A Fact is something that has really occurred or is actually the case.
As part of CCAFL’s on-going efforts to provide valuable information to its membership, CCAFL has combined these two words to provide recreational anglers with well-founded water facts that we will be calling and referring to now and into the future as “WACTS.” As part of this effort, we will be providing information to our membership on water issues in specific regions of the state. We begin with topics relevant to the South Region in this first edition.
Positive bi-partisan actions by members of Florida's Congressional Delegation the last week of April should help provide some future relief to South Florida's estuaries and the Everglades.
Funding for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), part of the broader Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), was included in an important federal water bill which is starting to make its way to the appropriate congressional committees this week. The 2016 Water Resources Development Act's (WRDA) first hearing was held on Thursday, April 28 in the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee. WRDA is the required federal funding mechanism for all water and infrastructure initiatives nationwide, and all projects are subject to the approval of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.