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News-Press Hosting SWFL Water Summit

Closeup of bottle pouring water into glass

The Fort Myers News-Press is presenting a summit this Friday in Bonita Springs on the many water issues Southwest Florida faces.

The 2018 Save Our Water Summit is the second such event the paper has hosted in recent years.


To say that water is important to this region’s economy would be a huge understatement. From the tourism-driven economy, which relies on clean water for things, like boating, fishing and beach-going, to Florida's agriculture economy, which relies on water to grow the wide variety of crops that come out of this area, the need to strike the right balance seems like a never-ending challenge.


Catherine Bergerson is the director of marketing and communications for the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. Bergerson joins Gulf Coast Live to discuss the "state of our water report card" the environmental nonprofit will be presenting at the News-Press conference this Friday.


Dr. Gregory Tolley is a professor of marine science and the chair of the Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. He joins Gulf Coast Live to give a preview of his presentation at the summit, which will focus on water security in Southwest Florida.


News-Press Outdoor Writer Chad Gillis also joins Gulf Coast Live to talk about his recent nine-day, 134-mile adventure from the head waters of the Everglades to Lake Okeechobee.

Rachel Iacovone is a reporter and associate producer of Gulf Coast Live for WGCU News. Rachel came to WGCU as an intern in 2016, during the presidential race. She went on to cover Florida Gulf Coast University students at President Donald Trump's inauguration on Capitol Hill and Southwest Floridians in attendance at the following day's Women's March on Washington.Rachel was first contacted by WGCU when she was managing editor of FGCU's student-run media group, Eagle News. She helped take Eagle News from a weekly newspaper to a daily online publication with TV and radio branches within two years, winning the 2016 Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence Award for Best Use of Multimedia in a cross-platform series she led for National Coming Out Day. She also won the Mark of Excellence Award for Feature Writing for her five-month coverage of an FGCU student's transition from male to female.As a WGCU reporter, she produced the first radio story in WGCU's Curious Gulf Coast project, which answered the question: Does SWFL Have More Cases of Pediatric Cancer?Rachel graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with a bachelor's degree in journalism.