PBS and NPR for Southwest Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Gulf Coast Life Square 1400x1400
Gulf Coast Life

We Preview the Upcoming Cela Tega 2020 Water Quality Conference at FGCU

Tom James - www.pelicanmedia.tv
Blue-green algae in the Caloosahatchee River at the beginning of Summer, 2018.

Anyone who was living in Southwest Florida in 2018 will always remember the two massive harmful algal blooms that devastated marine animals, and hurt the local economy. The blue-green algae bloom which started in Lake Okeechobee and wound up choking the Caloosahatchee River, the canals that line it, and its estuary, met the offshore red tide bloom which was lining beaches with dead fish, dolphins, and even a whale shark.

Those blooms, while devastating, also helped raise the public’s awareness of the need for real solutions to the many water quality issues we’re facing in Florida – and helped to kickstart actual policy solutions coming from Tallahassee.

Next Saturday, January 25th Florida Gulf Coast University is hosting a water quality conference called “Cela Tega 2020: Estero Bay is in trouble: What Citizens can do to help." It will bring together experts in science, policy and civic engagement with the goal of helping residents get the knowledge, information and skills needed to be a positive influence in addressing the many water quality issues we face in Southwest Florida, and not just in Estero Bay. The daylong conference begins at 8am. It’s free and open to everyone.

We’re getting a preview with Dr. Nora Demers, Associate Professor of Biology at FGCU and organizer of the Cela Tega Conference; Jennifer Hecker, Executive Director of the Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership, who will be presenting at the conference; and retired local journalist Charlie Whitehead who will be MCing the conference.

Mike Kiniry is producer of Gulf Coast Live, and co-creator and host of the WGCU podcast Three Song Stories: Biography Through Music. He first joined the WGCU team in the summer of 2003 as an intern while studying Communication at Florida Gulf Coast University. 
Julie Glenn is the News Director and the host of Gulf Coast Live. She joined the WGCU team in November of 2016 to expand the Gulf Coast Live call-in radio show from once a week to five days a week.  Since then, the show has been recognized in state and regional competitions and has featured artists, political leaders, historians, environmental experts, doctors, local reporters, and national and international scholars. After leading the station's award-winning coverage of Hurricane Irma in September of 2017, Julie was named Interim News Director. In January of 2018, she launched WGCU's first podcast: Grape Minds.