Safety Council

Engage Estero Safety Council is made of volunteers serving as a voice for the citizens of greater Estero on safety and transportation priorities and issues. We advocate for related solutions to Village, County, and State Government organizations.

Latest news…
Road Safety in Greater Estero

Road Safety in Greater Estero

Road Safety in Greater Estero By Contributing Author, Mark Novitski, and Engage Estero Consultant.  Everyone has their definition of what determines road safety or, conversely, what makes our roads unsafe. In writing extensively about Corkscrew Road, I have...

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Sign-Up for Property Fraud Alerts

Sign-Up for Property Fraud Alerts

Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comprtroller Kevin Karnes is now offering an alert notification system for Lee County property owners to reduce fraud. When you sign-up, if a deed, mortgage, or other non-Court official record is recorded in your name, you will be...

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Environment Council

Engage Estero Environment Council is a volunteer group focusing on improving water and air quality and mitigating and eliminating the effects of climate warming in greater Estero.

Latest news…

Health Council

Engage Estero Community Health Council comprises health* and safety-minded volunteers who think about community health comprehensively with a common desire to improve the overall health of the citizens of greater Estero.

Latest news…
Let’s Make Estero A HeartSafe Community!

Let’s Make Estero A HeartSafe Community!

The facts Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 300,000 lives annually. Approximately 95 percent of SCA victims die before they reach a hospital or receive medical attention. How Can We Help Reduce This...

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Education Council

Engage Estero mobilizes volunteers in our schools, sponsors scholarships, and promotes the involvement of the community through announcements and public forums.

Latest news…
Estero High Cambridge Students Recognized

Estero High Cambridge Students Recognized

By Mike Wasson, Director, Engage Estero The Village of Estero Council issued a Proclamation its Meeting on Wednesday, March 6th honoring 39 Estero High School Students who were presented the Cambridge Outstanding Learners Awards. In his remarks, Jon McLain, Village of...

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Updates on Issues of Impact

Engage Estero believes the best way to get a community involved is to make sure they are aware of the issues impacting their future, and know how to impact those decisions before they are made. We conduct and publish original research and articles aimed at getting residents Engaged.



News items, status reports and announcements of environmental events relevant to South Florida





Eco-Voice Digest – News and Views for April 6





The opinions posted on this site are not necessarily those of the site managers or all of our sponsors.

Eco-voice can not verify the accuracy of facts asserted in commentaries but does not knowingly post articles which have serious errors. Please call errors to our attention.




Eco-Voice Digest Sponor





Southwest Florida Climate summit


April 7 & 8, 2022, 9 am – 5:00 pm

CHNEP invites you to the 2022 Southwest Florida Climate summit, hosted by the Coastal & Heartland National Estuary Partnership. This hybrid public event, with both in person and virtual participation options, will feature experts and interactive audience question and answer sessions on one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time – climate change.


Keynote speakers include Florida Chief Resiliency Officer Dr. Wesley Brooks and Chief Science Officer Mark Rains, Senator Marco Rubio, FL Dept. of Agricultural and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried, as well as many other notable national and state experts.


Coming to this event will allow participants to gain and share knowledge, as well as mobilize the collaboration needed to build more resilient communities in our region.


Advance registration is required, which is free for online participants and $25 for those attending in-person.



If you have any questions, please contact us at


Celebrate Earth Day

Paddle the Gulf BioBlitz

April 22nd – 24th




Calling all citizen scientist volunteers, you are invited to participate in one of the largest biodiversity events focused on the Gulf of Mexico region!

Participants will be joining from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida through Paddle the Gulf. During Earth Day weekend get out on the water to paddle a local river, stream or estuary and identify different plants and animals along the way using the iNaturalist app on your cell phone. Paddle the Gulf is an initiative to inspire people to become more connected to nature by exploring coastal streams and rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico.


Using the iNaturalist app on the phone you will join the ‘Paddle the Gulf: 2022 Earth Day Bioblitz’ event and upload your observations as you go. For those who are new to using the iNaturalist app and would like to learn more, please check out this link: iNaturalist training.



WHAT: Paddle the Gulf BioBlitz

WHEN: April 22nd – April 24th

WHERE: Your local waterway!


“Eyes on Seagrass”

Citizen Science Training

April 26th & 27th



CHNEP volunteers are invited to join Florida Sea Grant for a volunteer training for the “Eyes on Seagrass” citizen science program.


Are you concerned about the health of Charlotte Harbor seagrass? Are you worried that seaweed abundance has changed in recent years? Here’s an opportunity to help scientists gather data aimed at evaluating these important questions.


Volunteers will learn about the benefits of seagrass and how to participate in this citizen scientist program!


WHAT: Eyes on Seagrass Training

WHEN: Tuesday, April 26th from 12pm-2pm & 6pm-8pm

WHERE: Laishley Park Municipal Marina

120 Laishley Court, Punta Gorda, FL 33950

WHAT: Eyes on Seagrass Training

WHEN: Wednesday, April 27th from 12pm-2pm & 6pm-8pm

WHERE: Cedar Point Environmental Park

2300 Placida Road, Englewood, FL 34224


Interested in becoming a volunteer? CHNEP is always looking for people to help us with volunteer events and community outreach! If you have any questions please contact us at for more information.










Celebrate Earth Day

April 22 and April 23, 2022

All the Festivities Start at 5 pm:  

  • Meet the RESET Board and Elders Reception with Wine and Hors’ D’oeuvrs
  • The Art of Paul Arsenault
  • Poetic Films with Lori Ersolmaz
  • Conversation with Joseph Bonasia about the Right to Clean Water Constitutional Amendment
  • 7:30 pm Concert


Register here for the Free Celebration and get your 25% discount for the Gulf Coast Chamber Orchestra

Earth Day Celebration Concert.




Campus of Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fort Myers

13411 Shire Lane

Fort Myers, FL 33912




UF/IFAS Extension Charlotte County is partnering with Peace River Audubon on National Arbor Day to feature a free native plant starter kit.


“Go Florida Native for Arbor Day.”


Those interested can sign up to commit to planting and caring for this collection of native plants in their own yard. We will offer one kit per household to those that pre-register and attend a short class on planting and caring for these plants. There will also be plant vendors, educational booths and displays. For further information please visit or website at or by phone at 941-764-4340.



Date and time

Fri, April 29, 2022

9:00 AM – 1:00 PM EDT


Centennial Park Recreation Center

1120 Centennial Blvd

Port Charlotte, FL 33953





Our Priorities

Saving rivers isn’t a choice. It’s survival. Our vision is to keep rivers healthy and free while ensuring people have the water they need. We do it by protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers and conserving clean water for people and nature.


Drought, floods and soaring temperatures threaten rivers, wildlife and people. Healthy, free-flowing rivers will be a community’s greatest strength in an era of climate change.


Too many rivers are choked with pollution and water supplies are at risk. Everyone deserves a healthy river and safe, clean water.


Thousands of dams are harming rivers nationwide. Removing dams and improving dam operations is vital to restoring the rivers that fish, wildlife and people depend on.


Our last wild rivers face a host of threats. Protecting these special places will ensure abundant wildlife and strong communities for generations to come.





Celebrate Earth Day with Audubon of Southwest Florida at Babcock Ranch Founders Square on Saturday, April 23, 9 am to noon. Enjoy displays, activities, and a glimpse at Florida’s first solar community, as well as nature trails for good birding. Event Location: Babcock Ranch Founders Square – 42850 Crescent Loop Babcock Ranch 33982 (In the open area to the east of the Discovery Center) For directions, go to:




After The Earth Day gig at Founder’s Square – Take a ride to see the preserve with Babcock Ranch Eco-Tours



Register today for the last spring driving birdwatch tour of STA5/6 on April 16 which will be lead by


2022 Driving Trip Schedule

April 16

October 1, 15

November 5, 19

December 3, 17

December 31 (Christmas Bird Count)






The Florida Trail Association, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit is responsible for developing, maintaining, protecting, & promoting a network of hiking trails throughout the state, including the unique Florida National Scenic Trail, commonly known as the “Florida Trail,” along with our primary agency partner, the U.S. Forest Service.



Celebrate Trails Day is April 23





SPRING | ISSUE: 98 | March 1, 2022

‘SAV’ing our Springs

By: Haley Moody

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) is such an important part of the springs ecosystem, here at the Florida Springs Institute we get a little upset when we see people trampling through it. A couple of years ago, FSI staff watched one young lad stomp through the SAV at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park and we were moved to create a series of interpretive signs, informing people about the importance of protecting the Submerged Aquatic Vegetation at this park. The “veg stomper” even made it on to our sign 🤣


The next time you are out at Ruth B. Kirby Gilchrist Blue Springs State Park, make sure to look for FSI’s “Healthy Underwater Forest” signs. .   











Opinion: Amid backsliding on climate, the renewables effort now must be tripled

By António Guterres


António Guterres is secretary general of the United Nations.


report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is a litany of broken climate promises. Together with the IPCC’s previous two reports on physical science and adaptation in the past year, it reveals the yawning gap between climate pledges and reality. And the reality is that we are speeding toward disastrous global warming of more than double the limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2100, as cited in the Paris agreement of 2016.


In concrete terms, this means major cities under water, unprecedented heat waves, terrifying storms, widespread water shortages, and the extinction of 1 million species of plants and animals.

So far, high-emitting governments and corporations are not just turning a blind eye; they are adding fuel to the flames by continuing to invest in climate-choking industries. Scientists warn that we are already perilously close to tipping points that could lead to cascading and irreversible climate effects.

The new IPCC report arrives in a period of extraordinary global political and economic turbulence that has further jeopardized efforts to address climate change. Energy prices spiked after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, prompting several nations to increase fossil-fuel production. In the long run, that will only make matters worse.

Leaders who claim to be protecting their people by doubling down on fossil fuels are doing the exact opposite: throwing their people to the wolves of energy insecurity, price volatility and climate chaos.

The IPCC report lays out a saner, safer approach, one that would get the world back on track by using renewable solutions that provide green jobs, energy security and greater price stability.

This report is a blueprint to bring us back to the 1.5-degree pledge that nearly 200 nations made in Paris and renewed at the COP26 gathering in Glasgow, Scotland, in November.

We left Scotland with a naive optimism, based on new promises and commitments. But the main problem — the enormous, growing emissions gap — was all but ignored.

The science is clear. To keep the 1.5-degree limit within reach, we need to cut global emissions by 45 percent this decade. But current climate pledges would mean a 14 percent increase in emissions. And most major emitters are not taking the steps needed to fulfill even these inadequate promises.

That is why this latest IPCC report is focused on mitigation — cutting emissions. It sets out viable, financially sound options in every sector.

First and foremost, we must triple the speed of the shift to renewable energy.

That means moving investments and subsidies from fossil fuels to renewables, now. In most cases, renewables are already cheaper.

It means governments ending the funding of coal, not just abroad, but at home: Stop financing all forms of coal extraction, production and power generation everywhere, including in the form of subsidies. To support major emerging economies in making this shift, I have been advocating for climate coalitions, made up of developing and developed countries, multilateral development banks, private financial institutions and corporations with the technical know-how to help.

All of us have a role to play in the shift to green energy. Young people, civil society and Indigenous communities are among those who have already stepped up, sounding the alarm and holding leaders accountable. We now need to build on their work to create a worldwide grass-roots movement that no one can ignore.

I hereby appeal directly to everyone with an interest in our planet and our future: Make your voice heard, wherever decisions are taken — in political debates, local authorities, boardrooms and at the ballot box.

Demand an end to coal-fired power.

Call for renewable energy to be deployed rapidly and widely.

I will be following up on net-zero pledges by private finance later this year. Promises to phase out coal must be backed up by comprehensive plans, without exceptions or loopholes, and with action.

The decisions governments make today will determine the future of achieving the 1.5-degree limit.

A shift to renewables will mend our broken global energy mix and offer hope to millions of people already suffering from the impact of climate change.

Climate promises and plans must be turned into reality and action, now. It is time to stop burning our planet, and start investing in the abundant renewable energy all around us.






  • Governing Board Meeting: April 14, 2022

·         Zoom Registration Link

  • SFWMD Leasing Corp Annual Meeting: April 14, 2022

·         Zoom Registration Link

  • Big Cypress Basin Board Meeting: April 28, 2022





There’s other books out there …

But for me Tom Lodge’s book is the best.

The Everglades Handbook: A Review



Review by Bob Sobczak, Big Cypress -Go Hydrology

It passes my number one test: It’s highly rereadable…. 









IWLA Cypress Chapter Scholarship

The Cypress Chapter of IWLA is pleased to be able to offer a $1,000 college scholarship each year to graduates of Hendry, Glades, Collier, Lee and Charlotte County Public High Schools. This is a merit based competition open to all college-bound students who are going to undertake a major in environmental science, conservation, marine biology or similar fields.The application deadline has been extended to May 15th. The 2021 Conservation Scholarship Application Form is here for download.



IWLA National Conservation Scholarship

The IWLA National Conservation Scholarship program was established in 2005 to promote conservation leadership among future natural resource managers and professionals. This scholarship supports rising junior and senior college undergraduates from recognized conservation or environment-related degree programs. Click here to download.

John Servais – Cypress Chapter Education Chair


As Cypress Chapter Education director, John is hoping to re-activate the IWLA SWF scholarship program, please help him. John can be reached at




2022 Scholarship and Grant Applications Are Now Being Accepted



AWRA Florida has a mission to support education through the Rosanne Clementi Education Program and awards scholarships and grants to Florida undergraduate and graduate college or university students, high school seniors, pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers, and environmental education centers.

The Sanford N. Young Scholarship is designed to provide funding for one (1) $3,000 scholarship for an exceptional water resources graduate student.


The William V. Storch Student Award is available to graduate and undergraduate water resources students. In 2021, up to four (4) $1,500 awards are available to graduate students and up to three (3) $1,500 awards are available to undergraduate students.

The Buddy & Laura Blain High School Scholarship is available to exceptional Florida high school seniors who have an intent to pursue academic studies at a Florida college or university. At least one (1) $1,000 scholarship is available each year.

The J.B. Butler Science Grant is available to pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade teachers and/or environmental education centers to aid in water resources education. Up to six (6) $1,000 grants are awarded each year.

Click here for more information and to download application forms and instructions. All applications must be submitted online as a single PDF file by APRIL 30, 2022 (Note: If needed, letters of recommendation/reference can be emailed separately). If you are not an AWRA Florida Student member, please consider joining. Annual student membership is only $5.

If you have any questions, please reply to this email or contact Gordon Brown.





Friday, April 8, 2022

4/8/2022 » 4/10/2022

Location: Palm Beach, Florida   



Location: Brooksville, Florida    Time: 10 – 11:30am

 Saturday, April 9, 2022


Location: North Miami Beach, Florida    Time: 9:00 AM


Location: Brooksville, Florida    Time: 9 am – 2 pm


Location: Brooksville, Florida    Time: 7:30 – 9:30 pm












— Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has turned down requests from GOP lawmakers and ag industry groups to bring farmland out of conservation programs and back into production as Russia’s war in Ukraine sparks a potential food crisis.



Proposed restriction on soil and water boards is unconstitutional

Nicole Crosby


“Madam Chair, I had to check my watch to make sure it wasn’t April Fools.”


Those were GOP Sen. Jeff Brandes’ opening words in the Appropriations Committee debate over a bill that disqualifies perhaps 95% of Floridians from candidacy for the small, unpaid position of Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD).


Not even a soil and water scientist qualifies to serve on the board under SB 1078, sponsored by my own state senator, Travis Hutson. The bill effectively fired me from the job I was elected to by 73,840 people. Hutson cut my term in half, and it will end this year unless the governor vetoes the bill…..



There’s still hope that Gov. Ron DeSantis will see the many failings of SB 1078 and give it the veto it deserves.

Nicole Crosby serves as chair of the St. Johns Soil and Water Conservation District.






Registration opens for June in-person conference in DC


Registration has opened for CCL’s June conference in Washington, D.C.! This year’s conference is the first in-person CCL event in two years, and will be from Jun. 11-13. 







South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (TF) Zoom Meeting

The South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (Task Force) was established by Congress in 1996 to ensure consistent strategies among all the partners working towards Everglades restoration. At such regular meetings of the Task Force, staff and member agencies update matters previously presented to the Task Force, report back on direction issued by the Task Force and brief the Task Force on new or emerging issues relevant to Everglades Restoration.

Draft Agenda and Briefing Materials will be available at a later date. Visit us at for more details.

Click HERE to register in advance for this webinar

This meeting will be also available live at our YouTube Channel

Office of Everglades Restoration Initiatives, ‎Davie, FL, ‎33314






The Corps/SFWMD Integrated Delivery Schedule (IDS)


The plan for Everglades Restoration


What, when, by whom, how much, project status


Integrated Delivery Schedule Status

A formal re-evaluation of the Integrated Delivery Schedule (IDS) was completed in 2015. The IDS was updated in July 2018, October 2019, and September 2020.












Everglades Restoration Integrated Delivery Schedule






Books & Reports





The CHNEP Kids Activity Book

is now on our website!

It features environmental education topics including watersheds, habitat, and sustainable fishing as well as fun activities for kids to learn and explore the Florida outdoors.


We invite members of the “green” community – NGOs, individuals, and green for-profits, to help support Eco-Voice. The suggested donation is $100 annually, or $250 for three years, for NGOs and individuals and $250 annually or $500 for three years for for-profits. $100 to promote your “green” event of regional interest.


Checks to support Eco-Voice can be sent to Post Office Box 50161, Fort Myers, Fl 33994. 

 Eco-Voice has 501c3 status with the IRS.

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The opinions posted on this site are not necessarily those of the site managers or all of our sponsors.

Eco-voice can not verify the accuracy of facts asserted in commentaries but does not knowingly post articles which have serious errors.

Eco-Voice, Inc. is a non-partisan, independent communication portal for individuals interested in the issues impacting the south Florida environment.

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