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Water experts discuss health of Estero Bay, what public can do to help

Water is our crown jewel in Southwest Florida. And that’s why its the topic of discussion at FGCU. Experts are are meeting to discuss what we can do to keep our waterways healthy.

FGCU is hosting the Cela Tega Conference Series Saturday to address health concerns for the Estero Bay region.

Experts told a room filled with community members how to participate in keeping waterways in the region healthy, and people we spoke to are not taking their roles lightly.

Pat Levy told us he tries to attend as many water conferences in Southwest Florida as she can, not only to educate herself, but to create a better environment for next generations.

“I have a wonderful family, grandchildren who have a future,” said Levy, who live is Bonita Springs. “And, now, they’re going to be burdened with our mistakes. And, if we live here and say, ‘What are we going to do for our children and grandchildren?’ and we do nothing.”

That’s why Levy and over 100 other environmentalists, academics and concerned citizens showed up to the Celga Tega Conference to discuss what we can do to maintain the health of Estero Bay.

“Every person’s home is a point source of pollution, potentially,” said Russell VanRiper, a naturalist environmental educator. “But you have choices. You can change your water usage. You can add plants and just take personal responsibility.”

“We need to do what we can in our yards, so that we understand that we need to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem,” said. Nora Demers, event organizer and an FGCU associate professor.

The conference included an open floor for audience members to ask experts questions about the region’s environment.

Maggy Hurchalla attended the event, traveling over from the east coast of the state, to see what she can take back home.

“We saw, in the last five years, really basic economic and environmental catastrophes on both coasts,” Hurchalla said. “I’m learning a lot about what they’re doing on the west coast.”

Organizers told us all presentations from the day’s event will be included online. For more information, visit the Cela Tega Conference page.

“I’ve heard some really good solutions about how to clean the water,” said Scott Perry from LaBelle.

Reporter:Breana Ross
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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