Film industry veteran tapped as new Collier County Waterkeeper promoting water quality

There’s a new man on a mission on the job to protect Southwest Florida’s water quality.

From the beautiful beach to wondrous wetlands, the area will become the backdrop of K.C. Schulberg’s work as the new Collier County Waterkeeper.

After serving as the executive director of the Calusa Waterkeeper organization in Lee County, K.C. Schulberg has five points he wants to take on — climate change, wetland preservation, harmful algal blooms, stormwater runoff and coral reef preservation.

While these are all different issues, he says they’re connected, “We have to preserve this. I mean, this is beautiful.”

Schulberg started in his new position Friday.

“I first came to little old Everglades city in 1958,” he explained. “I was a boy of five, and my father and uncle made a movie called Wind Across the Everglades. Warner Brothers movie starring Christopher Plummer and Burl Ives.”

In his adulthood, Schulberg calls Naples home, and he knows part of the fight to protect our water begins with spreading the word to the part-time people who also call this area home.

“We got to energize and engage with the people living along this fine body of water, who may be only here for months a year, and get them involved,” he said.

And he knows taking on Collier County’s environmental needs faces two greater forces climate change and population growth.

“Even though we’ve made some progress, we’re actually backsliding. Our water quality is degrading, so we have to work even harder, get more people educated, and try to get on a better track.”

With a background in film, Schulberg also spearheaded three documentaries at Calusa Waterkeeper in Lee County; “Troubled Waters,” “Eternal Vigilance,” and “Waterborne.”

Reporter:Stephanie Byrne
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