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H3. Journalism for Florida Watershed and Environmental Issues

Program for Journalism, Hydrology, Environment, Management and other students

The current condition of the Caloosahatchee River is considered by many to be an example of a failure in water management. In order to improve the south Florida repeated deadly floods that plagued the Caloosahatchee River and Lake Okeechobee, it was decided in 1920's to transform the winding river by dredging it into a straight deep channel. The dredging included construction of a series of canals, locks and pumping stations designed to remove excess water from surrounding lands and created one of the world's single most sophisticated plumbing systems. This system was built specifically to redirect the natural flow of water and has radically changed the historic sheet flow patterns.


Changes in the Caloosahatchee over the past 100 years were promoted to suit the immediate priorities and needs of Florida's expanding population and agricultural needs. Today's challenge is to develop a vision for the future, which balances human needs while protecting and promoting the resources and natural beauty of the whole river system for future generations. In cooperation with the Caloosahatchee River Citizens Association, we try to address the most pressing issues and inform public about them.

List of main tasks:

  • Promote public education concerning the historical significance, present condition, and future of the River and its watershed,
  • Increase public awareness of the importance of the River to the quality of life and to study the effect of domestic, commercial, and agricultural uses of the River's resources;
  • Inform public about monitoring efforts to improve the River's water quality, quantity, and flow characteristics;
  • Comment on the current environmental, economic and other related issues;
  • Observe and participate in the activities of public bodies responsible for the management of the River and its watershed;
  • Deliver to the public the latest news to keep it informed;
  • Update the Caloosahatchee News website on regular basis;
  • Prepare and deliver monthly newsletters to the public.

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