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Plans gel for first Florida Economic Water Summit

By Staff | Oct 9, 2018

Calusa Waterkeeper, a local non-profit water quality advocacy group, will hold the inaugural Florida Economic Water Summit at the Broadway Palm Theater in Fort Myers on Monday, Oct. 15, from 6-9 p.m.

Prompted by public outcry, the summit will gather industry and community leaders, economists and scientists – all of whom have all been affected by toxic waters – from across Southwest Florida to address the catastrophic damage to the region’s economy as a result of red tide and blue-green algae blooms.

“This is no longer just a clean water or environmental issue,” said Calusa Waterkeeper Executive Director K.C. Schulberg in a prepared statement. “This disaster slices across every aspect of our way of life, ravaging our livelihoods, our solvency, our public health, our beautiful beaches, river and estuaries and all that we love about Florida. A catalogue of neglect and mismanagement of our resources got us here. Stakeholders are now central to finding a solution before our way of life is permanently impaired.”

Many different speakers from various backgrounds with copious amounts of experience in their respective field will share their knowledge and experience.

Speakers include: John Cassani, Biologist & Calusa Waterkeeper; Wayne Daltry, former director of SWFL Regional Planning Council; Dave Jensen, owner, Jensen’s Twin Palm Resort and Marina on Sanibel; John Lai, president of the Sanibel-Captiva Chamber of Commerce; Jacki Liszak, president of the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce; Corey McCloskey, John R. Wood Properties, director of Career Development; Adam Vellano, BEX Realty, West Coast sales manager; Dr. H. Shelton Weeks, department chair of Economics & Finance; Lucas Professor of Real Estate/Captain Daniel Andrews, executive director, Captains for Clean Water

“Every part of our community has been affected and I am certain that we will continue to feel the effects long after the red tide has dissipated,” said Liszak in a prepared statement. “Florida’s water situation is complicated, but I absolutely believe that with everyone’s help, it can be solved!”

Doors will open at 5 p.m. for a Clean Water Fair by environmental non-profits.

For a $25 donation, a dinner, along with the forum will be offered to the public.

If you do not wish to have dinner, and just want to attend the summit, it will be a $10 donation and runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

The Clean Water Fair will resume following the summit, and lasts until 9:45.

Jensen called out to the public in a written statement, urging area residents to stand in numbers.

“It’s SHOWTIME Time for us all to show up!” he said.

You can follow the event on Facebook. To purchase tickets, visit www.broadwaypalm.com/shows/florida-economic-water-summit.

Broadway Palm is at 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj