In the News in 2022
“WETLANDS and CLIMATE CHANGE” Distinguished Speaker Series w/Dr. Bill Mitsch (APRIL 12, 2022)
2022 Moonlight on the Marsh Lecture
March 24, 2022
TITLE: “What I Fought For: Memoirs of an Environmental Professor” - William J. Mitsch, Ph.D., Everglades Wetland Research Park, Naples, Florida, and Juliet C. Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration and Management, Florida Gulf Coast University, Naples, Florida
2022 Moonlight on the Marsh Lecture (March 17, 2022)
TITLE: “Finding the Rarest Birds in the World” -- Bernard F. Master, DO, FACOFP, DNB, Clinical Professor, Clinical Medicine, Emeritus, OUHCOM, Ohio University
In the News in 2021
Prof. Mitsch presents first AEES Webinar Series in December 1, 2021(December 3, 2021)
EWRP Director Bill Mitsch presented first American Ecological Engineering Society (AEES) Webinar Series on Wednesday Dec. 1 2021. AEES Chair and Prof. Burchell at North Carolina State University hosted the webinar and about 80 participants were in the webinar. The presentation recording is now available on AEES's website - https://www.ecoeng.org/aees-webinar-series
Prof. Mitsch presents Keynote at Everglades Legacy Luncheon in Naples (November 3, 2021)
EWRP Director Bill Mitsch presented the keynote address at the Friends of the Everglades Marjory Stoneman Douglas Legacy Luncheon on Wednesday Nov. 3 2021 at the Ritz-Carlton in Naples. It was an honor to be selected to present the keynote for the person who did more than anybody towards saving the Florida Everglades. Six other members of our Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples were in attendance--advisory committee members Mo Winograd, Linda Peniman, Susan Calkins-Ritas, Dave Marshall, and Amy Turner, and assistant director Li Zhang. Great program organized by Friends of the Everglades on the Gulf Coast side of Florida.
FGCU team strucggles to grow corn with 'Wetlaculture' (Eco-Voice Digest - News and View, October 21, 2021)
By Betsy Calvert Staff Writer
Florida scientists attempting to prove that wetlands can replace fertilizer say their corn plots suffered major setbacks.
The cornfield was in Ohio, but the experiment was set up by scientists at Florida Gulf Coast University Water School in Fort Myers and Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples.
FGCU Professor Bill Mitsch said he sees the experiment as a success.
“The magic moment to us was that we grew corn without fertilizer there, and the fertilizer was captured by the wetlands,” Mitsch said. “That’s almost the whole message … It’s a first start to saying you can grow crops with recycled nutrients.”William Mitsch is a scientist and wetlands engineer from Florida Gulf Coast University who has proposed a new type of farming that would require no fertilizer and would prevent harmful algae blooms such as red tide and blue green algae. But it would take government intervention, which leaves some people skeptical.
A 2020 experiment, published in August, in central Ohio proved that commercial hybrid corn could grow without added fertilizer, but it produced far less corn per acre than commercial fields nearby — about 64% less. Some of that was to be expected, researchers noted in the published results in Ecological Engineering. Commercial corn has been genetically engineered to require massive amounts of fertilizer and to be immune to plant killing herbicides applied all around it.
Before the era of modern farming, in 1926, the United States grew corn at less than half the rate of even the FGCU plot, and about 84% less than modern corn fields. Hence, the massive application of fertilizer in commercial corn.
Those levels of fertilization have caused harmful algae blooms costing the nation $2.2 billion annually, the study states. The cost is in water quality problems that shut down water supplies or set up communities for failing real estate.
Mitsch and his crew have been working on engineering solutions to this problem that try to find a compromise between agricultural needs and environmentalist demands. They came up with the concept of wetlaculture (wetlands agriculture) and designed systems called mesocosms, which are essentially plastic tubs connected to water supplies and filled with experimental soils. They are installed in wetland locations, allowed to be flooded for several years, and then drained to be used for agriculture.
FGCU researchers work to install their “wetlaculture mesocosm” units in an Ohio wetland
in 2016. By 2020, the units were ready to test with a commercial crop, corn, which
proved difficult to maintain due to flooding and raccoons eating the kernels.
The goal has been to show that wetlands accumulate nutrients that plants need, without needing to add fertilizer. This engineered method, however, requires that farmers take fields out of planting for several years at a time. It could require government subsidies, Mitsch has said in the past. Given the damage done by harmful algae blooms, however, researchers are hoping government and industry will soon consider this an option.
The units in Ohio were installed in wetlands in 2016 and ready for use in agriculture
by 2020. It was all going to be funded by a $10 million prize offered by The Everglades
Foundation, Mitsch said. Competitors had to find a way to remove phosphorus from water
and recycle it for use in society. Excess phosphorus is a threat to the Everglades.
That prize was never awarded, Foundation Chief Science Officer Stephen Davis acknowledged.
All the competitors dropped out before the final phase due likely to cost, he said.
Competitors dropped out also because they moved the project to Ontario, Canada, Mitsch said.
But the FGCU team kept working on the Ohio project, and have also installed a project at Freedom Park in Collier County, where they hope to show exactly how much excess nutrients those wetlands can remove.
This is a plot of wetlaculture mesocosms after they are installed in a wetland area in Ohio. Florida Gulf Coast University researchers followed this plot for four years. They have installed similar systems in Collier County, but this one was later used to grow a major commercial crop, corn.
With the Ohio project, the units were filled with wetland soil, not the depleted farmland soil. They were to be planted and allowed to grow for several months. But historic floods in May wiped out the crop, and they had to be replanted. Then, deer and rabbits started eating the plants. Finally, two days before harvest, raccoons finished off many of the plants. But they had enough left to extrapolate the yield.
How do commercial corn growers handle raccoons? Mitsch said he suspects raccoons can’t make a dent on the 1,000-acre plots planted in commercial corn.
The research report suggests other future adaptions for control of flooding. Future experiments could try planting at higher density, with different soil types and animal control methods. Also, the sites had to be hand weeded and hand pollinated.
Mitsch said these mesocosms are probably better suited economically for growing biomass at this point. Biomass refers to plants that are used for fuel. In the modern era, that would include soybeans but also different types of tall grasses that the wetlaculture team has already planted.
The report concluded that corn, “with its extreme reliance on synthetic fertilizers and its vanishing profit margins,” is not a good choice for wetlaculture.
“The key to successfully implementing this much-needed strategy is the informed selection
of an appropriate crop that maximizes production and profit on frequently flooded
and otherwise unamended soils.”
Mangroves rebound following hurricanes, helping protect against greenhouse gas, study shows (Naples Daily News, October 2, 2021)
One of the largest mangrove restoration projects in Florida breaks ground near Marco Island (Naples Daily News, September 24, 2021)
EWRP Director Bill Mitsch was quoted as saying “Absolutely this project belongs to Robin Lewis!!! Every time we taught our wetland restoration short course at the EWRP in Naples together, this site was a field trip. RIP Robin! I miss him greatly.”
Estimating the Effects of a Hurricane on Carbon Storage in Mangrove Wetlands in Southwest Florida (Eco-Voice News, September 7, 2021)
Experiment in central Ohio by Florida researchers grows corn in fertilizer-trapping wetlands instead of growing algae in polluted lakes and coastal waters (EWRP release, August 19, 2021)
FGCU wetlands expert Bill Mitsch hails Biden rollback of Trump water rule (The Paradise Progressive - Home Blog, June 14, 2021)
Prof. Mitsch updates isotope study on the cause of Red Tide in SW Florida (WGCU, June 9, 2021)
Prof. Mitsch and his research team gave 7 oral presentations and 2 posters in Special seesion 6: Sustainably solving legacy nutrients in landscapes with wetlaculture on13th International Symposium of Biogeochemistry of Wetlands (remote), including 2 faculties from The Ohio State University and University of Notre Dame (March 23-24, 2021)
Getting our water right (Florida Weekly-Fort Myers, February 9, 2021)
Prof. Mitsch gave “World Wetland Day Presentations (Eastern USA Sites)” to World Wetlands Day 2021 Celebration—Wetlands Around the World, Newport Beach Association and University of California Irvine, CA (remote) (Newport Beach Association and University of California Irvine, February 7, 2021)
Bill presnted “Reducing Legacy Nutrients with Wetlands and Wetlaculture,” for Upper Mississippi River Basin Association (UMRBA) Water Quality Task Force Presentation, St. Paul, MN (remote) (Upper Mississippi River Basin Association, January 27,2021)
In the news in 2020
Bill interviewed by Science about new paper in Nature on nitrate removal in wetlands (Science, December 18, 2020)
EWRP Director predicts additional seasonal water shortages at Corkscrew Swamp if Ft Myers mine is permitted (Fort Myers News-Press and Naples Daily News, December 7, 2020)
Scientists concerned about chemicals used to keep Lake O algae out of St. Lucie River (TCPalm, October 28, 2020)
>Congratulations on Five 2020 Regional Emmy Nominations to South Florida’s “Troubled Waters: A Turtles Tale” (October 25, 2020)
The powerful climate and ocean change PBS movie "Troubled Waters: A Turtle's Tale" has been nominated for five 2020 Regional Emmy Awards for the 44th Annual Suncoast Chapter Virtual Awards Event to be held on December 12, 2020. The nominations are for Documentary-Topical, Photographer, Craft Achievement (WLRN-TV Miami and Ft. Lauderdale), Director (Rory Fielding) and Performer/Narrator (Peter Coyote). It was an honor for Bill Mitsch to be included as one of several performers including ocean-guru Ted Danson in this environmental gem.
Sonic buoys kill 50 acres of blue-green algae (SUN Port Charlotte, Oct. 9, 2020)
New technology kills blue-green algae with ultrasonic waves; will it help St. Lucie River? (TCPalm, Sept. 28, 2020)
Florida Gulf Coast University unveils new ultrasonic technology to fight algae blooms (Fox4 TV, September 24, 2020)
New technology may help in the fight against blue-green algae (Naples Daily News, September 23, 2020)
The Florida Lake Management Society for the FLMS 2020 Kickoff Session with Dr. Bill Mitsch (FLMS, August 27, 2020)
Bill Mitsch presented the talk on"Taming Harmful Algal Blooms in Lakes: Controlling the Symptoms vs. Controlling the
Landscape Causes - Zoom" in lakes remotely this morning. It was mostly base on two projects based at EWRP
lab in Naples, one that happened in the last year and the other that we have been
working on for the past 6 years--our "wetlaculture" approach.
There were more that 250 registrants. Presentation went well and there were so many questions at the end, FLMS will have a separate Q and A recorded soon and posted on the FLMS web site.
FGCU planning to use ultrasonic buoy devices to help control algal blooms (WINK News, July 8, 2020)
Everglades Wetland Research Park publication on probable causes of algal blooms in Lake Okeechobee (EcoVoice, July 3, 2020)
NOAA imagery from June 20, 2020 shows a high potential for algae and cyanobacteria blooms in the center of Lake Okeechobee, Florida. The imagery does not show actual blooms. It is created with a computer model based on data collected by the satellite. Areas in red have the highest potential for a visible bloom of cyanobacteria. Image credit: The images were derived from Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite data from the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT) and were processed by NOAA, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science.
*The citation is: Ma, P., L. Zhang and W.J. Mitsch. 2020. Investigating sources and transformations of nitrogen using dual stable isotopes for Lake Okeechobee restoration in Florida. Ecological Engineering 155: 105947. See https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1bJm13IW-wfbWI
(You can download the paper for free for the next 50 days from this address.)
1. The Kissimmee River, as expected, dominated inflows to Lake Okeechobee (58.4±2.11m3/s) much higher than the second most important inflow. Primary outflows were westward discharges to the Caloosahatchee (27.7±0.63m3/s) to the Gulf of Mexico, and eastward discharges to the St. Lucie River (7.0±0.30m3/s) to the Atlantic Ocean.
2. Total nitrogen and total phosphorus averaged 1.56±0.42 mg L-1 and 0.11±0.06 mg L-1 respectively at 14 near-shore sampling sites with no significant seasonal variations. Dissolved organic nitrogen was the dominant form of nitrogen, averaging 1.18±0.32 mg L-1.
3. Nitrate isotopes revealed that non-point sources from NH4+ fertilizers and soil nitrogen were the main nitrate sources to Lake Okeechobee. NH4+ fertilizer contributed 36.7% of the lake’s nitrate in the dry season and 54.9% in the wet season, while soil nitrogen contributes 31.4% in the dry season and 25.1% in the wet season.
4. Animal manure was not a dominant source of nitrate to the lake, contributing 12.0% of the nitrate in the wet season and 25.4% in the dry season.
5. Monitoring and regulatory strategies for the lake restoration should consider the control of nitrogen pollution sources from agriculture to complement efforts to control phosphorus inflows that are often thought to be the main drivers for harmful algal blooms in the lake and downstream of the lake. Furthermore, nitrate-nitrogen is generally considered the main nutrient that stimulates red tide.
Thanks to the People’s Republic of China for providing a scholarship to Prof. Pei Ma that allowed her to spend a year in Naples to contribute to the restoration of the Florida Everglades and improve the water quality of our south Florida estuaries and beaches. We are very appreciative to the many visiting scholars who join us every year and contribute to our research and teaching.
Thanks also to Duke Vasey for serving as a driver for Pei Ma and others from our lab so that they could sample around the entire perimeter of Lake O in wet and dry seasons in 2018.
FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples FL receives $1 million grant to investigate innovative approach for mitigating harmful algal blooms (EWRP, June 24, 2020)
A pilot-scale project on a 700-acre lake in south Lee county has just been funded by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for monitoring, predicting, and controlling harmful algal blooms. This two-year project will test an innovative “buoy ultrasonic technology”(MPC-Buoy) to eliminate the symptoms of eutrophication by toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). This MPC-Buoy system first provides a complete overview of the water quality and algal biomass every 10 minutes thereby making it possible to modify the ultrasonic program to the specific water conditions and type of algae present. This way, it is possible to manage existing algae and prevent the growth of new algae.
The project will be managed and monitored by FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park located on the campus of the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, Florida, in collaboration with a team that includes LG Sonic US, Scranton, Pennsylvania and scientists from The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH; University of South Florida, Tampa, FL; and Mote Marine Lab, Sarasota, FL.
Greg Eiffert, Director of LG Sonic US, gave the history of this approach. "Our parent company in the Netherlands has been installing systems in over 26 countries for the past 10 years. Having just opened the US office in Spring of 2019, we have systems currently active in 16 states including Florida. We are happy to see the State of Florida investing in treatment of algal blooms without chemicals. In addition to being a chemical free system, it’s solar powered and eco-friendly, with no negative effects to the environment.”
Bill Mitsch, Director of the Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples, FL and principal investigator for this project, suggest that if the MPC-Buoy system is effective in reducing algal blooms in this pilot-scale project in south Florida, “we may be able to scale-up and develop a strategy for mitigating if not eliminating the toxic algae releases from Lake Okeechobee that have been causing harmful algal blooms on our Gulf and Atlantic coastlines. That could lead to a significant improvement in water quality in south Florida and the Greater Everglades.”
Congratulations to Lauren Griffiths on successfully defending her PhD dissertation (EWRP, May 4, 2020)
Congratulations to Bill Mitsch's graduate student Lauren Griffiths on successfully defending her PhD dissertation this afternoon on a zoom defense held in Naples, Tampa, and Puerto Rico. 45 folks attended from all over the world too. Title of dissertation was Biogeochemical Cycling of Nutrients and Carbon in Tropical and Subtropical Wetlands.” Masterful defense of work in freshwater and saltwater wetlands in Florida and Puerto Rico. She will graduate with PhD in School of Geosciences at University of South Florida in August 2020, we still think remotely because of COVID-19.
Long-time SWS member and award-winning water scientist and Everglades research director, William Mitsch, presents a webinar on the state of the nation’s environment on Earth Day 2020 (Society of Wetland Scientists, April 29, 2020)
Florida Gulf Coast University’s Everglades Wetland Research Park (EWRP) Director Dr. Bill Mitsch presented an Earth Day webinar at the invitation of Federal agency National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Earth Day's fiftieth anniversary, April 22, 2020. The one-hour remote presentation was attended by 548 participants from all over the world. A recording of the webinar can be viewed on NOAA’s YouTube channel
Everglades research director presents a state-of the-nation's environment on Earth Day 2020 (Eco-Voice, April 29, 2020)
Award-winning water scientist and Everglades research director presents a state-of the-nation’s environment on Earth Day 2020 (EWRP, April 22, 2020)
Florida Gulf Coast University’s Everglades Wetland Research Park (EWRP) Director Dr. Bill Mitsch presented an Earth Day webinar at the invitation of Federal agency National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) on Earth Day, April 22, 2020, the fiftieth anniversary of the first Earth Day. The one-hour remote presentation was attended by 548 participants from all over the world.
James Turek, a restoration ecologist at NOAA’s Restoration Center in Narragansett, Rhode Island, introduced Mitsch at the webinar by recounting the significance of the first Earth Day, in 1970, to Mitsch’s environmental science and engineering career path. Mitsch was then working for energy giant Commonwealth Edison in Chicago, but after that first Earth Day he lobbied relentlessly to join their new Environmental Affairs department, which a year later led him to graduate school at the University of Florida specializing in environmental engineering sciences and later systems ecology under well-known ecologist H. T. Odum.
He has been an ecologist and ecological engineer ever since.
In his talk on environmental developments through the past 50 years, Mitsch suggested that while there are some signs of progress over the past 50 years, too many problems remain on the fiftieth anniversary of that first Earth Day: “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day . . . our over-crowded, climatically challenged, and poorly managed planet is now threatened even more than it was 50 years ago.”
Mitsch stated that “Covid-19 is perhaps Nature reminding us that we may have now gone just too far.” He also called Florida policies allowing use of poisons such as glyphosate in south Lake Okeechobee an “arrogant attempt to control Nature,” and stated that though such practices are named restoration, “they are not.” Recent reductions of Federal involvement in wetland protection after 45 years of the Clean Water Act were described as “unfortunate, as we need wetland ecosystem services today more than ever.”
But Mitsch also detailed his promising, optimistic “wetlaculture” (wetlands + agriculture) landscape renewal research at the EWRP which is meant to “reduce the relentless application of fertilizers across our agricultural landscape while restoring and creating wetland habitats to make up for the gigantic losses of wetlands worldwide. Through wetlaculture, now being developed as a business approach in collaboration with Business Professor Sam Miller from the University of Notre Dame, “farmers and investors could make a profit either by farming or creating wetlands, and downstream waters will be cleaner too.”
Response to the webinar was overwhelmingly appreciative. Dennis P. Vasey, Chairman of the Water Symposium of Florida, Inc., and a member of the EWRP advisory committee, applauded the presentation by saying that it offered “a logical process of why we need wetlands and a takeaway that would reduce agricultural fertilizer use and improve water quality,” adding, “As I consider the presentation, Dr. Mitsch gave us a gift!” From Ecuador, John Porterfield, a volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Change Lobby, wrote that the webinar “was truly excellent,” saying, “I enjoyed the pace, which created nice ‘space’ between the milestones of the presentation, and maintained near-continuous cogitation! Videos spliced into presentation were a highlight!” Biology professor Sister Rosine Sobczak of Lourdes College in Toledo, Ohio, concurred: “I really enjoyed your presentation! I know we have problems, but it was good to see the research to back them up. Keep on doing what you are doing and spreading the message.” And Gwen Ginocchio of Costa Mesa, California wrote: “Thank for your talk on wetlands. I learned many things. You've given us hope on Earth Day.”
The webinar can be found on NOAA’s YouTube (https://youtu.be/6YuCxE2RoGQ)
EWRP paper published on the importance of sedimentation in urban treatments wetlands constructed to protect Naples Bay and Gulf of Mexico (EWRP, April 21, 2020)
Hurrah for our EWRP grad student Lauren Griffiths. The first of several formally peer-reviewed
papers resulting from her upcoming Ph.D. has just been published. This paper discusses
the importance of sedimentation in the ability of a set of created urban wetlands
in Naples Florida built to improve the water quality of urban runoff before it enters
Naples Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
Congratulations to Bing Bing Jiang, EWRP’s newest Ph.D. (Naples and Tampa, April 7, 2020)
Hurrah for EWRP graduate student Bing Bing Jiang, who successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation Tuesday afternoon April 7, 2020. She will graduate in summer semester with a Ph.D. in Geography and Environmental Science & Policy from University of South Florida while performing the research at our lab in Naples and at field sites in Ohio. Here is a copy of the title slide of her dissertation presentation yesterday to the public and to her committee. Thirty-three people from all over the country and world, including China and Poland, attended her presentation through zoom.
Both FGCU AND USF benefited gigantically from this collaboration of state universities, Bing Bing got the best of the best of wetland science education that she could possibly get anywhere in the country, and tax dollars were saved! What is not to be happy about?
Congratulations, Bing Bing!
EWRP Ph.D. student BingBing Jiang interviewed by University of South Florida Geoscience podcast (March 27, 2020)
Congratulations to Andrew Wilson (EWRP, March 26, 2020)
Congratulations to Andrew Wilson on his successful completion of his Qualifying Exam today for his Ph.D. in our collaborative program with USF’s School of GeoScience. The exam was held remotely in Naples, Tampa, and Notre Dame Indiana by Zoom. So properly not much of a crowd to celebrate in Naples or any place else. This makes the third graduate student completing his/her qualifying exam in the last 18 months in this FGCU/USF collaborative program. And another new student was admitted to the program today.
Environmentalists to Army Corps: Reservoir to cut Lake Okeechobee discharges won't work - TCPalm (February 25, 2020)
FGCU holding workshop on wetlands mitigating harmful algae blooms- WINK TV (February 20, 2020)
Sea-level rise and onshore development are killing Florida's mangroves. Here's why that matters -USToday (February 14, 2020)
Researcher Proposes Using 'Wetlaculture' to Prevent Harmful Algal Blooms - WGCU (February 14, 2020)
Bill Mitsch is on Beach Talk Radio - Beach Talk Radio (February 8, 2020)
Florida's war on weeds is killing fish and supercharging red tide, opponents say—CNN (February 7, 2020)
Could we have a clean Estero Bay again? FGCU's Cela Tega conference offered a toolkit of ideas —Ft Myers New-Press (January 25, 2020)
Bill Mitsch presented “Troubled Waters: Sea turtles, plastics, red tide, Everglades, misguided water policies in south Florida, and wetlaculture" in 2020 Cela Tega conference —The Estero Bay is in trouble and what residents can do to help. (January 25, 2020 FGCU, Ft. Myers, FL (January 25, 2020)
FGCU wetlands professor blasts Trump water rules, calls for citizen action—The Paradise Progressive (January 24, 2020)
North Naples, FL (January 13, 2020)—EWRP Director Bill Mitsch presented "Sustainably solving wetland loss and harmful algal blooms (HABs) with created wetlands and wetlaculture” to the Seven Sisters of Southwest Florida luncheon at Pelican Isle Yacht Club, Naples, FL on Monday January 13, 2020. Dr. Mitsch’s lecture covered his lab’s wetland research in SW Florida and Ohio and introduced the concept of Wetlaculture. About 70 participants attended the luncheon and Prof. Mitsch’s lecture. Many were alumnae of one of the seven sister universities. According to wikipedia "The Seven Sisters are seven highly selective and prestigious liberal arts colleges in the Northeastern United States that are historically women's colleges. Five of the seven institutions continue to offer all-female undergraduate programs: Barnard College, Bryn Mawr College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, and Wellesley College. Vassar College has been co-educational since 1969. Radcliffe College shared common and overlapping history with Harvard College from the time it was founded as "the Harvard Annex" in 1879. Harvard and Radcliffe effectively merged in 1977, but Radcliffe continued to be the sponsoring college for women at Harvard until its dissolution in 1999. Barnard College was Columbia University's women's liberal arts undergraduate college until its all-male coordinate school Columbia College went co-ed in 1983; to this day, Barnard continues to be a women's undergraduate college affiliated with Columbia.”
Naples, FL (January 8, 2020)—Our preview showing of the movie "Troubled Waters: A Turtle's Tale,” a production of WLRN public TV in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale was a great success on Wednesday evening January 8, 2020 at the Everglades Wetland Research Park. A full-house of 150 attended and they gave an enthusiastic applause at the end of the movie. The movie features actor and ocean activist Ted Danson and is narrated by Peter Coyote. It take a critical look at the effects of global warming, water pollution and our “throw-away” plastic lifestyle on sea turtles and inevitably on ourselves. Some reviews we received on social media:
1. Was a wonderful evening - everyone should see this movie, and then spread the word! Thanks for all you're doing Bill to shine the light on these important issues.
3. Thanks so much for the invitation tonight. We both truly enjoyed it & I know April 20th will be a day to remember.
4. Thank you for a most informative (and a bit emotional 😢) program last evening!
5. ….'Troubled Waters' should be a required viewing for all of us in U.S.A working in Environmental Health areas….
6. I wanted to express to you again how much I enjoyed the film and look forward to sharing it with my friends and family this April!
7. One of the most powerful films I've seen. A cinematic Silent Spring”
Distinguished visitors included several of our EWRP advisory committee members, FGCU Dean of Engineering Richard Behr, Ph.D., and the new Director of Audubon's Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary Lisa Korte, Ph.D. We have been told by the movie director in Miami that this will be broadcast around the country on April 20 on PBS TV stations to celebrate 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
In the news in 2019
Shanghai Delegation visited EWRP in Kapnick, FGCU, Naples, Florida (October 29, 2019)
Haifeng, Cheng, Deputy Director, Senior Engineer, Shanghai Administration Center For Ocean Affairs; Libei, Liu , Office Deputy Director, Economist, Shanghai Administration Center For Ocean Affairs; Xuyun, Wu, Deputy Director, Engineer, Shanghai Marine Environmental Monitoring and Forecasting Center; Wansheng, Wang, Director, Senior Engineer, Shanghai Jinshan District Ocean Pond Management Institute; Li Yan, Senior Engineer, Shanghai Water Planning and Design Research Institute; Wen Wang, Assistant Engineer, Shanghai Bibo Water Design and Research Center
Blue-Green Algae Task Force Welcomed to the Kapnick in Naples FL (September 25, 2019)
EWRP Director Bill Mitsch gave a short welcome on behalf of all students, staff, faculty, visiting scholars and advisors of Everglades Wetland Research Park to the State of Florida's Blue-Green Algae Task Force that met at the Kapnick (EWRP's home on FGCU’s Naples campus) on September 24 and 25.
He described at how pleased he was to move to the Kapnick in 2012 from up north when the EWRP was born. "We hope you enjoy your stay here. When the FGCU administration offered me the Kapnick in 2012, then basically unused by the Ft. Myers campus an hour north of here during Season traffic on I-75, I thought I died and landed in wetland heaven. The Everglades to the east, mangroves on Naples and Rookery Bays to the immediate south and west.”
He also called attention to past and future planned expansion of the EWRP. "Our wetland research park now informally and formally includes Collier County’s Freedom Park wetland park just a few minutes drive from here in central Naples and possibly a new research site 200 yards north on Bayshore Drive as early as next year.
He invited participants to pick up publication reprints and join a tour the lab and offices. He also called attention to the members of the task force from University of Florida "I am also especially happy to welcome chief scientist Tom Frazer and committee member Wendy Graham to the EWRP. Gators are always welcome here!”
Wetland Scientist Questions Design of the EAA Reservoir Project (WGCU, August 26, 2019)
Press Release: Independent peer-reviewed science again calls into question the SFWMD’s EAA reservoir design&nbsbp;(Friends of the Everglades, August 15, 2019)
Press Release: SIERRA CLUB DEMANDS FULL REVIEW OF THE EAA RESERVOIR DESIGNAlternatives for Water Storage, Treatment, and Conveyance South are Way Past Due (Sierra Club, August 15, 2019)
Belle Glade, FL—The recently released review of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Storage Reservoir
by William J. Mitsch, Director of the Florida Gulf Coast University's Everglades Wetland
Research Park, draws attention once again to the fact that the current project design
is seriously lacking.
Statement by Sierra Club Organizing Representative Diana Umpierre:
“A full review of the EAA Storage Reservoir design is immediately required and South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) must aggressively identify alternatives for water storage, treatment, and conveyance south.
Sierra Club has been challenging South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) since 2017 to make full use of the resources provided by state law to design a cost-effective reservoir project in the Everglades Agricultural Area that maximizes potential benefits and ensures the conveyance of clean water south to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay. The current design is a staggering betrayal of the expectations created by the legislation (SB 10) signed into law in 2017.
The South Florida Water Management District has never engaged in a concerted effort to ensure a larger project footprint to boost the project’s water treatment capacity; in fact no alternatives were ever presented that address the concerns that restricting the project’s size limits its ability to achieve optimum performance.
Dr. Mitsch’s review underlines the need to ensure that the project design is consistent with the intent and letter of the law, presents the optimal configuration to reduce discharges to Florida’s coasts and deliver clean water to the Everglades and Florida Bay, and provides these benefits cost-effectively.
SB10 required SFWMD to analyze the "optimal configuration” (subparagraph (5)(b)(1) of Florida Statute 373.4598) of the reservoir and SFWMD was not limited to acreage already in public ownership. We need land, close to 100,000 acres, to truly restore the Everglades ecosystem and protect residents from toxic harmful algae – both around Lake Okeechobee and in the northern estuaries. For two decades everything but what is actually needed has been the focus. Dr. Mitsch’s review gives the District another reason to finally make land acquisition their top priority.
It makes no sense to spend $2 billion on a reservoir with a questionable design that is highly unlikely to provide the desperately needed benefits. Too many people have rushed to promote the implementation of the current design. Claiming victory, accepting less than what we truly need, will not ensure the restoration of the Everglades. We need to continue to demand the land needed to make restoration a reality.”
Experts Say The EAA Reservoir Won't Work (Bullsugar.org, August 15, 2019)
Everglades expert: Reservoir to curb discharges won't clean water; should SFWMD redesign? (TCPalm, August 14, 2019)
EWRP scientists, visiting scholars, and students visit Grand Lake St. Marys treatment
wetlands in Ohio (The Evening Leader, August 9, 2019)
Economics might support grandiose Great Black Swamp restoration (Toledo Blade, August 4, 2019)
FGCU’s Everglades center director comments on the current reservoir plan for solving
harmful algal blooms and restoring the Florida Everglades in a peer-reviewed publication
(published July 31, 2019)
William J. Mitsch, Ph.D., Eminent Scholar and Juliet C Sproul Chair for Southwest Florida Habitat Restoration at the Everglades Wetland Research Park, College of Arts & Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University, published on July 31, 2019 a peer-reviewed revision of a review that he wrote in April 2018 of the “EAA Reservoir Plan.” The review was commissioned by The Friends of the Everglades, an NGO based in Miami, Florida. The purpose of this EAA Reservoir project plan, developed primarily by the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), is to mitigate coastal pollution resulting from discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastline, and eventually to “send the water south” to the Florida Everglades instead. The project was included by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in a 2018 U.S. Congressional bill that was approved. In May 2019, U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to spend $200 million to begin this project, three times the amount requested by the state of Florida. A change in leadership in the state of Florida after the November 2018 elections and especially in the leadership of the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) has led to renewed public optimism for major improvements in water quality management and for Everglades restoration in south Florida. It is therefore timely that this review of the advantages and shortcomings of the original “EAA (Everglades Agricultural Area) Reservoir Plan” now be widely disseminated to encourage discussions among aquatic scientists, water resource engineers, and the general public.
Researcher says Great Black Swamp experiment could help Lake Erie (Toledo Blade, July 28, 2019)
All Sides with Ann Fisher: Ohio Wetlands And Algae Blooms (WOSU, July 25, 2019)
Black Swamp Savior: How Bringing Back Conquered Wetlands Could Help Solve Harmful Algal Blooms (Environmental Monitor, July, 2019)
All Sides with Ann Fisher: Algal Blooms And Water Pollution (WOSU, July 16, 2019)
Looking at the algae crisis one year later (WINK TV, July 10, 2019)
Cape Coral FL--The news networks were going nuts last year, especially in spring and summer 2018, when we had unprecedented algal blooms in freshwater, brackish, and salt water in many locations of southwest Florida. This year, there are few signs of algae, especially blue-green algae or cyanobacteria, in Cape Coral where water in the man-made channels and ditches is often stagnant so these are the first waters to show the symptoms. What a difference a year makes. Algae blooms are known for being episodic so there are three possible explanations for the cleaner waterways in Cape Coral--1. fewer discharges from upstream by now-aware state and Federal agencies to reduce the symptoms downstream; 2. rainfall and natural runoff patterns vary from year to year; and 3. the algae bloom season is just getting started a little later this year due to slightly cooler waters. So don't let your guard down, Cape Coral.
Workshop on Wetlands Mitigating Harmful Algal Blooms in Huron, OH in August 3, 2019 (June 25, 2019)
The Everglades Wetland Research Park will host this workshop with a number of the partnerships: The Jerry B. Pausch Foundation,The Ohio State University (School of Natural Resources and The Sustanability Institute), Ohio Wetlands Association, Streams and Wetlands Foundation, European Regional Centre for Ecohydrology, University of Lodz, University of Notre Dame, Bowling Green State University,National Wildlife Federation, University of Toledo, and U.S. National Ramsar Committee) at Sawmill Creek Resort in Huron, Ohio in August 3, 2019.
WestFest at the Ohio State University (May 18, 2019)
At the Ohio State University WestFest event in May 18, 2019, EWRP formally announced a workshop on wetlands as solutions to harmful algal blooms on USA's northern coastline this summer August 3, 2019. Participating universities include The Ohio State University, University of South Florida, University of Notre Dame, University of Lodz (Poland) and Florida Gulf Coast University .
Trump says he'll push for $200 million for Everglades work (NBC-2, May 14, 2019)
Bill Mitsch, Director of EWRP, was interviewed by NBC TV-2 in Ft. Myers on May 14, 2019. Bill told NBC that $200 million for Everglades would be important for SW FL because reclaiming the Everglades is gigantically connected to fixing our algal blooms—blue green and red tide. They are interlinked. He also told NBC he reviewed the EAA reservoir "restoration" plan in detail last year and his review was sent to the Corps of Engineers. So hopefully there be improvements to make sure we “send clean water south” to the Everglades instead of high fertilizer waters. We must be sure the water is super clean by restoring thousands of acres of treatment wetlands upstream of the Everglades.
Could nutrients from Florida's farms be recycled? (May 9, 2019)
Two FGCU students majoring in journalism, Eugene Kinchen and Sarajane Sullivanl, produced and published a product “Could nutrients from Florida’s farms be recycled?” for Changing Florida.org, a spring semester capstone project under the direction of Prof. Lyn Millner, Associate Professor of Journalism at FGCU. They interviewed Prof. Bill Mitsch, who was on sabbatical at Lodz University in Lodz Poland, by Skype on March 25, 2019 for this wetlaculture story. The also visited the EWRP labs and the wetlaculture mesocosm experimental mesocosms at Freedom Park in Naples while researching their study.
New Project to Clean Up Okeechobee Waters (WGCU, May 1, 2019)
EWRP Director and Professor Bill Mitsch participated in this one-hour discussion at PBS WGCU in Ft. Myers FL about the wicked algal blooms we had last summer in SW Florida including their potential health implications and how we can once and for all fix the Everglades and this water quality mess accelerated by Agriculture. A lot of disappointment was expressed by all three panelists about how ag got off the hook again in Florida legislation for 2019. We should expect more algal blooms in 2019 beginning soon through September in SW Florida.
Natural cure to water quality crisis comes with uphill battle(WINK TV, March 28, 2019)
World Water Day conference in Warsaw, Poland (Friday, March 22, 2019)
London, England—On Wednesday, March 13, Professor William J. Mitsch, Ph.D. from the USA, the 2004 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate and current Fulbright Scholar at Bangor University in Wales, U.K., will be presenting a public lecture at University College London. It is really a story about how humans have combined landscape change with climate change to create hundreds of ecological calamities around the world of our freshwater and coastal waters. Harmful algal blooms are now more common and more excessive because of excessive fertilization for decades from urban and agricultural pollution but are equally accelerated by warmer water temperatures from a warmer planet. At the same time, we are draining our landscapes of the very ecosystems—wetlands— that could help us out with nutrient retention to solve these landscape changes and carbon sequestration to mitigate climate change.
32nd NRN LCEE Public lecture William J Mitsch 'The Role of Wetland Processes in the Global Carbon (YouTube by National Research Network for Low Carbon, Energy & Environment, UK, February 21, 2019)
Mitsch gives climate change lecture at Bangor University, Wales, UK, 19 February 2019 — Bill Mitsch, Director of the Everglades Wetland Research Park presented the 32nd and final lecture in a multi-year series of lectures on low carbon, energy, and environment held at Bangor University. A full-house of 80 attendees increased the total attendance in the series to almost 1500 attendees. The title of Professor Mitsch’s talk was “The role of wetland processes in the global carbon cycle and climate change.”
Editorial: Beach Club redevelopment, FGCU wetlands research park top busy week ahead (Naples Daily News, February 11, 2019)
Brent Batten: FGCU proposes water quality research park along Bayshore Drive in East Naples (Naples Daily News, February 9, 2019)
FGCU professor proposes new wetlands research facility in Naples (NBC-2, February 8, 2019)
Scientists struggle to find red tide's Achilles heel (Charlotte Sun, February 6, 2019)
Happy World Wetlands Day to Everyone! Beachtalkradio interviewed Bill at Ft. Myers Beach, Florida (Beachtalkradio, February 2, 2019)
SFWMD says sugar farming no longer a threat, advocates disagree (WINK TV, February 2, 2019)
FGCU study asks, do car emissions contribute to red tide?(1075Jamz.fm, Fort Myers Beach, January 28, 2019)
Nearly a third of state’s waters polluted, experts say (Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, January 24, 2019)
Red tide fed by runoff into river, FGCU researcher reveals (Lake Okeechobee News, January 20, 2019)
‘Red menace’: Research looks at causes and possible mitigation for red tide outbreaks (Naples Daily News, January 19, 2019)
Bill Mitsch on Red Tide (theparadiseprogressive.home.blog, January 17, 2019)
FGCU researcher says converting farms to swamps would help water issues (ABC-7, January 16, 2019)
FGCU researcher: To clean water, convert some farm fields to wetlands in Everglades (Naples Daily News, January 16, 2019)
Red Tide: Scientist Dr. Bill Mitsch gives a speech calling calls fertilizer the opiate of agriculture (Local Sarasota County News, January 12, 2019)
Scientist says new type of farming would not need fertilizer (Charlotte Sun, January 12, 2019)
Florida gets ‘D’ in protecting beaches from coastal erosion, climate change (WINK TV, January 12, 2019)
FGCU study asks, do car emissions contribute to red tide? (WINK TV, January 11, 2019)
FGCU researcher reveals the cause of red tide during lecture series speech (WGCU Radio, January 11, 2019)
Researcher says test results identify red tide cause (90.7 WMFE-Orlando, January 11, 2019)
Historic day in SWFL as region tackles red tide response —The Paradise Progressive (January 11, 2019)
The Bernard and Susan Master 2019 Moonlight on the Marsh Distinguished Lecture Series - Bill Mitsch's presentation (YouTube, January 10, 2019)
Eminent Professor Dr. Bill Mitsch explains harmful algal blooms in FGCU lecture series (WGCU, January 9, 2019)
FGCU researcher wants to clean water by flipping lands between wetlands and farm fields in Everglades (Naples Daily News, January 7, 2019)
In the news in 2018
Could farmers make money by helping clean up Florida’s water supply? (WINK TV, November 22, 2018)
"The marriage between agriculture and wetlands restoration is being pitched by scientists as the middle ground in the tug of war between the farming industry and environmentalists....."
EWRP Director and Prof. Bill Mitsch ends his sabbatical at Notre Dame with a formal lecture and a bookstore book signing (Notre Dame, IN; November 8-9, 2018)
Prof. Bill Mitsch gave a GLOBES (https://www.facebook.com/NDGlobes/) Seminar at the University of Notre Dame on Thursday November 8, 2018. The GLOBES mission is to train a new breed of students capable of developing and implementing comprehensive strategies that combine science, technology, and public policy skills to serve nature and society. These students will be the innovators and difference makers for our future and the future of the planet. On Friday November 9, 2018 Dr. Mitsch was invited by the Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore to participate in a book signing for the latest edition of his textbook “Wetlands,” now in its 5th edition. The 5 editions of the book, referred to as the “wetland bible,” have sold over 100,000 copies and have trained generations of wetland scientists and engineering since the first edition was published in 1986
EWRP leads a multi-university symposium in Cincinnati Ohio on sustainably solving harmful algal blooms in lakes and estuaries (November 1, 2018)
A scientific session was held at a lake management conference (NALMS2018) in Cincinnati on November 1, 2018 about solving harmful algal blooms with wetlands and business models. Participants were from Florida Gulf Coast University, University of South Florida, Wright State University, Ohio State University, University of Notre Dame and University of Findlay. We are so pleased that all of these speakers took time from busy schedules and converged for 4 hours of presentations and discussions. Great interaction and discussion too occurred with the audience.
Presenters at special NALMS2018 symposium, Ecological Engineering of Sustainable Landscapes to Protect Downstream Aquatic Ecosystems Front row: BingBing Jiang (USF and FGCU, Naples FL); Jiyoung Lee (Ohio State University, Columbus). Yanting Gao (University of Findley, Findley, OH). Back row: Richard Moore (Ohio State University, Columbus); Stephen Jacquemin (Wright State University Lake Campus, Celina, OH), Bill Mitsch (FGCU, Naples, FL), and Sam Miller (University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN)
Scientists say Florida has the solution to red tide but special interests might be in the way(WTSP 10, October 29, 2018)
Red Tide roundtable with FGCU/EWRP Scientist (Tampa Bay Times, October 17, 2018)
Red Tide roundtable with US Representatives and US Senator listen to scientists, business owners and researchers during a discussion on the current Red tide affecting both Florida’s east and west coast today in Pinellas County
Prevent red tide? Start with more wetlands, experts say (Florida Politics, October 17, 2018)
"Scientists with varying areas of expertise all agreed: Red tide is a naturally occurring environmental phenomenon, but large blooms are likely fueled by warmer Gulf temperatures as the result of climate change and, possibly, by nutrient runoff from agriculture."
U.S. Congress Senator and Representatives Meet in St. Petersburg With FGCU/EWRP Scientist on Red Tide Problems in Florida (Bay News 9, October 17, 2018)
WTSP Live stream:
‘Red tide could increase in intensity’ (Naples Daily News, August 31 2018)
EWRP participates in Red Tide Informational Meeting in Naples Florida (August 29, 2018)
Collier County reported that there were about 350 people in attendance and the Facebook Live version had over 16,000 views with a reach of 36,000 pages. Here is a link to all of the presentations and the video:
From pier to the Capitol, red tide divides – and unites – Floridians (Christian Science Monitor, August 29, 2018)
Researchers investigate what's making Florida red tide so bad for so long (NBC News, August 15, 2018)
Sugar farmers say they’re being unfairly attacked for water quality issues in SWFL(WINK News, August 14, 2018)
Scientists Look for Link Between Releases and Red Tide (WGCU, August 13, 2018)
How are Lake O and Caloosahatchee River affecting red tide? (NBC-2 Ft Myers/Naples, August 9, 2018)
Scientists search for 'smoking gun' in the dead zone of Florida's red tide (Bill Weir at CNN, August 8, 2018)
Black Swamp Savior: How Bringing Back Conquered Wetlands Could Help Solve Harmful Algal Blooms (Environmental Monitor, July 31, 2018)
Why more rainfall could be good and bad for the algae situation (ABC-7 Ft. Myers/Naples, July 27, 2018)
FGCU professor says algae could stay for another 5 months (NBC-2 Ft Myers/Naples, July 19, 2018)
More water releases raise concerns (NBC-2 Ft Myers/Naples TV, July 13, 2018)
Expert weighs in on best way to get rid of algae (ABC-7 news, July 11, 2018)
Mitsch receives first Odum award (OSU-Office of Energy and Environment, June 28, 2018)
Flipping the landscape to remove excess nutrients from the environment? (WGCU PBS radio interview June 25, 2018)
FGCU professor examines Collier wetlands to help prevent flooding (WINK TV, Ft. Myers/Naples FL June 15, 2018)
EWRP Director and graduate student encourage use of wetlands to mitigate hurricane-scale flooding in Naples (WINK TV, June 15, 2018)
EWRP Director quoted in article on EAA Reservoir in South Florida (Palm Beach Post, June 14, 2018)
Bill Mitsch honored at AEES Annual Meeting in Houston Texas (Houston Texas, June 12, 2018)
FGCU Everglades Wetland Research Park Director Bill Mitsch received the 1st Odum Award for Ecological Engineering Excellence today from the American Ecological Engineering Society at their annual conference held in Houston Texas. The meeting also featured the return of 10 current or past AEES president.
FGCU Professor Mitsch Mentioned in the News Wanted: Innovative farmers to help slow algal bloom on Lake Erie (Christian Science Monitor, May 29, 2018)
Algal blooms and high flow rates in a drainage ditch in former Great Black Swamp farmland in Defiance County (photo by B.Jiang)
EWRP Director Gives Ecological Engineering Challenges to Ohio Stormwater Engineers and Consultants (Sandusky, Ohio, May 11 2018)
EWRP Director Bill Mitsch gave one of his most rewarding lectures in some time to ~600 folks at a luncheon at the Ohio Stormwater Conference here today. A lot of Ohio contacts came up afterwards to renew connections; others just remembered taking his wetland course at Ohio State University. His challenges to the mostly engineering/cousultant audience on fixing the fertilizer messes we have in Ohio, Florida and around the world and restoring wetlands we have lost at the same time were warmly received.
FGCU scientists studying ways to combat algae growth in SWFL waterways (WINK TV, May 7, 2018)
FGCU wetlands researcher starts experiment at Freedom Park in Collier (Naples Daily News, May 4, 2018)
Bill Mitsch was interviewed by a reporter of Naples Daily News during the planting day in May 3, 2018.
EWRP graduate student inducted into Sigma Xi, the honorary research society (April 9, 2018)
Ms. BingBing Jiang, (front row left in photo) a Ph.D. student at the Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples, was one of 13 scientists inducted into Sigma Xi, the national research honorary society, on Monday evening April 9 2018 at The Ohio State University chapter meeting held at at the Ohio Union on OSU's campus. The OSU Chapter is one of the oldest chapters of Sigma Xi in the country, It has been recognizing achievements in research since 1898. Congratulations BingBing!
World Wetland Day and Ramsar Wetlands in the USA-Uncertainty for the Future (SWS Newsletter v35:p37-39, 2018)
Florida could spend $1 billion on Everglades reservoir project, but will it work? (Naples Daily News, January 3, 2018)
In the news in 2017
Florida could spend a billion dollars on an Everglades reservoir. But will it work? (Miami Herald, December 23, 2017)
South Florida water managers are now planning a massive Everglades reservoir that would help move more water south to revive marshes and cut the amount of dirty water flushed to the coast from Lake Okeechobee.
Wetland scientists visit EWRP and FGCU from northeast China to discuss research collaboration (December 15, 2017)
The Everglades Wetland Research Park treated long-time friends Professors Chunguang He and Lianxi Sheng from Northeast Normal University, China, to our mangrove swamp and dock restaurant boat tour on Naples Bay on our Carolina skiff “Everglades Evie”. We also took them to our freshwater wetland research site at Freedom Park in Naples and then to Ford’s Garage restaurant in Ft Myers for dinner. (Henry Ford spent a lot of time in Ft Myers 100 years ago). We discussed future collaboration with Northeast Normal University and our visitors also gave a short presentation to Prof. Bill Mitsch’s wetlands class on campus in the morning on “Wetlands in China.” Overall a great day of Chinese-American friendship and science & cultural exchange in SW Florida.
Lecture series explores climate change, sustainability (FGCU360, December 4, 2017)
Wetlands could fix pollution from farms (Editorial, Columbus Dispatch, October 4, 2017)
Could restoring swampland fix Lake Erie algae crisis? (Columbus Dispatch, October 1, 2017)
Stream + Wetlands Partners with Industry Expert for Algal Bloom Research (September 28, 2017)
Restoration of historic Great Black Swamp could help save Lake Erie (The Toledo Blade, September 24, 2017)
FGCU scientists give invited presentations in China in August 2017
Drs. Bill Mitsch and Li Zhang of the Everglades Wetland Research Park (EWRP) in Naples gave invited presentations in eastern China in late August 2017. They both gave presentations in Changsha China at the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute of Subtropical Agriculture on August 21, 2017. Dr. Feng Li, a visiting scientist to the EWRP in Naples in 2015-16 was their host. In addition Prof. Mitsch gave presentations at an ecological engineering workshop at Northeastern Normal University in Changchun, at a blue carbon conference in Wenzhou, and as a general presentation at East China Normal University in Shanghai over the period August 17-29, 2017.
Tests hope to ease Buckeye Lake algae (Dayton Daily News, August 5, 2017)
Project tests whether wetlands can reduce Buckeye Lake algae (Columbus Dispatch, July 31, 2017)
Two-year EWRP study in Naples FL confirming water-filtering effectiveness of urban wetland park (FGCU 360; July 20, 2017)
abstract of the peer-reviewed publication is at:
EWRP teams with other universities and organizations in July open house on water quality research in mid-Ohio (June 25, 2017)
2017 Moonlight on the Marsh Lecture Series at the Kapnick a Big Success (March 19, 2017)
Wetlands expert assesses Everglades restoration (FGCU News Release, February 7, 2017)
**********Join FGCU for World Wetlands Day Celebration Feb. 2 Activities include free lecture, tours of Naples research facility (FGCU News Release, January 25, 2017)
What the Dutch Can Teach Florida About Water Quality, Quantity Issues (January 18-19, 2017)
Our first Moonlight on the Marsh lecturer of the 2017 season was Leon Lamers, Professor of Aquatic Ecology & Environmental Biology, Institute for Water and Wetland Research, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. He impressed an overflow audience of over 150 at the Kapnick Auditorium on Thursday evening January 19, 2017, with a presentation entitled “The Dutch solution to floods: Live with water, don’t fight it”. He also did an interview with WGCU radio the previous day on the same subject.
MOONLIGHT ON THE MARSH LECTURE SERIES TO FOCUS ON WATER (Eagle News, January 13, 2017)
Free lecture offers ecology lessons for SW Florida (FGCU360, January 13, 2017)
In the news in 2016Carleton University will host Prof. William Mitsch and his presentation Wetlands: The Kidneys of our Planet as the keynote for the 2016 Herzberg Lecture (December 5, 2016)
Despite Extensive Flooding and Pollution in 2016, EWRP Study finds that Florida Everglades National Park Is Still Receiving Relatively Clean Water (December 3, 2016)
Kelley Yeoman (a student at Florida Gulf Coast University) and Bill Mitsch presented a research poster yesterday showing that the Florida Everglades National Park is still receiving relatively clean water from the north despite major flooding of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee in the spring, most of which went directly east and west to our sensitive estuaries on the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean instead. We need to stop the pollution now so it does not go to any of these ecosystems.
Kelly is a real Floridian and an experienced airboat driver. She drove her airboat hundreds of miles north to south from I-75 to Tamiami Trail (Rt 41) six times in the last year to take water samples for this study. One of the best water sampling efforts by any of my students ever! And congratulations too to Kellley on her completion of her B.S. degree in Environmental Studies at FGCU at graduation next week!
Collier County, FGCU to study Freedom Park Wetlands (Naples Daily News, November 17, 2016)
FGCU’s 2017 Bernard and Susan Master Moonlight on the Marsh Lecture Series to Feature Florida’s Nation’s and World’s Water Issues (Press Release, November 11, 2016)
FGCU, Collier County partner to study water quality (FGCU 360, October 31, 2016)
#SWS member, Dr. William Mitsch (@orwrp) accepted the #Outstanding Wetland Scientist award at the 10th @INTECOL_Wetland Conferenc, Changshu, China (September 20, 2016)
EWRP presence is prominent at International Ecology Congress “EcoSummit 2016” in Montpellier France (September 1, 2016)
The Everglades Wetland Research Park was well represented at EcoSummit 2016 in Montpellier France on August 29 – September 1, 2016. With 12 papers/posters and coordination of 3 special sessions, FGCU’s presence was far more than any other Florida state university. In addition, an NSF grant received by FGCU supported 17 American scientists to attend this event, including 4 of the FGCU participants.
EcoSummit 2016 provided a forum for more than 1300 delegates from 75 countries to focus on finding solutions for today’s massive environmental problems including pollution in the Florida Everglades and the Laurentian Great Lakes in the USA. Sessions were held on ecological engineering, ecological restoration, green infrastructure, adaptation to climate change, earth stewardship, ecohydrology, eco-informatics, ecological modeling, sustainable agriculture, protection of biodiversity, carbon sequestration, human ecology and enhancement of ecosystem services.
EcoSummit 2016 hosted11 plenary presentations by some of the world’s premier ecologists and environmental scientists and over 750 presentations in 93 scientific sessions. There were also 15 side events in the form of workshops, round tables and world cafés. More than 600 posters were also displayed during EcoSummit 2016.
Lake Erie, S. Florida algae crises share common toxins and causes (Toledo Blade, July 24, 2016)
"Putting excess nutrients in lakes, reservoirs, and rivers that flow directly to coastlines is nuts." – Bill Mitsch, Director, Everglades Wetland Research Park
Toxic Algae Flourish As Everglades Solution Eludes Florida (Circle of Blue-WaterNews, July 7, 2016)
"What’s going on in Florida, it’s happening all around the world now." – Bill Mitsch, Director, Everglades Wetland Research Park
Climate-changing carbon loss from mangroves preventable - say Bangor scientists (News Release -Bangor University, June 13, 2016)
A team of researchers, led by Bangor University, say they have the potential to stop climate-changing amounts of gases, such as carbon dioxide, from leaving tropical mangroves if they are damaged or cut-down. Currently mangroves, which are unique forests found along the coast around the equator, store huge amounts of carbon in their soils. It's feared that deforestation and climate change may damage these fragile ecosystems causing the release of this carbon - much of it as carbon dioxide, a well-known greenhouse gas. In a rare collaboration, two of the world's leading wetland scientists joined forces to look at the problem - Prof Chris Freeman, from Bangor University and Prof Bill Mitsch, from Florida Gulf Coast University. The researchers were by Saraswati, an international student from India on Bangor University’s unique Wetland Science and Conservation MSc degree run by Dr Christian Dunn. The group found that the natural processes keeping the carbon locked away in some of the mangrove soils are almost exactly the same as those found in other wetlands, such as the fens and bogs of north Wales.
POST-DOC WINS MITSCH AND GOSSELINK TEXTBOOK “WETLANDS” AT CONFERENCE IN TEXAS (June 2, 2016)
At the Society of Wetland Scientist’s national wetland conference in Corpus Christi Texas on June 2, 2016, their silent auction included auctioning two copies of the 5th edition of the Wetlands textbook authored by EWRP Director Bill Mitsch and Jim Gosselink. But instead of a high bid winning one of the books, the only requirements were to be 30 years old or younger and have a vision about saving the world’s wetlands. We received several interesting applications. The winner was Bianca Wentzell, a post-doc from Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey, seen here with Dr. Mitsch. Bianca had a good plan of devoting her career to being both a wetland researcher and an environmental educator. Congratulations Bianca!
PHOSPHORUS AND NITROGEN AND CARBON, OH MY! —EWRP Director and Professor William J. Mitsch presents his vision of mitigating and solving some of the planet’s most damaging and difficult water and atmospheric pollution problems while, at the same time, reversing a many-century trend of losing wetlands in the world. This presentation was at Kristianstad University, in Kristianstad, Scania, Sweden, on May 26, 2016.
Water-Quality Concerns Aired on Florida Everglades Reservoir Project (ENR Engineering News-Record, May 26, 2016)
RUNOFF AND WATER QUALITY RADIO DISCUSSION (May 6, 2016)
Professor Bill Mitsch, Director of the EWRP, discusses runoff and water quality on a live talkshow on WOSU, Ohio’s flagship NPR radio station. Hear the recording here.
PHOSPHORUS AND NITROGEN AND CARBON, OH MY! The role of wetlands in mitigating pollutants in our landscape and globe —(OSUMansfield OCIO, Streamed live on May 5, 2016)
Bill Mitsch delivered a presentation on Thursday, May 5, 1:00-2:00 pm, on the Mansfield campus (151 Riedl Hall) at The Ohio State University. Dr. Mitsch was Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science at OSU and he is also the Founding Director of the Olentangy River Wetland Research Park.
CONOR MACDONALD RECEIVES 2016 GRADUATE STUDENT OF THE YEAR AWARD AT FGCU
April 22, 2016—At FGCU’s 19th Annual Celebration of Excellence held on campus today, EWRP grad student Conor MacDonnell was awarded the College of Arts & Science’s Graduate Student of the Year Award. Conor received his B.S. in Biology at the College of William and Mary cum laude in 2014 and joined FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples Florida as a Research Assistant and as an M.S. graduate student in Environmental Sciences in summer 2014 under Bill Mitsch. Conor’s thesis research is on how mangrove wetlands and their tidal creeks affect water quality in adjacent estuaries. This is an important factor related to estuarine fisheries, which have been on the decline in the past few decades in the Naples Bay region where most of his research is focused. Conor is active in many volunteer activities related to the environment in SW Florida and has won several student awards. He is planning on continuing his graduate career as a Ph.D. student in the Soils and Water Department at University of Florida, where he has been awarded a multi-year fellowship starting Fall Semester 2016.
Congratulations to Conor!!!!
Ft Myers News-Press $600M reservoir could hurt rather than help, scientists say (April 15, 2016)
Dr. Mitsch speaks at 2016 Friends of Fakahatchee Annual Members Meeting and Dinner (April 10, 2016)
FGCU “Moonlight on the Marsh” Lecture Explores Everglades’ Unique Ecology and Importance
of Its Restoration - Popular science series continues Feb. 11 in Naples (FGCU Press Release, February 9, 2016 )
Red tide adding to water troubles (The News-Press, February 3, 2016)
FGCU staff, students host event to share wetlands research (Naples Daily News, February 3, 2016)
US Corps of Engineers was Unprepared for Wet January, says Local Wetlands Expert (Naples Herald, February 3, 2016)
Scientists: Wetlands need protection (The News-Press, February 2, 2016)
FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park welcomes public for International Wetlands Day, Feb. 2(FGCU Press Release, January 28, 2016)
Inaugural 2016 Moonlight on the Marsh Lecture on Climate Change a Great Success (January 19, 2016)