Chamber Hosting Virtual Power Hour Meeting on Water Quality

provided to Santiva Chronicle

Rep. Brian Mast will be the guest speaker on July 1

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce continues to keep the health and safety of its members in the forefront by scheduling monthly meetings online. On July 1, starting at noon, Florida Congressman Brian Mast will speak about the importance of the business community’s engagement in the fight for water quality, sponsored by Captains for Clean Water.

Mast represents Florida’s 18th district, which spans from the northern portion of Palm Beach County through Martin and St. Lucie counties, and serves on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, where his priorities include fixing the pressing water quality issues stemming from Lake Okeechobee.

“Rep. Mast has been a vocal champion for clean water as Lake O discharges impact his home district as seriously as they do our coastline,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer. “We welcome his knowledge and experience in guiding us as seasonal rains once again threaten our economic livelihood with more discharges.”

Rep. Mast currently serves his second term in Florida’s Congress. He also is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, where he uses his military expertise to help strengthen the safety and security of the nation. When serving in the U.S. Army for 12 years, Mast earned the Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal for Valor, Purple Heart Medal, and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.

While deployed in Afghanistan, he worked as a bomb disposal expert under the elite Joint Special Operations Command. The last improvised explosive device he found resulted in catastrophic injuries, which included the loss of both of his legs. Mast continued working in counter-terrorism and national defense as an explosive specialist with the Department of Homeland Security following his retirement from the armed forces.

Captains for Clean Water, a grassroots nonprofit organization, advocates for the elimination of harmful, large-scale Lake Okeechobee discharges into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie river estuaries by restoring the natural flow of the lake south into the Everglades and Florida Bay.

The chamber has sent members a Zoom invitation to register for the virtual event. When members RSVP, they will receive a link to the Zoom meeting in advance. They can send questions before the meeting to Ashley Pignato at or submit them during the meeting through the chat feature.

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