provided to Santiva Chronicle
The League of Women Voters of Sanibel kicks of its 2019-20 series luncheon programs with a topic that is high on the list of concerns for every resident and all environmentally-aware people up and down the Florida coasts. LWV will begin with an updated review of what has evolved over the last year, “Water Currents 2.0.” The program will begin with registration at 11:30 a.m. with the luncheon and program from noon to 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 21 at The Sundial Beach Resort & Spa, 1451 Middle Gulf Dr.
Much has occurred since the 2018 elections: new groups have formed to better focus on water quality problems; other groups have been continuing important scientific and medical research that impacts our understanding. The program will focus on the issues and policy prescriptions that could shape the upcoming legislative lawmaking. Featured speakers are both experts in the policy and scientific work that is being done in our state:
John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper, started his professional career as an ecologist in Lee County in 1978, after receiving degrees in biology and fish and wildlife. He has authored peer-reviewed scientific publications and popular media sources on resource management, history, water policy and conservation issues and is a courtesy faculty member of Florida Gulf Coast University in the Department of Marine and Ecological Sciences. He became the first Calusa Waterkeeper in 2016.
Cassani has been deeply involved with a prestigious panel of medical and research experts in the development of two high-quality documentaries addressing the public health impacts of harmful algal blooms, “Toxic Puzzle” and “Troubled Waters.” Cassani will share his insights into what he and other professionals have learned over the course of creating these two documentaries.
Dr. Howard Simon retired last year as the longest-serving state director of the American Civil Liberties Union – serving 23 years in Michigan and 21 years as Florida director. He now works for policies to address the health threat from harmful algal blooms. Simon earned a Ph.D. in legal and political philosophy from the University of Minnesota and taught there and at DePauw University before becoming an ACLU executive director. Simon has recently written a well-researched, comprehensive white paper, “From Science to Policy,” which is centered on “a public policy advocacy agenda to mitigate harmful algal blooms.”