The day’s theme was “SW Florida’s Water” as the Class assembled in the new newly rebuilt auditorium at the beautiful Conservancy of Southwest Florida campus.

The presentations were designed to cover water, its sources, its history, its current problems and its availability on a sustainable basis into the future as Collier County continues to grow.

The program led off with Nick Penniman, a Board Member of the Everglades Foundation, explaining the natural history of water in South Florida and Jennifer Hecker, Vice President of the Conservancy, detailing current water distribution and quality problems. With the “problems” thus defined, several speakers followed that lead major organizations engaged in responding to these problems. These included principals from the Rookery Bay Estuarine Research Center, the Conservancy, Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary and the Naples Botanical Garden. The morning session closed with a discussion on the role wetlands play in purifying and protecting our water supply.

Doug Hartman