Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory:

FGCU continuously monitors the latest information from health officials and shares details on the Coronavirus Updates website. Get details including helpful FAQs.

Learn More

Cela Tega Conference Series

Cela Tega 2020

"The Estero Bay is in trouble: What Citizens can do to help"

Saturday, January 25th 2020
Cohen Center Ballroom 8AM to 8PM
Florida Gulf Coast University
Fort Myers, FL 33965

Cela Tega logo


Cela Tega is the southwest Florida native (i.e.: Calusa) term for "A view from high ground." We used it here to symbolize "overview."

 conference register 

The program is one which should be of interest to all residents of Southwest Florida, especially to our residents who want to help effect positive change in the health of the Estero Bay Region. We have long been aware if the problems of excess nutrients in out waters. The red tide and cyanobacteria blooms of 2018 brought the issue to the forefront of our collective minds.  Our beaches were littered with dead sea life; our rivers were full of a blue-green algae bloom that was releasing toxins into the environment, and likely fueling red tide even further.  The economic vitality of the region is based on a healthy environment for visitors and residents alike.  The need to address these problems has never been more immediate.  Attendees to this conference will hear from experts in science, policy and civic engagement.   Our goal is to help residents obtain the knowledge, information and skills to be a positive influence in addressing these issues.  

2020 Conference Agenda

Time: 8:00 - 8:25


Time: 8:30-9:00

Speaker: Jim Beever, Estero Bay Agency on Bay Management State of the Bay 2019

Time: 9:00 - 10:30

Session I - What We Can Do to Reduce Harmful Algae Blooms

Time: 9:00-10:00 Panelists presentations
Jennifer Hecker, Coastal and Hertland National Estuary Program (CHNEP) - Water Atlas, tidal numeric nutrient criteria
Ernesto de la Vega, Lee County Hyacinth Control District (LCHCD) - Success of Fertilizer Black out as revealed by the Pond Watch program
Serge Thomas Florida Gulf Coast University - Storm water retention ponds- research and management

Marisa Carrozzo, Conservancy of Southwest Florida - making the case for a statewide stormwater rule

Time: 10:00-10:30
Q&A for panel
Time: 11:00-12:30

Session II - Moving Water to Help Our Wetlands, Estuaries, and Habitat Restoration

Time: 11:00-12:00  Panelists presentations

Bill Mitsch, Kapnick Everglades Wetlands Research Park - Wetlaculture
Dr. Shawn Clem, Audubon - effects of too much or little freshwater on vegetation and wetlands
Brad Cornell, Southwest Florida Policy Associate, Audubon Florida
Nicole Iadevaia,  Coastal and Hertland National Estuary Program (CHNEP) - discussing South Lee County Watershed Initiative

Time: 12:00-12:30
 Q&A for panel
Time: 12:30-1:30 -  Lunch  - Keynote speaker, Mr Ralf Brooks, JD 
Time: 1:30-3:00
 Session III - Policy
Time: 1:30 - 2:15

Ray Judah, former Lee County Commissioner

Wayne Daltry, former Smart Growth and Regional Planning Council Dirctor

Jane West, 1,000 Friends of Florida

Time: 2:15 - 2:45
 Panel Q & A
Time: 3:15-4:45
 Session IV- Public Participation
Time: 3:15 - 4:00
Clara Anne Graham, League of Women Voters
Maggy Hurchalla
Ralf Brooks, JD
Time: 4:00-4:30
 Panel Q & A
Time: 10:30-11:00 AM - Networking Break
 Time: 2:45-3:15 - Networking Break
Time: 4:30-6:00
 Social Hour cash bar (CC214)
Time: 6:00-7:30

Dinner fundraiser (Cohen Ballroom)

Craitg Pittman author and investigative journalist - Keynote speaker

Cat Tails in the Estero Bay


Conference Sponsors

Coastal Heartland logo

Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council

Estero Bay Agency on Bay Management

League of Women Voters of Lee County


Responsible Growth Management Coalition Inc