Mayor Kevin Ruane
Mayor Kevin Ruane
Sanibel Mayor Kevin Ruane presented an overview of the environmental and economic impact of poor water quality to members of the Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce during the monthly luncheon. He also spoke about federal, state and local water quality priorities.

“Our Mayor has been and continues to be highly involved in resolving this critical issue,” said Chamber President John Lai. “We can’t thank him enough for all of his efforts on behalf of our community and for taking his time to speak with our members on this important topic.”

There are a number of factors contributing to the poor water quality issues plaguing the state. Large-scale land use changes, loss of water storage and treatment and rapid population growth are just a few of those contributing factors. Poor water quality has hurt the tourism economy and threatens long-term economic viability.

“It’s important to do our part and you can become involved by helping educate on the issues,” said Raune. “We should also be good stewards of our environment.”

Federal water quality priorities include completing CERP projects, rehabilitating the Herbert Hoover Dike and revising the Lake Okeechobee release schedule. The City of Sanibel’s water quality priorities are outlined at mysanibel.com.

The January luncheon was sponsored by the Sanibel Recreation Center, where there is an activity for all ages. In addition to its many fitness classes and after-school programs, the Recreation Center offers a tailored corporate wellness program. For more information, call 239-472-0345 or visit www.mysanibel.com. Lunch was catered by Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s.

The next business luncheon will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12 at Sanibel Harbour Marriott. Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation’s new CEO Ryan Orgera will be the guest speaker. Members who would like to join the next lunch need to register in advance at www.sanibel-captiva.org or by calling 239-472-1966.