I, along with a large number of local residents, attended the recent Charlotte County Water Quality Summit. The large attendance (more than 600 registered for the event) is a good indication of how important water quality is to the people of Charlotte County.
There was a lot of information given out in a short period of time by some of our local representatives, Mote Marine, South Florida Water Management District, Florida Fish Wildlife Commission, as well as others.
One important takeaway is that although many of the actions being taken by the state and federal government are fairly long term (like the reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee), there are things that we can do today to mitigate the amount of nutrients reaching our waterways.
An easy place to start is your own lawn. Consider the excess nutrients being introduced into waterways through lawns. This commonly happens though overuse or misuse of fertilizers, not picking up pet waste, allowing large amounts of decomposing yard waste, and not properly maintaining septic systems.
Adopting a more Florida Friendly style of lawn care, picking up after pets, and having septic systems inspected/serviced at least every five years to ensure proper functioning can be a small but important step to help keep our waterways clean.