Saturday, August 17, 2019

Calusa Waterkeeper Summit


It’s a problem we can’t ignore. Scientific evidence showing the health risks of harmful algal blooms in Southwest Florida waterways will be the focus of Calusa Waterkeeper’s “Public Health Alert – Florida Water Summit 2.” The event, set for Monday, Aug. 5 from 5:30-9 PM at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre on 1380 Colonial Blvd. in Fort Myers, will feature a panel of leading scientists and medical professionals as well as the world premiere of “TROUBLED WATERS,” an original documentary produced by Calusa Waterkeeper. Tickets are selling quickly at bit.ly/2KIDkUT.

“The research is becoming clearer, and the chorus of scientists sounding the alarm is growing louder,” Calusa Waterkeeper John Cassani said. “It’s our responsibility to alert the people of Southwest Florida to what’s going on in their water and the threat it poses to their health.”

Dr. James Metcalf of The Institute of EthnoMedicine, a Wyoming-based nonprofit brain chemistry research organization, will be on the panel along with Dr. Walter Bradley, chair emeritus of the University of Miami neurology department; Dr. Larry Brand, a marine biology and ecology professor at the university; Dr. David Davis, a neurology professor at the university; Dr. Arthur Diskin, emergency room teaching professor; Dr. Robert Zarranz, otolaryngologist and surgeon; Dr. Parisima Taeb, internal medicine physician; John Cassani, Calusa Waterkeeper; Howard Simon, water quality expert; and Holley Rauen, Waterkeeper Ranger registered nurse.

All of the panelists also appear in the film, which zeroes in on the threats specific to Southwest Florida. “TROUBLED WATERS” examines the link between exposure to algae and illnesses. It delves into the facts and includes interviews with scientists, physicians and patients. The film provides insight for the health care industry and the general public alike on the risks associated with acute and chronic exposure to harmful algal blooms.

“Calusa Waterkeeper has been and continues to be focused on the scientific evidence, not the hype,” Calusa Waterkeeper Executive Director K.C. Schulberg said. “When we raise a red flag, as we’re doing here, it’s because there is legitimate concern. We’ve gathered a prestigious panel of experts and created this movie so we can inform the public and healthcare professionals of appropriate precautions and actions to safeguard themselves, their loved ones, their pets and their patients.”

Email Schulberg at kc@calusawaterkeeper.org to find out how to get involved and to contribute to Calusa Waterkeeper’s scientific research and educational outreach efforts. Among the event’s supporters are Lee Health, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, Broadway Palm Dinner Theatre and CONRIC PR & Marketing.

A buffet dinner is included in the $20 ticket price. Discounts are available for Calusa Waterkeeper members. Visit bit.ly/2KIDkUT to purchase tickets and calusawaterkeeper.org to learn how to become a member.

Keep up with the latest on Southwest Florida’s water at facebook.com/calusawaterkeeper, twitter.com/calusawater or instagram.com/calusawater.

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