Hell’s Bay Boatworks joins Captains For Clean Water

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Capt. Chris Whitman surveys damage from algae blooms.

Capt. Chris Whitman surveys damage from algae blooms.

Hell’s Bay Boatworks has furthered its commitment to protecting Florida waters by joining Captains For Clean Water as a legacy partner.

“Anglers have been heavily impacted by South Florida’s water crisis for a long time but have been largely absent in the fight to save the Everglades,” said Chris Peterson, owner of Titusville, Fla.-based Hell’s Bay Boatworks, in a statement. “As environmentalist organizations have battled for decades to push for funding for Everglades restoration, Florida’s estuaries have continued to deteriorate.”

Unnatural discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers have resulted in toxic algae blooms and declining fisheries.

Florida Bay and the Keys have been plagued with seagrass die-offs and algae blooms as a result of decreased fresh water flowing through the Everglades. Potential solutions include creating filter marshes south of Lake Okeechobee and restoring the natural water flow to the Everglades.

“A drought in 2015 caused a 40,000-acre seagrass die-off in Florida Bay and was followed by heavy rainfall events in early 2016, which resulted in record-setting discharges to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers,” said Chris Wittman, program director CFCW. “Captains for Clean Water was founded to support science-based solutions to these problems.

“In 2017, CFCW helped pass Florida Senate Bill 10, which provides $800 million of funding for a critical Everglades restoration project,” Wittman added.

Hell's Bay has donated a skiff to be raffled in 2019, with proceeds going to the group.