Inside This Edition

Board Member Elections

Upcoming Events

2019 Environmental Service Business Expo

Training Opportunity

Career Opportunities


Happy Spring Environmental Professionals! We will be hosting a lot of great events this spring, from socials to adventures, to even some educational options. There's truly something for everyone! Come join us! Our next event will be a sunset kayaking and bat observation adventure out of Matlacha, which will take place on May 18th from 4:30 to 8:30 PM.

For additional information about this adventure and where to reserve your spot see the Upcoming Events section starting on page 2.

Check us out!

Southwest Florida Association of Environmental Professionals

Spring 2019 Newsletter

Our new and improved website is finally up and running! It will provide a great way to stay up to date on SWFAEP info, news, events, membership and more.

Go to to take a look!


SWFAEP Board Member Elections

May signifies the end of term for the current Board Members, and means its time for board member elections. All board positions are up for re-election. Please take a moment to place your vote for who you think would be the best candidates to take on the Board roles for the 2019-2020 year.

Visit the link below to vote:


Upcoming Events

Sunset Kayaking and Bat Observation

May 18, 2019 4:30pm - 8:30pm

Matlacha Community Park

4577 Pine Island Rd, Matlacha 33993

Members: $20


Bring-Your-Own Kayak: $10

Join SWFAEP for an evening kayaking adventure in the waters of Matlacha Pass! Our outing will conclude with a sunset observation of bats emerging from their roost. Water and light refreshments will be provided.

**Please bring your own reusable water bottle, plastic water bottles will not be provided**

Tickets available through EVENTBEE

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May Networking Social

Off the Wagon Brewery May 20th 6:30pm-8:30pm 2107 Tamiami Trail South Venice, FL 34293

Join SWFAEP for Trivia Night at Off the Wagon Brewery & Kitchen! Both Members and Non- Members are welcome.

SWFAEP Presents a GIS Workshop GIS in Environmental Systems Management June 26, 2019 12:00-1:00pm

SW Florida Community Foundation Collaboratory 2031 Jackson Street Suite 100 Fort Myers, FL 33901 $10 for Members, $20 for Non-Members

This presentation guides participants through four categories of Environmental GIS: environmental restoration, habitat assessment and permit consulting, mitigation banking development & management, and core business development. Attendees will be presented case studies whereby the functions of a GIS enable timely ecosystem assessment, resource management, and operations deployment.

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Community Events

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Florida Department of Environmental Protection

Friday May 17, 2019 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. SWFL Community Foundation Collaboratory 2031 Jackson St., Fort Myers, FL 33901

This FREE Expo offers the opportunity to network with exciting companies that can meet your organization's environmental challenges.

COME & EXPLORE! Over 35 companies will showcase the latest environmental innovations, equipment, technologies and products that contribute to "Protecting Florida Together"

Visit our Facebook page for more details and the full event flyer.

Visit our website for the full schedule, pricing, and to sign up!

In the News

'Mini reefs' installed to bring area waters back to life while helping reduce harmful algae by Amy Bennett Williams, Fort Myers News-Press , April 27, 2019

If mangroves are the oceans’ rain forests, producing and sheltering abundant life, then sea -walled canals and shorelines are its deserts.

A Florida nonprofit is aiming to change that. Ocean Habitats Inc., kicked off its “Thousand Reef Challenge” on Friday at Fort Myers Beach’s Fish Tale Marina, where owner Al Durrett has bought 40 of the "mini-reef" units to place beneath his floating docks.

Made of polypropylene panels (think the U.S. Postal Service’s mail totes), tubes and rope, the lightweight-but-sturdy structures quickly become attractive real estate for teeny critters like sea squirts, barnacles and oysters that move in and begin attracting bigger critters like crabs and gamefish.

Once fully populated, the crustacean/tunicate team inhabiting each unit can filter be- tween 18,000 to 90,000 gallons of water a day, said founder David Wolff, but the average is about 30,000. The $250-per-unit cost comes with a tax deduction, Wolff said, because Ocean Habitats is a 501(c)(3).

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If area homeowners and businesses take him up on his challenge, it will amount to cleaner water for the region, he said. “One thousand of these mini reefs on average would be filtering somewhere around 30 million gallons of water every single day. That’s almost 11 billion gallons a year,” Wolff said. “They would also be helping to pro- duce 300,000 native fish and 200,000 native crabs, shrimp and crustaceans.”

Wolff grew up in Florida, then got a degree in marine biology and oceanography from the University of South Florida. After a detour into real estate, he decided to return to his watery roots.

“Growing up, I always heard people talking about how it was in the '40s and '50s,” com- pared to the barren underwater landscapes he sees now. “It’s time to do something different,” Wolff said. “With these, you can see the water come back to life again. It’s amazing.”

Durrett said he’s happy to help launch the project at his marina, which he said has al- ways been committed to protecting Estero Bay and area waters. James Douglass, an as- sociate professor of marine and ecological studies in FGCU’s Water School, said this is a good step in that direction. “I’m very excited to see people waking up to the idea that these humble organisms in the water – the oysters, the barnacles and the mussels – if we just give them a place to live, they can help clean up the water.”

Wildlife Fun Fact

Manatees can hold their breath for up to 20 minutes. When they do take a breath, they can replace 90 percent of the air in their lungs. Humans only replace about 10 percent.

Source: Smithsonian

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2018-2019 SWFAEP Board of Directors

President Arielle Poulos Vice President Heather Samborski Secretary David Ellis Media Director Eric Larrat

Membership Director George Sprehn

Program Coordinator Erin Murphy

Treasurer Nathalie Smith


These are not your average


The SWFAEP t-shirts and koozies are printed using the sublimation process. Unlike traditional ink-jet printing, sublimation guarantees a permanent image that will never fade, wash after wash!

Now is the time to stock up on your SWFAEP SWAG!

Show your SWFAEP pride and help support us by purchasing SWAG. T- shirts and koozies are available for purchase. T-shirt sizes range from small to extra large and are now only $12, koozies are now only $4.

SWAG can be purchased through the SWFAEP website.

Keep in the Loop

Keep up on the latest events by checking out the SWFAEP Website and join our group on Facebook to get notifications right to your newsfeed. You can also stay updated by joining our group on Linkedin.

SWFAEP Newsletter


Have An Opening?

Send a brief description of the positions duties, requirements, and contact information, and we will feature it in our quar- terly newsletter.

Details of the position can be emailed to

Get On Board!

Job Duties:

• Performs site inspections in accordance with the City of Bonita Springs Land Development Code such as preserve management, landscape installation, tree removal and/or clearing, wetland determinations, listed species evaluation, sea turtle compliance, dock and shoreline review and inspections

• Reviews long range planning applications, rezoning applications, local development order site plans and building permit plans for environmental matters

• Interprets codes and regulations; reviews, researches, and communicates results in determining applicable codes/ordinances

• Attends and participates in pre-application and pre-construction meetings with applicants

• Maintains a variety of files and records related to areas of assignment including permit binders, records of inspections made and actions taken, and plans; inputs and retrieves information from computer databases; prepares reports, correspondence, and a variety of other written materials as requested

Know someone who would like to join? Group membership rates are available when 5 or more members from the same company or organization join.

Member’s Podium

We’re Growing our Membership. Stay tuned for upcoming prizes and opportunities.

Career Opportunities

Jacobs Engineering, Environmental Inspector

Location: Bonita Springs, FL

Required Qualifications:

• Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework in environmental sciences, environmental planning or closely related field

• Two (2) years of experience in environmental/natural resource program compliance or closely related experience

• Proficient in the ability to read and interpret engineering and landscaping plans, blueprints and specifications, records of surveys, and legal descriptions

• Proficient in the use of computer software including but not limited to Microsoft Office Suite and Adobe

• Must possess a valid Drivers License with no major infractions

Where to Apply: Click Here

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