Now You Know: City talks canal water quality; Marco Nature Night slated

Will Watts

On Jan. 19, the city released a statement on the island’s canal water quality.

“At the Jan. 9 …  meeting, the City Council took the position that nitrogen and phosphorous from the city’s reclaimed water is not the fundamental cause of degraded water quality in our canals.”

Algae floats on a Marco Island canal between N. Barfield Dr. and Juniper Ct. on Aug. 7, 2019.

This decision was based on the information provided from Task 1 of the Jacobs Engineering Group report, which “did not find a compelling rationale for improvements to the RWPF (Reclaimed Water Production Facility)” and the recent water quality reports that showed a reduction in the level of nutrients (both nitrogen and phosphorous) in the city’s waterways.

“Reclaimed water is highly treated wastewater and it is reused for irrigation on golf courses, public medians, public rights of way, condominium landscape areas, and city parks, to meet irrigation needs on Marco Island.”

For more information on what “nutrients” are in regards to water quality, see these resources: or AL_2004copy.pdf.

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Beautification Advisory Committee to host Marco Nature Night

The Marco Island Beautification Advisory Committee will hold its annual community education event, “Marco Nature Night, Explore Your Environment” on Feb. 15. 

The event will feature a wide range of exhibits. The event will also have presentations. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will discuss and present “Living with Coyotes.” Audubon Western Everglades will discuss and present “Owls and Gopher Tortoises.” Florida Native Plant Society and Master Gardener will discuss and present “Native plants for hurricanes and Growing easy fruits and vegetables.”

All attendees will be entered into a raffle for giveaways.

“This will be an evening for all members of our community to discover and explore the natural wonders of Marco Island,” said Sharon Watts, event coordinator Sharon Watts.

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Free art exhibition opening reception at Rookery Bay

Friends of Rookery Bay and the United Arts Council of Collier County will host a free opening reception for their 2023 Photography Annual Exhibition from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Feb. 2, in the art gallery at the Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center, 300 Tower Road, Naples.

The juried show features 18 artists whose work will be on view and available for purchase through April 27 during the center’s hours of 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Photographer Christine Cook will serve as juror and select the Best in Show, Juror’s Choice and United Arts Council Merit Award winners, who will receive cash prizes. Wine and light bites will be served.

Reservations are required at

Artists featured in the exhibition are Paul Allen, Austin Bell, William Boling, Joseph Cardinale, Hilda Champion, John Dodge, Robert Kenedi, Maureen MacNeal, Courtney Nagle, Vinicio Paz, Douglas Poe, Alessandra Sanchez, Donald Sawin, Arlen Smith, Martin Strasmore, Francis Stephan, Cynthia Taft, and Isabel Varetto.

Shell Club lecture series

The Marco Island Shell Club is continuing its guest lecturer series at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3, at the Marco Island Library in Rose Hall. Speaker Kristine Zikmanis is a PhD candidate at Florida International University working in the Marine Community and Behavioral Ecology Lab. Her dissertation research is focused on understanding the impacts of altered freshwater flow on juvenile bull sharks in the Ten Thousand Islands. 

Florida International University PhD candidate and Rookery Bay Research Reserve Graduate Research Assistant Kristine Zikmanis

Kristine Zikmanis will present her research on The Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Her focus identifies this area as an important nursery for many different shark species.  She will guide you through what makes a shark, what species can be found in our area and why estuaries are important habitats for these species. She will walk you through some interesting research that is being conducted on sharks in your own backyard!