Naples Council
World Affairs
Our mission is to educate, inspire and engage our community in international affairs and critical global issues

The Committee on Special Activities

presents an exclusive online expert panel discussion

SW Florida's Water

"Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink… "

                                                                                                         - Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Is SWFL running out of drinking water? Do algae blooms cause dementia? Is red tide ruining our health and economy? How can we find the answers? 

Join our expert panel for a discussion of these provocative questions.

Click here to watch

“The Florida Rights of Nature Network supports and encourages local efforts to recognize and legally enforce the rights of nature and the rights of communities to a healthy environment, through self-government at the city, county and state level”

Paul Arsenault 

Born in Montreal, internationally known landscape painter Paul Arsenault was raised in Hingham, Massachussetts where his love for the sea and travel emerged. Following his graduation from the Art Institute of Boston in 1973, he embarked on a six-month stint as a deck hand aboard the RV Gosnold, which brought him to Florida from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  

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Paul Alan Cox 

As one of the world’s leading ethnobotanists, Dr. Paul Alan Cox has lived in remote island villages searching for new medicines. His conservation foundation, Seacology, has set aside over 1.5 million acres of rainforest and coral reef in 60 countries around the world. He was awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize, sometimes known as the Nobel Prize of the Environment.

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Thomas Linzey 

He serves as senior legal counsel for the Center for Democratic and Environmental Rights and is the co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund. Widely recognized as the founder of the contemporary “community rights” movement, which has resulted in the adoption of hundreds of municipal laws across the United States, he also sits on the board of advisors of the New Earth Foundation. In 2007, he was named one of Forbes Magazine’s “Top Ten Revolutionaries,” and also was named one of the top 400 environmentalists of the last 200 years.

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Chuck O’Neal  

Chuck has a lifelong attachment to Florida’s natural resources and beauty. He served as chairman of the Natural Resources Committee and as first vice president of the League of Women Voters of Florida. An advocate of preservation of clean water sources, he led a successful bipartisan effort to amend the Orange County Charter to recognize the "natural rights" of two rivers. In 2020, Chuck was elected director-at-large for the Florida Rights of Nature Network and thereafter was elected by the Board to be its chairman. 

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John Cassani 

John is Calusa Waterkeeper. His professional career as an ecologist started here in Lee County in 1978 after receiving degrees in biology and fish and wildlife. From 1978 to 2014 he worked as a resource manager for local government, managing waterways of Southwest Florida. He has authored both peer-reviewed scientific publications and popular media sources on resource management, history, water policy and conservation issues. Calusa Waterkeeper, Inc. is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the Caloosahatchee River & Estuary, Lake Okeechobee, near-shore waters of Lee County, and related watersheds, through education and promotion of responsible use and enjoyment by all people.

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Additionally joining the discussion...

Joseph Bonasia is vice chair and SWFL regional director for the Florida Rights of Nature Network. He is a founding member of the SWFL RESET Center which focuses on climate crisis, water quality and related issues.

Linda Penniman has been involved in water issues for a long time as a previously elected official in Naples and currently serves on the Board of Calusa Waterkeeper.

Naples Council Directors:

Jim Schmotter, President

Mimi Gregory, Vice President

Gunther Winkler, Vice President

Naples Council on World Affairs
2316 Pine Ridge Road #361, Naples, Florida 34109-2006
Contact Email: | Phone: 239-649-3942

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