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At the Captiva Library: Milbrandt to speak on island water quality

By Staff | Feb 8, 2013

Dr. Eric Mildbrandt, director of the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation Marine Lab, will speak at 4 p.m. Feb. 13 at the Captiva Memorial Library during its Cultural Fest. He will discuss water quality on the islands. Much of the Southwest Florida coast is populated with mangrove forests that are subjected to chronic anthropogenic disturbances and instantaneous catastrophic events, such as hurricanes.

Eric has developed hypotheses explaining the outcomes of chronic disturbance and how these outcomes affect a mangrove forest’s structure and productivity in response to natural and human disturbances. Thousands of hours of volunteer time, numerous volunteer events and Community-based Restoration grants have been instrumental in the restoration of island mangroves, oyster reefs, and seagrasses.

Eric continues to lead in restoration and monitoring efforts to study the direct and indirect effects of restoring multiple habitats simultaneously. Support for Cultural Fest programs is provided by the Lee County Library System, the Captiva Memorial Library Board and the Captiva Civic Association.

These books lend foresight to hindsight:

The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder, and the Agony of Engine 57 by John N. Maclean

“When a jury returns to a packed courtroom to announce its verdict in a capital murder case every noise, even a scraped chair or an opening door, resonates like a high-tension cable snap. Spectators stop rustling in their seats; prosecution and defense lawyers and the accused stiffen into attitudes of wariness; and the judge looks on owlishly. In that atmosphere of heightened expectation the jury entered a Riverside County Superior Court room in southern California to render a decision in the trial of Raymond Oyler, charged with murder for setting the Esperanza Fire of 2006, which killed a five man Forest Service engine crew sent to fight the blaze. Today, wildland fire is everybody’s business, from the White House to the fireground. Wildfires have grown bigger, more intense, more destructive-and more expensive. Federal taxpayers, for example, footed most of the $16 million bill for fighting the Esperanza Fire. But the highest cost was the lives of the five-man crew of Engine 57, the first wildland engine crew ever to be wiped out by flames.” *

The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster by Jonathan Katz

“On January 12, 2010, the deadliest earthquake in the history of the Western Hemisphere struck the nation least prepared to handle one. Jonathan M. Katz, the only full-time American news correspondent in Haiti, was inside his house when it buckled along with hundreds of thousands of others. In this visceral first-hand account, Katz takes readers inside the terror of that day, the devastation visited on ordinary Haitians, and through the monumental–yet misbegotten–rescue effort that followed. More than half of American adults gave money for Haiti, part of a global response that reached $16.3 billion in pledges. But three years later the effort has foundered. It’s most important promises–to rebuild safer cities, alleviate severe poverty, and strengthen Haiti to face future disasters–remain unfulfilled. How did so much generosity amount to so little? What went wrong?…presents a hard hitting investigation into international aid, finding that the way wealthy countries give today makes poor countries seem irredeemably hopeless, while trapping millions in cycles of privation and catastrophe. Katz follows the money to uncover startling truths about how good intentions go wrong, and what can be done to make aid “smarter.” Reporting at the side of Bill Clinton, Wyclef Jean, Sean Penn, Haiti’s leaders and people, Katz also creates a complex, darkly funny, and unexpected portrait of one of the world’s most fascinating countriesnot only a definitive account of Haiti’s earthquake, but of the world we live in today.” *

* Book jacket/publisher description