(Jul 25, 2018 - FT. MYERS, FL.)
Foul smelling and toxic algae blooms, polluted water, declining fisheries on Florida’s East and West Coasts; all are a result of massive, unnatural discharges from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers.
Meanwhile, Florida Bay and the Florida Keys have been plagued with seagrass die-offs and algae blooms as a result of decreased freshwater flows through the Everglades. Solutions exist to fix these problems by creating filter marshes south of Lake Okeechobee and restoring the natural flow to the Everglades.
It’s why Hell’s Bay Boatworks, a Titusville based skiff manufacturer, has furthered its commitment to protecting Florida’s waters and America’s Everglades by joining Captains For Clean Water as a Legacy Partner. With 150 endorsed fishing guides throwing in their backing, it’s one of the largest contingents of guides in sportfishing history behind Hell’s Bay’s support for CFCW at a critical time.
“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 Hell’s Bay Boatworks. “As environmentalist organizations have battled for decades to push for funding for Everglades restoration, Florida’s estuaries have continued to deteriorate.”
“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,” added Chris Wittman, Program Director CFCW. “This caused a massive uproar in the fishing community. Anglers demanded solutions, and Captains for Clean Water was founded to support science-based solutions to these problems. In 2017, CFCF worked to help pass Florida Senate Bill 10, which provides $800 million of funding for a critical Everglades restoration project.”
“As a Legacy Partner, Hell’s Bay and Captains will stand together on the issues and promote the cause and commitment of each brand, furthering the reach of science-based solutions to one day solve this crisis.”Chris Wittman, Program Director, Captains For Clean Water
Hell’s Bays Skiffs were born for the unique habitat that is the Florida Everglades. The partnership with an organization started by outdoorsmen dedicated to saving a habitat, that inspired the design of their boats and subsequently the success of their company, came about organically. Hell's Bay has generously donated one of its handcrafted skiffs, which will be raffled-off in 2019, to raise funds for Captains, and also named Captains For Clean Water this year’s beneficiary of the Florida Skiff Challenge.
“Our business relies on clean healthy estuaries, and with roots deeply embedded in South Florida and the Everglades, the partnership between CFCW and HB is symbiotic.” Chris & Wendi Peterson, owners of Hell’s Bay Boatworks
Hell’s Bay Boatworks was founded by renowned Florida fishing guide Flip Pallot, and visionary boat designer Chris Morejohn with one goal in mind: to build the finest fishing boats ever conceived. Hell’s Bay Boatworks, led by husband and wife team Capt. Chris and Wendi Peterson, continue the tradition and dedication to creating the finest skiffs available.