The CHNEP is a partnership working to protect the natural environment from Venice to Bonita Springs to Winter Haven. The CHNEP is a committee-driven organization to implement a 20-year plan, known as the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP), to protect estuaries and their watersheds. The CHNEP area of focus includes Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Lee, Manatee, Polk and Sarasota counties.
Wading trips:Much about in the shallow waters of our local estuaries to see for yourself some of the aquatic critters that call these shallow waters home and you'll quickly understand the importance of these waters. The CHNEP is pleased to sponsor wading trips led by five local environmental organizations.
Environmental education programs: These programs are opportunities to further environmental education in the CHNEP study area. We invite everyone with an interest in environmental education in southwest Florida to attend. Join us on April 12, 2012.
Charlotte Harbor Nature Festival: Enjoy the day exploring and learning about the natural environment at this annual festival of activities and exhibits for people of all ages to enjoy. The festival is organized and supported by a dedicated group of volunteers. It has remained free to the public due to the generous support of sponsors and proceeds from a raffle held at the festival. Join us on Saturday, November 17, 2012.
Conservation landscaping workshops: Learn how to transform your property into a beautiful oasis for people and wildlife that will not only conserve precious water resources and reduce pollution but may also save you time and money. Residents of Hardee and DeSoto counties should join us on Saturday, February 16, 2013. Since 2005 CHNEP has coordinated workshops in these counties because they do not have staff dedicated to providing residents with "Florida-friendly" landscape information.
Trainings: These are professional development opportunities that are also convenient and affordable. NOAA Coastal Services Center and U.S. EPA have offered trainings helds so far.
Introduction to Coastal GIS: May 1-3, 2012
Public Issues and Conflict Management: December 2012 (date to be determined)
Charlotte Harbor Watershed Summit: These are important steps in the CHNEP process of bringing public and private stakeholders together to discuss current and emerging issues affecting the watershed and are opportunities to review progress made. The next summit will be held March 25-27, 2014.
Research Conferences: The CHNEP has held several conferences to address a specific topic of concern.
Public Conferences: The CHNEP has held several public conferences to address an issue in a portion of the larger watershed.
Ecotour operator programs: The CHNEP assists Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in a summer program geared specifically for ecotour operators.
Law enforcement workshops: The CHNEP assists Coastal Wildlife Club for workshops geared specifically for those who handle law enforcement.
Others: The CHNEP has been involved in many other programs, including Peace River Environmental Education Network (2000-2011), State of the Science on Phosphate Mining and the Environment (March 28-29, 2011), Association of National Estuary Programs (Nov.. 8-10, 2011) and Gulf of Mexico Alliance Workshops (Dec. 15, 2008 and Sept. 14, 2005).