Negotiations over the permit issuance for the Florida Gulf Coast University led to a Settlement Agreement that called for the creation of the “Arnold Committee” and an assessment of overall land uses and natural systems, environmental protection and mitigation tools in the Estero Bay watershed. Upon completion of the Assessment and its adoption by the Arnold Committee in October of 1996, the Council established and began providing Staff support to the Estero Bay Agency on Bay Management (ABM).
The ABM is a non-regulatory advisory committee to the Council. Its directive is to make comments and recommendations regarding the management of Estero Bay and its watershed. The ABM collects and maintains data and it reviews and comments to regulatory agencies on issues affecting the watershed. Its members include Lee County legislative delegates and representatives of the Council, local chambers of commerce, citizen and civic associations, the Responsible Growth Management Coalition, Lee County, Collier County, Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, the SFWMD, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida Gulf Coast University, Federal agencies involved in natural resource management, commercial and recreational fishing interests, environmental and conservation organizations, scientists, affected property owners, and the land development community.
*Cela Tega is the southwest Florida native (i.e.: Calusa) term for “A view from high ground”. We used it here to symbolize “overview”. The term was inspired from the Carib Native North American term epopopanana meaning: this is Meeting (Epopo) + And (ana) +Place (Pa) which in Carib syntax is Epopopanana