skip navigation

Florida Gulf Coast University

Website Directory  

Everglades Wetland Research Park




April 22, 2016—At FGCU’s 19th Annual Celebration of Excellence held on campus today, EWRP grad student Conor MacDonnell was awarded the College of Arts & Science’s Graduate Student of the Year Award. Conor received his B.S. in Biology at the College of William and Mary cum laude in 2014 and joined FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples Florida as a Research Assistant and as an M.S. graduate student in Environmental Sciences in summer 2014 under Bill Mitsch. Conor’s thesis research is on how mangrove wetlands and their tidal creeks affect water quality in adjacent estuaries. This is an important factor related to estuarine fisheries, which have been on the decline in the past few decades in the Naples Bay region where most of his research is focused. Conor is active in many volunteer activities related to the environment in SW Florida and has won several student awards. He is planning on continuing his graduate career as a Ph.D. student in the Soils and Water Department at University of Florida, where he has been awarded a multi-year fellowship starting Fall Semester 2016.

Congratulations to Conor!!!!


Ft Myers News-Press  $600M reservoir could hurt rather than help, scientists say (April 15, 2016)

Dr. Mitsch speaks at 2016 Friends of Fakahatchee Annual Members Meeting and Dinner (April 10, 2016)

FGCU “Moonlight on the Marsh” Lecture Explores Everglades’ Unique Ecology and Importance of Its Restoration - Popular science series continues Feb. 11 in Naples (FGCU Press Release, February 9, 2016 )

Red tide adding to water troubles (The News-Press, February 3, 2016)

FGCU staff, students host event to share wetlands research (Naples Daily News, February 3, 2016)

US Corps of Engineers was Unprepared for Wet January, says Local Wetlands Expert (Naples Herald, February 3, 2016)

Scientists: Wetlands need protection (The News-Press, February 2, 2016)

FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park welcomes public for International Wetlands Day, Feb. 2 (FGCU Press Release, January 28, 2016)

Experts on climate change, water shine in ‘Moonlight on the Marsh’(Florida Weekly, January 21, 2016)

Inaugural 2016 Moonlight on the Marsh Leture on Climate Change a Great Success (January 19, 2016)


Professors Ellen Mosley-Thompson and Lonnie Thompson preparing their presentation at the Everglades Wetland Research Park in the Kapnick Center for the inaugural 2016 Bernard and Susan Master “Moonlight on the Marsh” lecture in Naples, Florida

The 2016 Bernard and Susan Master "Moonlight on the Marsh" Lectures Feature Experts on Climate Change and Water Issues (FGCU Press Release, December 3, 2015)

Reflections on an American Scientist Visiting Cuba (November 1-5, 2015)

Blue Carbon workshop was held at Everglades Wetland Research Park (October 22, 2015)

FGCU Professor joins fellow Stockholm Water Prize Laureates in Germany (October 7, 2015)

A reunion of three Stockholm Water Prize Laureates was held at a one-day workshop entitled “Sustainable management of natural and engineering landscapes” on Tuesday October 6, 2015, in Munich, Germany. Left to right in the group picture: Prof. Peter A. Wilderer, Technical University Munich (TUM), Germany; Prof. Sven Erik Jorgensen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Prof. William J Mitsch, Florida Gulf Coast University, USA. The event was held at the sleek and bustling campus of TUM and the Max Planck Institute in suburban Munich.


German Class Visits FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park (September 23, 2015)

Twenty-nine Masters students majoring in Human Geography at the Institute of Geography at University of Cologne, Germany, along with 4 instructors. visited FGCU’s Everglades Wetland Research Park (EWRP) in Naples on Wednesday, September 23, 2015. They were given a presentation in the Kapnick Center on research, teaching, and outreach at the Everglades Wetland Research Park. They had read several recent EWRP research papers prior to coming to the USA so they were knowledgeable and quite interested in our wetland research. They asked many questions about how humans impact the Everglades and about the Everglades restoration. They also toured our research lab in the Kapnick.  For most, it was their first visit to Florida. They also visited Corkscrew Swamp where FGCU Environmental Science graduate student Andrea Pereyra showed them the different wetland habitats and described the EWRP research there. They saw a big gator there, so they were pretty happy about their visit to SW Florida. 


Stockholm Water Prize (SWP) winners at 25th Anniversary of the Prize in City Hall, Stockholm with Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf (August 26, 2015)

left to right: Prof. John Anthony Allan, King’s College Great Britain (2008 SWP Laureate); Ms. Barbara Frost, representing WaterAid, Great Britain (1995 SWP Winner); Prof. Mogens Henze, representing Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark (1992 SWP Winner); His Excellency King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden; Prof. William J. Mitsch, Florida Gulf Coast University, USA (2004 SWP Laureate); Prof. Rita Colwell, University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, USA (2010 SWP Laureate); Shri Rajendra Singh, Rajasthan, India (2015 SWP Laureate); Mr. Jeremy Bird, representing The International Water Management Institute, Colombo, Sri Lanka (2012 SWP Winner) 

Stockholm Water Prize celebrates its Silver Jubilee (World Water Week, SIWI, August 21, 2015)

Bill Mitsch proved Thomas Wolfe wrong - you can go home again (The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register, August 9, 2015)

FGCU Professor Wins International Award For Everglades Work (Naples Herald, June 19, 2015)

FGCU Wetlands Expert Earns International Honor: Ramsar Merit Award Recognizes Mitsch for Contributions to Science (FGCU New Press, June 12, 2015)

Bill Mitsch received Ramsar Award for Merit 2015 (June 3, 2015)

Bill Mitsch in the CCTV America (May 19, 2015)

New Reports Show Alarming Trend of Wetland Losses in the World (May 19, 2015)

EWRP Director Bill Mitsch presented an invited seminar at University of Algarve, Portugal, on creating wetlands to mitigate downstream pollution from agriculture (April 24, 2015)

EWRP Director Bill Mitsch on NPR's Hear and Now discussing the Everglades (April 2, 2015)

Bernard and Susan Master “Moonlight on the Marsh” Series Features Expert on Coastal “Dead Zones” (FGCU New Press, March 11, 2015)

FGCU Professor Wins International Award for Career in Wetland Research and Teaching (March 1, 2015)

Bernard and Susan Master "Moonlight on the Marsh" Series Features Expert on River and Watershed Restoration (FGCU New Press, Feb 25, 2015)

Climate change - Local efforts modest in dealing with a warming planet (Florida Weekly, Feb 11, 2015)

Bernard and Susan Master "Moonlight on the Marsh" Series Features Expert on Water Resources in Middle East (FGCU New Press, Feb 5, 2015)

Professor Gail Chmura from McGill University lectures on marshes, mangroves, and mud to kick off the 2015 Moonlight lecture series at EWRP (January 16, 2015)

We had a great kickoff to our 2015 Moonlight on the Marsh lecture series in Naples Florida Thursday evening January 15, 2015.  A social event prior to the lecture itself was held for our Everglades Wetland Research Park advisory committee on our patio that looks over a pretty scene of a lake and the botanical garden. That event was half Floridians and half Ohio Buckeyes!  The lecture by Prof. Gail Chmura of McGill University (Montreal Canada) entitled LOSING MONEY WITH THE MUD?--HOW SEA LEVEL RISE WILL AFFECT CARBON ACCUMULATION IN SALT MARSH AND MANGROVE WETLANDS covered climate change, coastal wetlands and carbon sequestration and was nicely presented to the audience of about 85 that included the committee, an FGCU class of 26, some FGCU faculty and staff, and the public.

Good start to the lecture series, which continues every 2 weeks in Naples with a different distinguished lecturer and focus group for the social event. Next speaker on January 29 is Prof. Tom Bianchi from University of Florida and our guest organization and co-sponsor will be the University of Florida alumni clubs in SW Florida. 

The 2015 Moonlight on the Marsh lecture series is sponsored by Bernard and Susan Master from Worthington, Ohio.

FGCU’s 2015 “Moonlight on the Marsh” Series Features Experts Lecturing on Water and Wetland Issues (December 11, 2014) 

Everglades Wetland Research Park hosts United States National Ramsar Committee wetlands meeting in Naples Florida (November 18, 2014)

Photos from the U.S. National Ramsar Committee (USNRC) wetlands meeting held at the Everglades Wetland Research Park (EWRP) at the Naples Botanical Garden on Tuesday November 18, 2014.  Left photo: Picture taken during the meeting of Ralph Tiner, Association of State Wetland Managers, Amherst, MA and Treasurer of USNRC; Suzanne Pittenger Slear, Environmental Concern, St. Michaels, MD and Vice-Chair of USNRC; and Bill Mitsch, Florida Gulf Coast University, Naples, FL and Chair of USNRC. Right photo: Group shot of several of the meeting participants who attended in Naples: Li Zhang, FGCU; Alberto Chavez, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve; Bill Mitsch, FGCU (Chair); Kathryn Campbell, Environmental Law Institute, Washington DC; Ralph Tiner, Association of State Wetland Managers (Treasurer); Jaime Boswell, The Nature Conservancy; Ann Birch, The Nature Conservancy; and Suzanne Pittenger Slear, Environmental Concern (Vice-Chair).

Chinese delegation from Shanghai visits EWRP (October 29, 2014)

A group of 7 scientists from Shanghai JiaoTong University and  Shanghai Administration Center visited the EWRP on October 29 2014 to explore potential collaboration with our research center.  The group, headed by Vice Director - Dehong Wu, Shanghai Administration Center for Ocean Affairs,and Dr. Xuechu Chen, who is currently a visiting scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was given an overview of the EWRP and the Everglades by Professor Mitsch. They presented their current project on wetland creation on Hangzhou Bay and sought input on that project.  They also visited the South Florida Water Management District in Naples and hosted the EWRP and SFWMD at a banquet at the Naples Chinese restaurant "Chinatown" that evening.

EWRP study published in Ecological Engineering shows that wetlands can created to achieve low concentrations of phosphorus to protect the Florida Everglades (October 25, 2014) 

In a paper published recently in the international journal Ecological Engineering entitled PROTECTING THE FLORIDA EVERGLADES WETLANDS WITH WETLANDS: CAN STORMWATER PHOSPHORUS BE REDUCED TO OLIGOTROPHIC CONDITIONS?, scientists illustrated, in a 3-year study near West Palm Beach, Florida, USA, that created wetlands could be constructed to achieve effluents near 10 ppb of phosphorus before the water is discharged into the Florida Everglades. The study, partially funded by the South Florida Water Management District, concluded that "any treatment wetland constructed with local Florida soils and designed to achieve low (∼10–15 ppb P) concentrations would probably take a minimum of 2 years to become sinks of phosphorus" and that "wetlands can be created to achieve these low thresholds if low TP loading and self-design strategies are incorporated into the project design."  The study, headed up by Professor William J. Mitsch, expresses caution that achieving 10 ppb or similar concentrations consistently is problematic but that is is possible with the correct plant communities and low-nutrient soils in the wetlands themselves.  The researchers attributed this time lag to phosphorus being released from the mesocosm soils that were taken from nearby treatment wetlands.  "We are urging caution and further long-term studies on whether wetlands can sustainably achieve these extremely low concentrations of phosphorus that are equivalent to phosphorus concentrations in rainfall' suggests Prof. Mitsch. "Furthermore, these new wetlands would require much large areas to reduce the phosphorus from 30 ppm to approximately 10 ppb than that has been used with the current wetlands (referred to locally as storm water treatment areas (STAs)) that reduce the phosphorus concentrations from 140 ppb to 30 - 40 ppb."   The full publication can be found at:

Restoring the Black Swamp to Save Lake Erie - Bill Mitsch (Blogs hosted by Water Environment Federation, September 4, 2014)

FGCU Group from Naples Lab Tours Eastern China (July 18 - 27, 2014)


EWRP Director Mitsch gives invited keynote presentation to Florida Department of Environmental Protection (June 12, 2014)

PDF of the Presentation

Photos of Professor Bill Mitsch’s presentation to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Orlando, Florida, including the presentation of a certificate of appreciation to Prof. Mitsch by Danielle Irwin, Deputy Director of Beach Management, Mining & Environmental Resource Protection, Division of Water Resource Management, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee, Florida

Mitsch, Pittenger-Slear, Hahn, and Tiner named Officers of U.S. Ramsar Committee (US Ramsar, May 28, 2014)

Newly chosen officers of the United States National Ramsar Committee at the meeting of the committee in Arlington, Virginia on May 8, 2014. Left to right, Suzanne Pittenger-Slear, Environmental Concern, St. Michaels, MD, Vice-Chair, Deborah Hahn, Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, Secretary, and Bill Mitsch, Florida Gulf Coast University, Chair. Unavailable for the picture was Ralph Tiner, Association of State Wetland Managers, Treasurer.

 Wetlanders are in SWS 2014 annual meeting in Portland, OR (May 18-23, 2014)

FGCU's Director Mitsch participated in UNESCO Ecohydrology workshop in Paris including presentation on Florida Everglades restoration, May 20-21, 2014.

Group photo from UNESCO Ecohydrology workshop in May 20-21, 2014

FGCU's "Moonlight on the Marsh" Series Concludes Feb. 27 With Lecture on Invasive Pythons in Florida (FGCU E-news, February 19, 2014)

FGCU's  "Moonlight on the Marsh" Lecture Addresses Reclaiming and Protecting Wetlands (FGCU E-news, February 6, 2014)

FGCU's  "Moonlight on the Marsh" Lecture Addresses Beach Pollution Causes, Health Risks and Solutions (FGCU E-news, January 24, 2014)

FGCU's  "Moonlight on the Marsh" Lecture Addresses Red Tide Impacts and Potential Solutions (FGCU E-news, January 9, 2014)

When will ecologists learn engineering and engineers learn ecology? (ELSEVIER, January 8, 2014)

Moonlight on the Marsh series opens with lecture on water quality (Florida Weekly, December 18, 2013)

2013-14 Moonlight on the Marsh Lecture Series: Water Quality Improvement with Wetlands - Professor Ulo Mander,University of Tartu, ESTONIA (December 12, 2013)

Ulo Mander 

State of the Nation's Wetlands (WOSU All Sides with Ann Fisher, December 5, 2013)

FGCU’s 2013-14 “Moonlight on the Marsh” Series Opens With Lecture on How Wetlands Improve Water Quality (FGCU E-news, December 2, 2013)

Wetland and Carbon lecture from Montpellier France  -  Bill Mitsch (October 25, 2013)

Invitation to Attend ELI-Stetson Workshop on Wetland Mitigation (October 20, 2013)

Moonlight on the Marsh lectures tackle hot environmental issues (Fort Myers Florida Weekly, September 11, 2013)

FGCU’s 2013-14 “Moonlight on the Marsh” Lectures to Explore Red Tide,Invasive Pythons and Other Environmental Issues in the News (September 5, 2013)



Farming carbon: Study reveals potent carbon-storage potential of manmade wetlands (Press Release, June, 2013)

- at EurekAlert:
- at American Society of Agronomy: 
- at Science Daily:
- at
- at
-at News Release of :


FGCU’s new wetlands center presents 6 posters at Research Day 2013 on FGCU campus (EWRP Press Release, April 19, 2013)

Celebrate Earth Day on Monday, April 22, With a Tour of FGCU’s New Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples (FGCU Press Release, April 17, 2013)

More than plants: wildlife also around at Naples Botanical Garden (Naples Daily News, April 7, 2013)

National Webinar from FGCU's Everglades Wetland Research Park ( ASWM, March 26, 2013)

Wetland Researcher Speaks About Financing Restoration Efforts to Save the Gulf of Mexico in FGCU’s ‘Moonlight on the Marsh’ Lecture Series ( (FGCU Press Release, March 15, 2013)

 “Moonlight on the Marsh” Distinguished Lecture Series in Sanibel, Florida (Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation Newsletter, March, 2013) 

Donald Hey

Donald L. Hey, Ph.D., Founder of The Wetlands Initiative

Noted Coastal Wetland Scientist Speaks at FGCU Lecture Series about Mississippi River, Louisiana Delta and Gulf of Mexico (FGCU Press Release, Feb. 28, 2013)

John W. Day, Jr., Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, School of Coast and Environment, Louisiana State University

Wetland scientist to discuss mangrove protection and management as part of FGCU lecture series (FGCU Press Release, Feb. 18, 2013)


Wetland scientist - Roy R. “Robin” Lewis III (PDF from MOM PPT)

FGCU wetlands center provides systems ecology short course by distinguished Danish professor for FGCU graduate students and professors/researchers from other universities (EWRP Press Release, Feb. 4, 2013)

Short Course for Systems Ecology at Florida Gulf Coast University

Students and instructors of Systems Ecology short course held January 31, February 1-2, 2013 at FGCU's Everglades Wetland Research Park at the Kapnick Center in Naples Florida

FGCU wetland scientist gives presentation before a record crowd at FGCU’s Kapnick Center in Naples (EWRP Press Release, Jan. 24, 2013)

Some of the estimated crowd of 170 who came to the Kapnick Center in Naples Florida to hear FGCU Professor Bill Mitsch discuss his current and planned research in wetland creation, restoration, and conservation.

FGCU Everglades scientist contributed to Supreme Court hearing on protecting wetlands (EWRP Press Release, Jan. 15, 2013)

---The amicus brief supported by the 12 wetland scientists

FGCU Professor Bill Mitsch, second from left, flanked by Royal Gardner, Stetson University College of Law and Jan Goldman-Carter, Counsel of Record, National Wildlife Federation at the Supreme Court on January 15, 2013 . Gardner and Goldman-Carter submitted the Amicus Brief on behalf of 12 wetland scientists in support of mitgation for the loss of wetlands.

FGCU Wetland Expert to Discuss Everglades Restoration And Gulf of Mexico Pollution, Jan. 24 (FGCU Press Release, Jan. 10, 2013)

Wetlands Warrior Professor brings expertise to environmental front line: The Everglades (FGCU Pinnacle Magazine, Nov. 2012 and Naples Daily News, December 30, 2012)

Research Validates Value of Wetlands as Buffers to Climate Change

 Everglades Wetland Research Park Director Bill Mitsch at the Naples Botanical Garden with a wetland soil corer used for carbon studies (from FGCU Pinnacle and Naples Daily News)

Park could offer model for wetlands restoration (FGCU Pinnacle Magazine, Nov. 2012 and Naples Daily News, December 30, 2012)

Lab Manager

Everglades Wetland Research Park Lab technician Hilary Thompson tests gas samples for levels of methane at garden research center (from FGCU Pinnacle and Naples Daily News

Research Validates Value of Wetlands as Buffers to Climate Change (FGCU Press Release, December 12, 2012) free access to pdf of scientific article provided by Journal of Landscape Ecology

Bill Mitsch, Director EWRP (third from left), was part of an international team invited to Stockholm Sweden by their federal research group—Mistra Council for Evidence-based Environmental Management on December 6-7, 2012.  Other committee members were from Sweden, Netherlands, and Denmark. The committee will be investigating the effectiveness of wetlands to improve water quality by retaining nitrogen and phosphorus (December 7, 2012)

FGCU wetland scientist receives honor for presentation at international conference(November 30, 2012)
EWRP Director Mitsch gives campus-wide presentation on ecological engineering at Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York (November 29, 2012)
Park could offer model for wetlands restoration (FGCU Pinnacle Magazine, Nov. 2012)
Wetland center launches research boat into Naples Bay in collaboration with other universities (EWRP Release, November 19, 2012)


Wetland center launches research boat into Naples Bay in collaboration with other universities

Ph.D. student Jorge Villla and lab technician Hillary Thompson of the Everglades Wetland Research Park launch the research vessel ORW Natalie for its maiden voyage in Naples Bay on November 19, 2012

Wetland research park conducts professional short course for environmental professionals from 5 states and 2 foreign countries (EWRP Release, November 13, 2012)

 Ecological expert series begins Thursday (, October 17, 2012)

Everglades Wetland Research Park invites media to free lecture series (FGCU Press Release, October 15, 2012)

FGCU's Everglades Wetland Research Park Launches Public Lecture Series Oct. 18  (FGCU Press Release, October 12, 2012)

FGCU appoints director for new Everglades Wetland Research Park (, October 12, 2012)

FGCU welcomes eminent scholar as director of Everglades Wetland Research Park in Naples (FGCU Press Release, October 12, 2012)

FGCU wetland center student and technician awarded EcoSummit 2012 scholarships (EWRP Release, October 6, 2012)

Bill Mitsch leaves OSU for Florida (Columbus Dispatch, September 30, 2012 )

EWRP real-time water quality monitoring system feature story in trade publication (Environmental Monitor, Summer 2012)

EWRP scientists and students present papers at international wetlands meeting in Orlando (June 3-8, 2012) 


Visiting Ph.D. student from China helps Naples Garden on pollution study  (Naples Botanical Garden Newsletter, May 30, 2012)