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GASPARILLA MAGAZINE JULY/AUGUST 2016 Wittman is the founder of “Captains for Clean Waters,” a 501(c)3 organization he started after the freshwater overflow from Lake Okeechobee was let loose down the Caloosahatchee River last winter. “We’re an educational group. We go out and collect data and talk to scientists about what can be done to fix the issues. There’s currently a big sandbar out from Captiva Pass that’s a good four to five feet above the water, and it’s only been there for about six months,” Wittman said. Members of the organization give informational talks to groups throughout Florida. Within a month after creating the Facebook page, they had more than 10,000 followers. They also made a series of public service announcement videos that play on many local television networks and radio stations. The first 30-second video that was posted to Facebook had more than 500,000 views just a few hours later. He said most of the supporters are from Florida, but they have some who are following from all around the world. “We’ve made huge progress in collecting data and learning about what can be done,” Wittman said. A Florida native, Wittman is a Coast Guard licensed Master Captain, born and raised in Sanibel Island. He offers fishing charters from north Florida down to the Keys. 42 Capt. Chris Wittman and First Mate Chris Zolman explore the bottom of Boca Grande Pass.


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