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FGCU’s Water School on April 20

FORT MYERS, Fla. (DATE, 2023) – The Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership NEXT committee will host a networking program from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 20 at The Water School at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU).

Located in the midst of Florida’s complex freshwater and saltwater systems, The Water School at FGCU is uniquely positioned to explore water-based issues. The health of waterways impacts surrounding ecosystems, regional and state economies and people who rely on water for life and leisure. By taking a leadership role in this vital arena, FGCU acts as a catalyst for change in the Southwest Florida community and throughout the world.

Leadership NEXT attendees will hear from Dr. Mike Parsons, a professor of Marine Science in The Water School at FGCU and director of FGCU’s Vester Field Station, who will share an overview of The Water School and an update on water quality in Southwest Florida after Hurricane Ian.

Beyond his teaching duties focused on marine ecology, Parsons has built a successful research career, receiving over $20 million of extramural funding to study harmful algal blooms and ecosystem health. His work has been cited over 3,500 times in the scientific literature, demonstrating the quality of his work. In addition to working with other researchers around the state to find solutions to our algal bloom problems, he was appointed to the Blue-Green Algae Task Force by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in 2019 to work to reduce the impacts of harmful algae in our region.

The Chamber program will be held at FGCU’s Water School, located at 10501 FGCU Blvd. S. in Fort Myers and includes a complimentary drink and light bites. Registration is $10 for Chamber members and $15 for future members. Attendees can register in advance at or call 239-332-2930.

Leadership NEXT’s annual sponsor is the Florida Gulf Coast University Alumni Association.

About the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce:
Serving Lee County and surrounding areas since 1989, the Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce, Inc. is a business organization that provides solutions and serves as a catalyst for growing the economy. The Chamber represents over 725 professionals and businesses throughout Southwest Florida, empowering, connecting and uniting members through meaningful networking, educational and community- and business-focused programs and events. For additional information regarding membership opportunities or events, please call 239-332-2930 or visit For the latest news and updates, follow the Chamber on Facebook at  

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Media Contacts:

Emily Golden, APR, Priority Marketing,, 239-267-2638 or 239-565-1595 (cell) Noelani Fender, Priority Marketing,, 239

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