The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program (CHNEP) is a partnership to protect the natural environment of Florida from Venice to Bonita Springs to Winter Haven. The CHNEP hosts the Charlotte Harbor Watershed Summit every three years to learn about current research and restoration efforts and critical environmental issues affecting the Charlotte Harbor watershed and to review progress since the preceding summit. Summits are important in the CHNEP process of bringing public and private stakeholders together. The next summit will be held Tuesday–Thursday, March 28–30, 2017, at the Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center (75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda). Additional details are posted at

The 2017 Summit Planning Committee is working to again provide the summit as an opportunity to share the latest findings and to network.

We encourage you to share your work in an oral or poster presentation to advance the knowledge and understanding of the natural environment in the CHNEP study area. Presentations will be selected by the Summit Planning Committee based on relevance and timeliness. There is no fee to submit an abstract or to present. We anticipate that as many as thirty (30) proposals for 20-minute presentations will be selected. The number of posters accepted will be determined in part by the size of the facility. A lightning-round session may also be offered of short (maybe 5 minute) presentations.

To submit a proposal for an oral or poster presentation, complete this online form by Sept. 30, 2016. On a regular basis email messages will be sent to the person designated to acknowledge the proposal was received. By November, we will send a selection notice along with guidance to register, any opportunities to revise material submitted, etc.

The Charlotte Harbor Watershed Summits are only possible because of those who are willing to share their expertise and research findings and our partners and sponsors. Sponsors, as of June 7, 2016, include Mote Marine Laboratory ($2,000), Southwest Florida Water Management District ($1,000) and Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida ($250). Any donation of $100 or more will be acknowledged as a sponsor. 

Because of the support of CHNEP’s financial partners and event sponsors, prior summits have been free to attend with lunches provided. In 2017, we anticipate it will again be free to attend. We are hoping to provide lunch to presenters and sponsors, but others will be required to purchase lunch. Anticipated lunch cost will be $15 a day.

We expect at least 200 people will attend the summit, some in person and others will attend remotely via WebEx. Abstracts will be compiled in proceedings that will be available online. After the summit, the presentations (oral and poster) will be made available as PDF files and videos will be made of oral presentations (combining audio with PDF of PowerPoint). Based on your input when you complete the online proposal form and funds available, there may also be an opportunity to publish in a peer-reviewed journal.

Submit a proposal for an oral or poster presentation by completing this online form by Sept. 30, 2016. You may make changes to the form after it is saved, but we recommend that you have the abstract written prior to beginning the form so it can easily by pasted into the form.

When completing the form, enter information as you would like it to appear in the materials created for the summit. Limit the title to 15 words and the abstract to 500 words. Capitalize first word in sentence and proper names. Enter names of authors in the order you wish them to appear. 

Thank you for your efforts in protecting the natural environment of southwest Florida.

* 1. What is the title of your presentation? (Limit to 15 words and capitalize only the first word and proper names.)

* 2. What is the abstract of the presentation proposed? (Limit to 500 words.)

* 3. What is the name of the first author? (Enter authors in the order you wish them to appear. The mailing address should include the street address, city, state and zip code. If more than five people should be acknowledged, please enter information about additional authors in question #16.)

* 4. Who is the second author?

* 5. Who is the third author?

* 6. Who is the fourth author?

* 7. Who is the fifth author?

* 8. How do you wish to present your information?

  Yes No Maybe
Oral presentation (20 minutes)
Lightning-round presentation (maybe 5 minutes)

* 9. Which general category does your presentation best fit?

* 10. Is the work being presented primarily the work of:

* 11. Is the work being presented primarily the work of a:

* 12. Indicate your preference for when your presentation/poster will be on the agenda?

  Prefer Okay Not available
Tuesday morning
Tuesday afternoon
Wednesday morning
Wednesday afternoon
Thursday morning
Thursday afternoon

* 13. If receiving CEU credits are important to you, let us know as much as you can about the organization and process for adding the summit for these credits.

* 14. The CHNEP is very proud of its partners who are implementing the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) to protect and restore the natural environment of southwest Florida. The success of fulfilling this plan is only possible through the efforts of our partners. Many of the partners -- from universities to government agencies to nonprofit organizations to businesses -- have conducted projects and published the results of their work in peer-reviewed journals. The CHNEP is compiling a list of journal articles published in the last 20 years that help implement the CCMP. Please either provide information on journal articles that should be included or email that information to There are many reasons why this list is important, but one is that it helps fulfill a 2013 memorandum from the President's Office of Science and Technology Policy to increase access to the results of federally funded scientific research.

* 15. The CHNEP has published a special issue of Florida Scientist of peer-reviewed articles on some of the information presented at the 2014, 2011 and 2008 summits. We'd like your input on how to proceed. Check all that apply.

* 16. Is there anything else you would like us to know that isn't captured in the questions above?