Public meetings planned to discuss management of Wulfert Flats
The Lee County Natural Resources Division and the J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, together with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Aquatic Preserve staff, will be holding public meetings related to the management of Wulfert Flats, a 474-acre area of state owned submerged lands, seagrass beds and mangrove islets located just east of Blind Pass and within the Pine Island Sound Aquatic Preserve. This land has been leased to Lee County by the state and turned over for management as part of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The area will be designated as a “pole and troll zone,” where the use of combustion engines will be prohibited. Navigation using poles, paddles and electric trolling motors will prevent additional propeller scarring by motorboats and allow recovery of the previously damaged seagrass bed. This action was required as a condition of the permit to dredge Blind Pass which included removal of seagrass, and is a way to provide additional public benefit and mitigation in the form of seagrass protection. The managing agencies are holding meetings to inform and educate the public about the project and gather input in an effort to finalize the management strategy for the area.
Meetings will be at 6 p.m. at the following days and locations:
— Jan. 12 – St. James City American Legion Hall, 4106 Stringfellow Rd., St. James City
— Jan. 13 – J. N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, 1 Wildlife Drive, Sanibel
— Jan. 14 – Lee County Public Works Building, Room 1B, 1500 Monroe St., Fort Myers
For additional information, call (239) 533-8128 or (239) 472-1100