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Our environmental principles

By Staff | Sep 30, 2010

To the editor,

Allowing boat docks in the Beach Bay Zone (BBZ) would set an alarming precedent for Sanibel Island, as it goes against the environmental principles which have made this barrier island unique.

The 1993 prohibition of boat docks in the BBZ was wisely instituted so that the seagrasses in that area have a chance to survive.

One of the premiere environmental groups in Southwest Florida — SCCF — has recommended against boat docks in the BBZ. Their advice cannot be taken lightly, as it is based on very sound science.

If Sanibel is prepared to go to court to curtail harmful water releases from Lake Okeechobee (a potentially expensive legal proposition), then why on earth would we not be prepared to maintain a ban on boat docks in our own back yard?

If this issue ever went to a referendum, I believe the boat dock ban would be upheld, as the majority of full-time residents on this island are here for the nature of this place.

The Sanibel Vision Statement, clearly displayed in council chambers, says, in part, “We are a small town community whose members live in harmony with each other and with the island’s wildlife and natural habitats.” If the boat dock ban is lifted, maybe it would be time to take down the Vision Statement from council chambers, as the time will have come when this statement is nothing more than a hollow echo of what was our past.

Rick Ranieri