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Awaiting the results

By Staff | Aug 10, 2011

To the editor,

The guest commentary by Rae Ann Wessel, SCCF Natural Resource Policy Director, (July 27 edition of the Island Reporter) covered “Facts & Fiction: Numeric nutrient criteria and water quality.” It was in brief, opinions of business interests and that of the writer.

I was prepared to take the part of the business interests until, in the process of writing this letter and re-reading the commentary of Ms. Wessel, I discovered I could not disagree with her position, on the basis of the following sentence: “Florida adopted a subjective, narrative standard of healthy, well-balanced system, which has no scientific method of measurement.”

She concludes her article with “The devil is always in the details… and in the scientific facts. We need numeric nutrient criteria, and we need them now.”

Scientific facts is what I have requested from the city administration for years. I was personally assured by the administration at an annual meeting of the Shell Harbor members that a test of waters – including canals in Shell Harbor – would be performed before and after the enactment of the 24-foot setback fertilizer requirement. Upon questioning the same administration official as to the results of the promised tests, I was informed that the only tests made were those in the Sanibel River. The citizenry is awaiting the results of that test.

Dale Armstrong

Sanibel and Columbus, Ohio