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Council opposes Lee watercraft amendment

By Staff | Apr 18, 2013

Department of Natural Resources director James Evans brought Sanibel City Council up to date on the issue of a personal watercraft ordinance amendment being considered by the Lee County Commission.

“This amendment to their ordinance is to allow a personal watercraft tour operation out of Port Sanibel Marina,” said Evans. “The guided tours would operate in San Carlos Bay, the back bays and could impact the beaches near Sanibel.”

Officials from Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, Ding Darling and Natural Resources weighed in with comments before commissioners recently. Their concerns related to noise as well as impacting the shoreline and existing passive recreation on the bay.

The county’s personal watercraft ordinance has been amended three times in the past, Evans noted.

Commissioners have scheduled a workshop for May 6 on the issue at which they will accept written comments only.

“We recommend opposing the ordinance amendment with a letter to the commission,” said Evans.

Mayor Kevin Ruane backed the report with a motion to draft a letter to be sent to Lee County Commissioners with the signatures of all five council members ahead of the workshop.

“This has the potential to impact Sanibel and the citizens of Sanibel,” Evans concluded.