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Make you voice heard to help protect the refuge, islands from harmful discharges

By Staff | Jun 20, 2018


As a result of recent rains, massive discharges have come down the Caloosahatchee River from Lake Okeechobee. The pictured photo was taken on June 3 and shows that the discharged water has reached Sanibel. Unfortunately, the water is also permeating the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

Plans are in place that have the potential, over the next decade, to eradicate most, if not all, of these discharges. However, the discharges are currently having a negative impact on the health of the refuge and its fish and wildlife.

Immediate corrective action is needed. A number of organizations can help eliminate or significantly mitigate the discharges and the refuge needs your help asking for their support.

Visit dingdarlingsociety.org/articles/letters to ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, South Florida Water Management District, Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Department of Environmental Protection Deputy Secretary for Ecosystems Restoration Drew Bartlett to take immediate action. The link will take you to a series of letters connected to their email addresses.

Even if you don’t own a home on Sanibel, but visit and love the refuge and islands, we ask that you write them and edit the sample letter accordingly.

Thank you for spending what shouldn’t take more than five minutes of your time. Your voice does make a difference and the more people who make the effort to express concern, the more impact it will make.

Sara Ashton is the chair of the advocacy committee for the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge.