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Cannot afford to destroy delicate ecosystem

By Staff | Dec 3, 2019

To the editor:

Lee County faces a decision to allow development and elimination of mangrove wetlands for new houses along Shell Pointe Boulevard. Mangrove wetlands in Florida and our region are critical in supporting native marine fisheries and wildlife, protecting our coastline and serve as an economic engine for our community. Lee County’s coastal waters are a destination for water sports, paddlers, fishing and birding that support boating and paddle craft industries, hotels and restaurants. The Great Calusa Blueway is a unique and significant draw to Lee County. Replacing mangrove wetlands with development will undermine our water, wildlife and economy.

In addition it has historical significance. It was once a Calusa Indian site with shell pyramids and sea walls. This site begs to be researched and studied not developed.

Ecologically, eliminating this very important habitat will alter water flow. When the Sanibel Causeway was built, changes in water flow wiped out a vibrant clam fishery. Mangroves create a buffer from hurricanes and storm surge, filter water running off the land into the Caloosahatchee, a river designated as impaired. People don’t spend money to vacation in polluted water without wildlife. We can’t afford to destroy any of this very delicate system.

John Paeno

chief executive officer

CGT Kayaks