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Transparency needed about water quality!

November 18, 2015
John G. Heim , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Transparency needed about water quality!

To the editor:

In the midst of the 60 day protest on top of the Matanzas Bridge, community members against the Lake O discharges stood side by side with clean water activists, known as the SWFL Clean Water Movement to raise awareness about our local waterways. At this very same time frame an alliance was formed by our local mayors to also take action toward our damaged ecosystem at the hands of the Lake O discharges. Our local mayors led by Sanibel Island Mayor Kevin Ruanee have all agreed to pay thousands of dollars from our local councils at town halls in five local cities to employ a lobbyist to head to our state level and speak for us as a community about water quality. We, as clean water activists, demanded our local leaderships to get more involved with our local waterways issues. They did. However they are doing it the wrong way once again! They are pushing for a Band-aid solution called the C43 water storage facility. A giant storage tank to hold water back and to use it when we actually need water released during the dry months to avoid salt water intrusion and such. Problem is there again is no such plans for water cleansing devices or filtration measures at C43. That means we will again have dirty water sent down our river and into our island waterways. We, as the activists of the clean water movement, indeed have the actual solution with out any patchwork attached, a real solution. The only solution to our local water quality issues. Plan 6 it is known as. To redirect the flow back to its natural form by sending the water south naturally as mother earth intended while recreating "the river of grass," saving the Everglades, and ending the discharges to the Caloosahatchee River in the St. Lucie River.

We highly disagree with the mayors collation on their decisions to choose untreated water storage facilities as another failed attempt by our local leaderships. Wouldn't you all agree that if we are paying a lobbyist to go to our state reps with a solution that we better make sure that person is carrying OUR right solution with him to Tallahassee to speak for all of us?

In response we as clean water activists call for a meeting with the five mayors coalition, our community at large, the lobbyist, and the SWFL Clean Water Movement to hold a town hall event, in a public setting to learn, listen, and lead as well on the future of our local eco system.

We ask for transparency.

We demand basic information.

We deserve to be heard on C43 vs Plan 6.

And if we are ignored by our local leaderships, then we as clean water activists will indeed go back to the bridge to "demonstrate to educate" once again, yet this time stay each day well into and through season itself on all bridges from FMB, Sanibel, Cape Coral, and so on.

We simply ask for education to the public by asking for this town hall meeting for all to attend and comment.

If we are ignored then we again will be forced to be the education while demonstrating.

John G. Heim

SWFL Clean Water Movement Fort Myers Beach



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