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An Open Letter to theĀ  Mayor and Council Members of Fort Myers Beach...

June 22, 2016
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

There was a time I believed a perfect vacation at the beach could only be found on an island in the middle of the ocean. So each year we'd visit different islands to enjoy aqua waters and soft, sugary sand.

And then we discovered Fort Myers Beach. For the past five years we've packed our car and made our way across the state to our Beach house rental near Beach Access #15. We now spend 4 to 6 weeks there during the Spring and Fall. I've come to experience its magic, fallen in love with the clear waters, the silky sugary beach so cool underfoot, the laid back way of life.

So imagine what it's been like the past couple of years when the waters have often turned from a beautiful aqua blue to a grubby, brown, sludgy, nauseating liquid with muck and gunk building up along the shore and in the water slime underfoot all the result of the release of heaven knows what from Lake Okeechobee into the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

During our recent stay we watched the waters transition almost overnight from crystal clear to sludge. The revolting smell that made its way to our deck was a mix of rotten eggs, dead sea life, and worse.

It feels like a crime. Tourists will not pay thousands of dollars for this experience. Fort Myers Beach is going to suffer tremendous monetary loss if tourism leaves which it most definitely will if this continues.

Focusing locally, until a better way to manage the runoff from Lake Okeechobee hopefully becomes a reality, Fort Myers Beach needs to clean the beaches, remove the gunk and dead debris that washes up along the shore making it difficult to even take a walk along the beach!

In a time where we are so concerned about our environment; on this earth where we worry about our living creatures, our birds and marine life, becoming extinct; in a world where brilliant minds have created innovations we never thought possible including my ability to connect with you electronically, surely someone can come up with a better plan than to dump toxic, odious water into the magnificent Gulf of Mexico.

I beg you.

Heather B. Sandarr

West Palm Beach, FL



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