To the editor,
Sometimes I wonder if common sense is something of a mystery to some people. This issue of docks along the bayside of Sanibel is a perfect example of the loss of common sense.
First of all, I am not a bayfront property owner, so I have no ulterior motive in what I have to say.
As a fishing guide for almost 50 years on Sanibel and Captiva waters, it didn't take me long to find out that the best area's to fish were along the docks of the islands. When fishing was slow along the so-called natural environment of fish, most guides would head for the docks.
My question is this; If in fact docks were detrimental to the environment, what the heck are fish doing here?
The fact is that any structure in water creates marine habitat. Why do you think artificial reefs are so effective?
As far as the smalltooth sawfish is concerned, in almost 50 years of fishing, I've onle seen three or four of them. Besides that, there are thousands of square miles of bay water grass flats without docks for them to breed in. Are the experts telling me that is not enough so called clean water for the smalltooth sawfish?
The relatively small area of shoreline dock's could not possibly have a detrimental effect on the health and welfare of the bay waters. And as far as a dock's preventing grass from growing under them because of lost sunlight, all I can say is, since when is the sun's rays stationary? The space a dock covers is miniscule compared to the open waters of the bay. One look at the bay water while traveling over the causeway should prove that point.
The past ban on docks sure didn't prevent the city from building their own docks, and a seawall to boot! Granted, it is a beneficial addition to our safety on the waters of the islands, but when did it become permissible for any government entity to circumvent an environmental regulation? Why is that dock considered safe for the environment? I'm sure bayfront home owners would like to know.
Capt. Bob Sabatino