To the editor:
The PURRE Water Coalition (People United to Restore our Rivers and Estuaries) agrees with the Lee County Commission that the Ceitus boat lift in Cape Coral should be replaced.
While we are pleased that the city of Cape Coral is moving forward with adopting a fertilizer ordinance, that is not enough to protect the marine habitat and the water quality in the tidal canal system.
The boat lift was required by a Department of Environmental Protection Consent Order to serve as a stormwater barrier to protect the waters of Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve from Cape Coral’s stormwater runoff and drainage through the westernmost canal. Do those waters no longer need to be protected because the city of Cape Coral does not want to replace the boat lift?
In a mediation process to resolve a dispute over whether or not to replace the barrier, nineteen stakeholders spent thousands of hours addressing the serious environmental problems presented by the canal system and the absence of the boat lift, which was removed in 2006.
As a result of their painstaking work, they concluded the science supports replacing the barrier for the good of the canal system, the water quality, and the marine life it supports.
We congratulate the Lee County Commission on its unanimous decision Sept. 14 to replace the boat lift. The city of Cape Coral should follow suit.
Michael J. Valiquette
Chairman, PURRE Water Coalition