For years, I have been trying, through letters like this, and meetings and phone calls, to discretely, encourage the City of Sanibel and the conservation community to acknowledge the transformation of the Sanibel River. Twenty years ago, the river was a unique tropical paradise. Today, in my view, it is but a tropical slough. The fresh water fish and bird populations have been devastated.
Let me make very clear that these are just my personal observations from years of kayaking and fishing on navigable portions of the river. I so hope that I am wrong, but the evidence seems overwhelming.
In my view, we all share responsibility for the transformation of our beautiful resource. Years of overbuilding, fertilizer application, and now effluent flushing have taken its toll. Give credit to the City; important measures, like testing and fertilizer control, have been initiated, but in my personal opinion, it is highly unlikely that our river will ever be the same as it was twenty years ago.
My interest is not now, and has never been blame. As I said, we all share in this tragedy. I am just an old person who hates to see beautiful memories fade without some recognition. I realize that our river has little or no commercial impact on the island, but is money our only motivation for conservation. I simply believe the Sanibel River, as it was, deserves its proper place in history.