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Other side of the dock story

April 8, 2013
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

Dear Editor,

Sometimes when I read a story I wonder - what is the other side of the story?

This response is the other side of the dock story.

In 1993 Sanibel enacted an ordinance to restrict any new bayfront docks between the Lighthouse and Dixie Beach. The ordinance states it was to protect sea grass.

It is interesting to note that large sea grass beds are not in the restricted area, but in the areas from Dixie Beach west. This is an area where docks are allowed. Another interesting point is that the "restricted area" is the area that can be viewed when coming onto the island. The restriction is not because of protection of sea grass, but esthetics. "They" do not want to look at docks coming onto the island.

Even if there is sea grass between Lighthouse and Dixie Beach, the 20 years since 1993 have brought many changes to dock construction making it possible to build an environmental dock in a heavy sea grass area.

Another observation is the City dock built in 2009. Not only was the City dock built in their restricted area, but it was not built with any environmental practices. The dock is solid concrete, with a wall to break the waves. We have also viewed a private company dredging the City dock.

If the City was committed to sea grass and environmental practices, the dock would not have been built in that location and would have been built with totally different materials.

Even the Mayor said the dock should never have been built there.

Where was COTI when the plans were formed to build this solid concrete dock? The City said that their Natural Resource director, Rob Loflin, went into the water and verified there was no sea grass in that area and the City dock could be built. Really? Where was the outcry from COTI about building the dock in the "protected" area or the materials proposed? Where were the sea grass and environmental studies and public meetings?

It makes me think of the politician that tells us to ride a bike or a smart car to control our carbon footprint and they fly around in a private jet. Go figure.

Ask yourself these questions:

If it is so important to restrict this area to protect sea grass would the City build a dock in that location? No

Is the City dock in the middle of the island in case of an emergency evacuation? No.

Is the City dock close to the Police station in order for the Police to reach the boat timely? No

Is the City dock close to the Fire station in order for the fire fighters to reach the boat timely" No

Anyway, I thought you might like to hear the other side of the dock story.

Susie Kentner

Sanibel

 
 

 

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