To the editor:
I offer kudos to the City of Sanibel and the Sanibel conservation community for finally accepting the fact that the Sanibel River, as we once knew it, is a part of history. It is now a "slough." Oh yes, technically it has always been a slough, but for many years it's characteristics were so much those of a beautiful, pristine, tropical stream that the name "river" was certainly appropriate. Sporting fish and wildlife were abundant beyond the imagination.
I have long been publicly critical of Sanibel's failure to acknowledge the demise of our river and the fact that every one of us who have lived on this island for the last twenty years has a share in letting it happen. The problem has been that the river has no real impact on our economy. So it is refreshing to hear that they have accepted the reality of the situation and the reasons behind this tragedy. I heartily support their pledge for an all out effort to deal with it. Hopefully the community can support this herculean effort to literally change history. It will not be easy or inexpensive.
If there is a solution to the problem and the river can be restored, at least to some degree, it certainly won't be in my lifetime. There will have to be decades of commitment. But if the community is sincere in their efforts and is willing to make the sacrifices that are necessary, who is to say the river will not some day experience a time equal to it's treasured past. The only problem is that those of us who remember how it was won't be around to savor the victory.
Thank you Sanibel and God Speed.