To the editor:
The local community is coming together once again to join hands in unity for the protection and love for our beaches. On Sunday, May 25, at noon, all walks of life are invited to participate in this event to stand up for our ailing waters due to the annual Lake O discharges that wreck havoc on our ecosystem, sea life, tourism and our ways of life. The pollution must end and it only takes us to demand the right to clean water for Fort Myers Beach.
The idea is to line the pier this time with hundreds of people who care enough about our waters that we are simply standing up for our kids to have the same chance at clean water that we have had, while voicing our opinion that the discharges must end. Last year's discharges just about flatlined our European sector during the months of August and September due to the dirty water reality. About 70 percent checked out early as a result of the water and, even worse, more said that they would never return because they felt deceived.
We must as a community and politicos work now to create awareness platforms of what we locally are dealing with. We can no longer simply settle for "what's the big deal, it happens every year." We deserve better than this Fort Myers Beach. We are no toilet to dump waste and chemicals into our river and eventually into our perfect Gulf waters. Without our waters being healthy, we will lose this battle and even worse lose what we know as home. If our waters are so ill that people stop coming here then we as a 100 percent tourist-based town will die along with the waters and all in it.
There is a growing movement occurring within the past year by clean water activists both from the west coast as well as the east coast who are effected by the runoffs, which is proving to make change occur to the current system in place. Point being, ordinary citizens just like you and I have and can make the difference we need for our future to clean water to be a reality of what's right vs. wrong. It's sad when we hear in the summer a tourist say, "I'm checking out and going to Naples because their water is clear unlike here," These words travel to others and on to others. And before you know it we are the toilet bowl flush by perception and harsh reality. This is our responsibility to stand up for home when someone is destroying it.
I encourage all of SWFL including all of FMB to join hands to celebrate our beaches together on this one day. There is no question that this is a family event, because its about us standing up for them and their futures. Bring your kids, animals, signs, messages, smiles and your community spirit for FMB Hands Across The Pier. A few local mayors will be present as well as the voice of the citizens of SWFL. Check Facebook under events, "Pier pressure PSA to protect our paradise."
John. G. Heim
-Fort Myers Beach