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A river of questions

March 8, 2017
Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

To the editor:

I want to make it very clear. I strongly support the City of Sanibel and the conservation community when it comes to promoting clean water in general. It is a giant problem, but the groundwork has been set for great accomplishments.

However, I went to the recent public meeting related to the tiny Sanibel inland waterway, "the slough," and as usual at these meetings, it was an hour's presentation of incomprehensible statistics.

After 20 years of navigating almost daily what I used to know as the Sanibel River, I have observed significant changes. Much of the public doesn't even know there is an inland waterway, let alone what it was like 20 years ago. But, if I am correct, and they were made aware of those changes, I believe there would be a flood of community support for setting the waterway on a road to recovery, regardless of the cost.

Let me make very clear that I can talk personally about only the East section of the slough.

So I am asking for official answers on:

When was the "river" first, designated as impaired?

What was the bird population on the "river" 20 years ago as compared to now?

What was the game fish population in the "river," mainly large mouth bass, 20 years ago as compared to now?

What was the shore animal population next to the "river" 20 years ago as compared to now?

What was the water coloration in the "river" 20 years ago as compared to now?

How has the shoreline vegetation changed?

Has the introduction of massive amounts of water being discharged from our sewage plant onto our soil been an exacerbating factor in the changes and if so is there a plan for correcting the situation?

These are simple questions. If only the answers to the problem were as simple.

Sterling Fulmer




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