Environmental experts host forum on Captiva about Lake O releases
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CAPTIVA, Fla.- From delicate shores to dumping grounds, freshwater releases continue to ruin our Southwest Florida coast. Now, local experts said that our money and marine life are suffering as a result.
Rae Ann Wessel, Natural Resources Policy Director with the Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation said there are big problems and Southwest Florida is suffering.
" We already have 100% mortality in some of our oyster reefs we have fresh live sea grass washing up." Wessel said.
Wessel, along with representatives from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, SWFL Watershed Council, Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition, plus more than a hundred concerned citizens came out to a public forum Monday night at the Tween Waters Inn on Captiva, worried the fresh water releases and pollution from Lake Okeechobee is destroying our ecosystem and economy.
" The water we have in excess flowing out of Lake Okeechobee and our river basin this year but there are things we can do the state can do and the federal government can do." Wessel said.
Some options include passing the Water Resources Development Act, re-routing water to the Everglades and adding on to the Tamiami Trail bridge. But, Wessel said unfortunately any solution comes with a hefty price tag and the government seems to be using all it's resources on the East Coast. Environmental experts asked residents to raise their voices to shine a bright light on the evolving disaster.
"If the estuary is in poor shape, the economy is going to follow suit but if we can do something to change that we will see a response and hopefully prevent the very worst economically." Wessel said.
For more information on how you can speak out against fresh water releases click on the 'big red 4.'