Audubon Votes Unanimously to Restore Ceitus Barrier

Audubon’s Board of Directors has voted unanimously to restore the Ceitus Barrier, and they have filed their vote with the EMA facilitators. That makes six votes formally filed thus far--all in support of reconstruction of the Barrier.  Five other environmental organization have votes to restore the Barrier are in preparation, it is clear that an overwhelming majority (at least 11 but probably more) of the 19 stakeholders will vote by the 17 August deadline to reconstruct the Barrier. This does not mean that Cape Coral will abide by the decision, or that DEP will enforce the Consent Order requirements that they do so.

The Pine Island Chamber of Commerce has placed Ceitus discussions on their August 13th meeting agenda. Call Lisa at 283-0888 for more information and time.

The Charlotte Harbor National Estuary Program Citizens Advisory Committee recommended to the CHNEP Policy Committee at today's CHNEP meeting that the CHNEP vote to restore the Barrier. The vote was 3 to 0. However, the CHNEP Technical Advisory Committee split 3 to 3 on the issue, and the latter thus will probably not be providing a recommendation. The Policy Committee will apparently make the final decision. The Matlacha Civic Association sent a delegation to the meeting to support Barrier reconstruction--they did an excellent job, as did representatives from the Responsible Growth Management Coalition, Charlotte County Government, and the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation. Cape representatives continued to vigorously oppose reconstruction of the Barrier and continued to refuse to even discuss meaningful environmental alternatives.

The meeting of the Lee County Commissioners to vote on the issue will be on 10 August. The county staff supports Cape Coral, but it appears that a majority (and perhaps all) of the commissioners will vote to reconstruct the Barrier.

Phil Buchanan
St James City, FL 3356