We on Estero Island have been given a responsibility to take care of a critical wildlife area that has only existed since 1994. We used to walk along seawalls to get to the water, on an elongated swatch of sand that had developed naturally as an extension of our beach. This isle changed over time to connect land and tidal water into what became Little Estero Critical Wildlife Area. By 2001 the area was full of beautiful birds, sea oats and changing tides. Yes, it made it difficult for the homes along this beach to access the shoreline but we acquired a pristine and awesome wildlife preserve.
To add a boardwalk adjacent to this preserve would undoubtedly interfere with nature’s plan for the critical wildlife to prosper. Convenience should not be the goal here.
Castle Beach Condominium on the south end of Fort Myers Beach was asked if we would be willing to participate in a state effort to provide safe nesting areas for birds. Florida Fish and Wildlife has utilized our beach since at least 2007, allowing bird nesting to exist in this wildlife area. With barriers to keep people and dogs from entering the hatching areas in the spring and summer, this becomes a successful breeding ground. It is an honor to be a part of this project.
Tourists are obliged to honor the wildlife areas when they vacation here. This is one of our most precious gifts and is a big reason why it is one of the most popular beaches in America. Let us not allow walkers to enter the wildlife area on boardwalks for convenience sake. The beach is accessible north and south of these proposed boardwalks and simply requires a bit of walking. We must not be taken in by properties who will be inclined to make their own rules for personal gain.
Castle Beach Condominium President