To the Mayor and Council Members of Fort Myers Beach…
There was a time I believed a perfect vacation at the beach could only be found on an island in the middle of the ocean.
And then we discovered Fort Myers Beach. For the past five years we’ve packed our car and made our way across the state to our Beach house rental near Beach Access #15. We now spend 4-6 weeks there during the Spring and Fall. I’ve come to experience its magic, fallen in love with the clear waters, the silky sugary beach so cool underfoot, the laid back way of life.
So imagine what it’s been like the past couple of years when the waters have often turned from a beautiful aqua blue to a grubby, brown, sludgy, nauseating liquid with muck and gunk building up along the shore and in the water slime underfoot … all the result of the release of heaven knows what from Lake Okeechobee into the pristine waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
During our recent stay we watched the waters transition almost overnight from crystal clear to sludge. The revolting smell that made its way to our deck was a mix of rotten eggs, dead sea life and worse.
It feels like a crime. Tourists will not pay thousands of dollars for this experience. Fort Myers Beach is going to suffer tremendous monetary loss if tourism leaves which it most definitely will if this continues.
Focusing locally, until a better way to manage the runoff from Lake Okeechobee hopefully becomes a reality, Fort Myers Beach needs to clean the beaches, remove the gunk and dead debris that washes up along the shore making it difficult to even take a walk along the beach!
Surely someone can come up with a better plan than to dump toxic, odious water into the magnificent Gulf of Mexico.
I beg you.
Heather B. Sandarr
West Palm Beach, FL