To the editor:
I have been amazed at the diligence by which the Beach Environmental Officer pursues the well being of the mangroves and wildlife of the Little Estero Estuary. This office goes to great lengths to enforce the regulations that safeguard the sanctuary which is home to numerous species of fish and birds.
However, when these natural assets are threatened by mother nature the story seems to change. The outlet connecting the estuary with the gulf has been closed for a number of weeks. It is only a matter of time until it becomes a tomb for the water wildlife within. In fact the salinity must be changing radically since a four foot alligator has been seen several times this past week. No one can remember ever seeing an alligator before. This estuary supports a designated Nature Preservation Area but the environmental officer is not soliciting help from the State or Local environmental authorities. The last time this happened there was a major fishkill which, in turn, resulted in a marked reduction of the birdlife which fed from these fish.
If the preservation of this wildlife sanctuary is truly an environmental imperative, as it should be, then that office should act proactively to reopen the narrow channel to the Gulf. All that would be required to resolve this issue BEFORE the fishkill would be a half an hour of backhoe work. The alternative is to spend a week clearing out the rotting fish, like last time. If this is a preservation area then preserve it BEFORE the disaster, not after.
Fort Myers Beach