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Clean water rally this Saturday

January 29, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Movements come and go. People fighting for the betterment of our "hometown," our kids futures, our ecological lives, our quality of water, and of course our way of life, which would be tourism. This will not come and go. We are committed as clean water activists to staying "engaged without the outrage," while continuing to educate anyone and everyone that we can about the effects that the Lake O releases caused this past summer. And still are to this day.

On Feb. 1, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the Lee County Alliance of the Arts will play host to a very special ecological-arts, educational event. We have excellent speakers from Florida State Senators such as Lizbeth Benacquisto, State of Florida Governor candidate Nan Rich, world-renowned artist and photographer Clyde Butcher, former county commissioner Ray Judah, Conservancy of SWFL leader Jennifer Hecker and so many more high profile individuals speaking to our current water quality issues along with solutions to them as well.

Not only will this be a rally and educational event, it will also serve as the venue for the River Kidz West Coast Eco Arts youth awareness platform kick-off party. The River Kidz will be encouraged to bring their own Eco friendly art work idea along with the art supplies needed to create their eco-art on site. Each River Kid and family who crafts a piece of eco-art will also be brought on stage to be celebrated as great stewards to our environment through their artwork while creating community.

I will have an art installation on site to signify the record number of manatee deaths this year in Lee County alone. (Which is very close to 300).

This is a family event and a very important event to attend for educational purposes, artistic expression, ecological understanding, and youth expression. We invite all Beach residents and visitors to take part in this grand event and to bring your families and friends. After all, this effects us all locally and the more we become educated about the Lake O runoffs, the better suited we are to combat against it when summer 2014 comes with the discharges to occur again in a bad way once again. Learn of the truth to our water quality issues that very well could be the end of our ways of life on the coasts. If we don't have clean waterways, we surely not have any tourism to survive through season and into summer. (We already lost the entire European sector in the months of August and September of last summer).

Let us band together and become proactive to help save our town while saving our waterways and all that call it home, including all of our beloved sea life. We thank you for your energy and your true sense to care. As we all should be doing. It's our "home." Lets stand up for it. Hope to see y'all there.

John G. Heim

Fort Myers Beach



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