Hi Kirk. Happy holidays and thanks for getting involved.

My objection is the RAI statement (see attachment, paragraph three) that the Consent Order requires "a plan to prevent" the "existing breaches" from allowing the "exchange of canal waters to other waters of the State." That's not in the Consent Order, and is not even feasible or desirable, but the RAI says the permit will be denied if such a plan is not submitted.

What is in the Consent Order is the following: ".....the City shall: a) Submit an application for an Environmental Resource Permit to the Department for the construction of a permanent stormwater barrier and boat lift to separate the canal water from the receiving waters.....as depicted in.....Exhibit 'A' ......Nothing contained herein shall impose upon the city any obligation to undertake the design and construction of any other work to repair or prevent further erosion along the spreader canal other than the design and construction of the stormwater barrier and boat lift."

The Consent Order is very clear--the cities only responsibility is the Ceitus Barrier, they are not responsible in any manner for the flowways (erroneously but often) referred to as breaches. The interpretation of the Consent Order set out in the RAI is incorrect--grammatically, logically, and legally.

The EMA process established (and all stakeholders agreed) that the more flow through the wetlands, the better. The successful functioning of the spreader depends on flowways through the wetlands--that's how the excess fresh water gets distributed throughout the estuary. Most of us also agreed that any effort to plug the flowways or build a wall or berm to even out or better control the westerly flow would be futile, overly expensive, unnecessary, and not even desirable. We fully expect that over the years the historic tidal creeks through the wetlands will return, and that's a very good thing.

Please discuss this with the Fort Myers Office and ask them to amend the RAI by deleting paragraph three.


Phil Buchanan