Subject:  Fisheating Creek ruling

From:  "John Capece"

Date:  Thu, December 29, 2016 12:13 pm

 

CRCA Directors,

 

http://news.caloosahatchee.org/docs/Glades_County_Democrat_161226.pdf

 

It is hard to know the net effect of this "victory" since it opens up Fisheating Creeks and its Cowbone Marsh section to more motorized boat traffic and possibly more drainage.

 

The ruling seems to leave in place the dredging that resulted in over-drainage and channel scouring within Cowbone Marsh, both of which may have simply been temporary phenomena until a new equilibrium was achieved.

 

Personally, I always stay in the upper part of the Creek and do not venture down to Cowbone Marsh. It is hard to know how much the ruling affects the Creek upstream of Cowbone Marsh and how much of the affect is limited to the Marsh itself. It would be good to learn more.

 

With this new ruling, the bottom vegetation clearing and regular soil dredging to 3 feet seems to be codified.

 

Initial discussions at Save Our Creeks meetings back when Ellen Peterson was alive suggested that SOC only sought a canoe trail through the marsh with the removal of snags and some vegetation. By contrast, the article suggests that the ruling will permanently provide for a 25-ft wide channel with 3-feet of depth within which there is no sand bottom or vegetation. The article text about the 3 feet depth is not clear as to whether this is a wet season or dry season depth.

 

Canoeing is less fun on the Creek when you are frequently passed by motorized johnboats plowing up and down at relatively high speed making considerable noise and discharging exhaust fumes in the narrow channel. But they at least slow down as they pass canoes and kayaks.

 

Fortunately the prior agreement bans airboats in some areas. But I am not sure in what areas the ban applies given my experience there in recent years dealing with airboats on the Creek.

 

We should keep an open mind and see how the Creek system responds.

 

John Capece