August 27, 2016



Protect SW Florida's environment

I am a coastal New Jersey resident that loves Southwest Florida!  I own a home in the Fort Myers region, and for the past 10 years have been an eco-tourist, coming here for the pristine environment lovely beaches, superb fishing and wildlife, and clean blue-green waters.

Unfortunately, that is changing. This past February, we cut our trip short since the water was an upsetting brown color and there were dead fish and dying sea grasses littering the beaches. This preceding June we returned for 10 days of tarpon and snook fishing, only to find the same discolored water and no fish. For the second time, we cut our vacation short. Regrettably, for the first time ever, we were content to leave Southwest Florida and its businesses, like our favorite restaurants and shops, behind.

A neighbor in Fort Myers is updating us on the water-quality situation. He forwarded a declaration (that we signed and forwarded) that is resoundingly strong on what the issues are and the steps needed to initiate the solution. I know the primary election occurs at the end of this month, and that some of the candidates, amazing to me, incumbents included, will not endorse, or sign that declaration. I appeal to all of you in Southwest Florida that now is your time to elect officials that will step up, immediately restore, and protect your beautiful region and attractions for the future and encourage business and continued tourism.

- John Van Duyne, Ventnor, N.J