The residents of coastal Northwest Cape Coral have launched a vigorous campaign to lobby DEP to deny the application for a permit to reconstruct the Ceitus Barrier.  They are supported by the Cape Coral Government as well as numerous powerful individuals and organizations, such as the former mayor of Cape Coral (he owns numerous investment properties in the area), Cape and other local officials that own homes or properties in the area, the building industry, the development community, and the usual anti-environmental lobby groups. 
 
  I and Noel Andress, the Greater Pine Island Civic Association, the Calusa Land Trust, and the residents of Shoreview Drive as well as the regional environmental organizations have been waging this fight for several years. The fight is coming to a close with no assurance of who will win. We badly need help from the other residents and organizations on Pine Island. 
 
  By copy of this email, I am appealing for help--especially from the Greater Pine Island Chamber of Commerce, Matlacha Civic Association, SJC Civic Association, homeowner associations, and other island clubs, charities, and groups. 
 
If we fail to get the Ceitus Barrier rebuilt, we can expect to see continued pollution and siltation flowing from Cape Coral into downtown Matlacha. With the barrier gone, Matlacha is directly downstream of 17,038 existing Cape septic systems (with Cape plans for 50,000 more). The siltation and pollution has already clogged the channel next to Shoreview Drive and already caused a massive marine die-off. Matlacha and Matlacha Pass cannot handle much more of this. The damage will of course also spread to Pine Island Sound and beyond. 
 
   It's up to Pine Islanders. Either take action now or regret it for the rest or your lives. We need to get ourselves organized and make our views known to DEP. Send your comments to Megan.Mills@dep.state.fl.us and insist that any organization to which you belong does the same.  Please also provide me a copy of your correspondence. 
 
Phil Buchanan