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Our river is taking a beating

August 23, 2013
By Capt. GEORGE TUNISON ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Look out Caloosahatchee, here it comes! The noon news showed the flood gates at Lake Okeechobee wide open pouring who knows what into our river.

The Corps of Engineers stated Thursday the 70-year-old dike is in serious trouble and may breech in certain areas due to rain. The COE is working to shore up weak spots to save homes just yards away on the other side of the dike where as much as 12 feet of water could wipe out the entire area.

The news reports a constant lack of Federal funding for repairs yet million-dollar studies of how rattlesnakes attack and bite robot squirrels (true) are Federally funded while the Everglades slowly dies, our rivers poisoned, and beaches ruined. What's the long term health impact on us? Our kids?

Article Photos

Capt. George Tunison

The environmental and economic impact is enormous, the health impact unknown. Mothers need to get involved in a big way

I listened to a recent radio interview where a water rep from Jacksonville explained the situation at the Big O and the releases. Never once was sugar mentioned. Not a word. Again without a mass organized public outcry nothing much will change. The old adage, money talks, you know the rest.

The City of Cape Coral and its citizens need to get involved in this issue in a big way and do what we can to help stop this disaster and get the water flowing south again. On Thursday a meeting was attended by the Mayors of Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach. I understand the Cape was not represented(?)

But, as "they" say every coin has two sides. This morning I watched as the lawn chemical truck pulled up to my neighbor's and observed the worker generously spraying "a perfectly safe and environmental friendly Government approved pesticide" on the property. An hour later it poured.

The rain ran off the freshly and safely poisoned lawn into the street continuing down the street for 10 yards then into the street drain. The drain dumps directly into the canal which dumps into Matlacha Pass. Now my September 1st snook dinner contains a freshly absorbed, perfectly safe, Government approved environmental poison.

This is one example. How many tons of this poison is sprayed annually with a good percentage of it ending up in our water just in the Cape alone? In the State? If it is "safe" why does it kill roaches, nature's ultimate survivor? Nationwide, water experts are now finding traces of the very popular weed killer RoundUp in the water table. What does mosquito spraying do to us, to the environment? Most every parking space in every parking lot has oil spots that wash away slowly and into the river with each and every rain. For years. On and on. One in three Americans will be affected by cancer. Go figure.

The ongoing massive misuse and mismanagement of the environment for profit and the resulting destruction has the greatest impact during the rainy season, yet continues all year as the Everglades is starved for water, its lifeblood. Our willing and intentional poisoning of our own local environment is considered a normal monthly household expense.

A shout out to Gov. Scott for his recent efforts to get things going on this front. We hope he continues the fight. Another hand for Gov. Scott for standing strong for the rights of Florida's citizens to protect themselves from criminals instead of being helpless victims. Sportsmen and women, law abiding citizens of this great country must remember that round two of The White House's assault on your Constitutional gun rights is right around the corner and this time will be much more aggressive possibly involving the U.N.

Capt. George Tunison is a Cape Coral resident fishing guide. Contact him at 239-282-9434 or, or



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