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Public hearings proper next step for Chiquita Lock

December 7, 2018
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

To the editor,

Once again, several of us from Cape Coral, Matlacha, and Greater Pine Island appeared last night before the Cape Coral City Council to oppose removal of the Chiquita Boat Lock. Only two of the current Council Members - Rick Williams and John Carioscia, both of whom own boats - voted for removal of the Lock back in July of 2015. The other six members have not made their views known publically.

Our group has appeared before the Council at three meetings so far, hoping that the Council would hold public hearings - as promised by Mr. Carioscia - before going forward with obtaining a removal permit.

We have asked the City to install a new, dual-lane high-speed Lock, rather than allow unrestricted outfall of pollutants into the estuary. The City actually contracted for just such a design in 2003.

But yesterday, we learned that the City has hired a large law firm in Tallahassee to fight for removal of the Lock. We don't know who voted for spending money for lawyers. We hope the Council members have not gone to the mattresses on this one.

In any event, the constituent groups will be filing their Petition with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection by December 14, 2018. The City's Tallahassee lawyers have asked that the case be immediately assigned to a judge, who will schedule discovery and a hearing.

In the meantime, we will continue our efforts to educate the voters and the Council on the prudence of restoring our Spreader Waterway System. More information will be posted at Matlacha Civic Association and Pine Island Strong on Facebook, or you can email me at

J. Michael Hannon




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