Mind the Gap

Ecology Matters by Duke Vasey

Collier County doesn’t actually face difficult watershed choices. The new Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map (DFIRM) became effective for Collier County, Florida and incorporated areas on May 16, 2012. The flood maps show the extent to which the incorporated and unincorporated areas of Collier County are at risk of flooding.

They provide a comprehensive understanding of flood hazard and risk exposure within the Big Cypress Basin watershed and provide risk assessment information at the watershed level, placing emphasis on risk reduction activities impacting beyond the site.

I am pessimistic about developers in Collier County because they are too ingenious for our ecology’s own good. Their approach to nature is to beat it into submission which they can do because the Growth Management Plan and the Land Development Code were prepared by environmentalists and preservationists who have little interest in the watershed. At the moment, county commissioners are reviewing our current distortion field that embraces sending, receiving and neutral land designations, designations that focus on environmental value and not watershed impact.

We would stand a better chance of survival if we accommodated ourselves to this planet and viewed it appreciatively instead of a way to make a quick buck off the backs of taxpayers. To do that, look up where you live to get an appreciation for what construction may occur when No Adverse Impact (NAI) is enforced.

What are the DFIRM definitions? http://tinyurl.com/d86jdmk

Can they be related to a map? http://tinyurl.com/bw4s8wz Type your address and city to relate the definitions to a map and you will begin to see reality.

I note that “Silent Spring” was published 50 years ago this month. Rachel Louise Carson, a marine biologist whose writings are credited with starting the global environmental movement, “…was the very first person to knock some of the shine off modernity” wrote Bill McKibbens and possibly the DFIRM will accomplish the same outcome in Collier County.

We have been messing around with Mother Nature and bad things are happening to our watershed because the Growth Management Plan and the Land Development Code are not based on watershed impact.

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