Letter to the Editor: Mangroves; there’s still time to listen

The Naples Daily News editorial column headline said “It’s better to protect than have to restore,” referring to the mangrove restoration project near Marco Island. This statement really makes sense.

For two years I begged to have the existing tide leveling culverts, in the same area they want to install new culverts, cleaned and opened by the entities responsible for this maintenance. Another woman, Connie Fulmer from Goodland, did the same more than 10 years before me. No one would listen, take action or even admit that they exist to this day.

The tragedy in this is that there are many more existing tide leveling culverts like these throughout our county going without routine maintenance and no one will do anything about the problem. A fine example is the culvert under the bridge on the road to Goodland. There is another die off area beginning to form due to the lack of maintenance there as well. I suppose that culvert also does not exist or is not adequate for the job.

These culverts did the job for decades with little or no maintenance and have now begun to close off completely. Surely there is a government office that has the information in its entirety on the location of all tide leveling culverts in our area. It should be a priority to locate and do some cleaning maintenance on them immediately and regularly from this day forward or we will see many more areas like the one near Marco Island. None of which need to happen.

The editorial goes on the say how many good causes could be advanced if we had invested some common sense years ago. There is no better time than right now to invest in a cheap and effective maintenance program.

I stand firm in my knowledge that these culverts exist and should be cleaned and used.

Fabien Cousteau states in an article in the Jan. 20 Marco Eagle that “The solutions need to come from each and every one of us.” It’s not easy to champion a cause and be ridiculed for it, but the environment does indeed need each and every one of us if we want to preserve the great environments surrounding us here on Marco Island and around the world. Live and learn? I hope so.

Eileen Ward

Marco Island

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