Letters to the Editor, Feb. 10

Marco Eagle
Editorial cartoon

Florida environmental scandal

Florida residents need to add an amendment to the Florida Constitution for a Right to Clean and Healthy Water (RTCW). This will be voted on in the 2024 primary.

Prior to 2013, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) standard for healthy oxygen in Florida waterways was a minimum of 5 mg/L as measured by Dissolved Oxygen (DO). FDEP changed the standard from Dissolved Oxygen (DO) of 5 mg/L to Dissolved Oxygen Saturation (DOSAT) of 42%. A correlation between DO and DOSAT on Marco Island over a five-year period shows that a DOSAT of 42% is roughly equivalent to DO of 2.5 mg/L.

The FDEP lowered the oxygen health standard for all of Florida waters by 50%! FDEP is allowing massive destruction of the Florida environment to continue unchecked and demonstrating a terrible and callous disregard for marine life.

The 'Hypoxic Spectrum' begins at 4 mg/L of oxygen. Aquatic life begins to die. Hypoxia (depleted oxygen) is fully established at 3 mg/L of oxygen. In October of 2022, six of 14 sampling locations on Marco Island were below this hypoxic criterion. Collier Bridge, Healthcare Center, Hollyhock, Kendall, McIlvaine, and Swallow are all becoming “hypoxic dead zones.”

By 2013 standards, Marco Island would now be declared impaired for depleted oxygen and remediation would be initiated. Instead, nothing will be done. This is happening across Florida. This is a Florida environmental scandal. We need the new amendment. Sign the petition: floridarighttocleanwater.org.

Eugene Wordehoff, Marco Island

Undocumented gopher tortoises

Your recent article on gopher tortoises in Marco Island indicated that there were 1,308 gopher tortoises on the island and "many more undocumented." I think this is a travesty. We should immediately work towards a pathway to citizenship for these undocumented tortoises or at the very least have a guest tortoise program.

Kene Wetcher, Naples

Truth about Biden, Burisma

A recent letter writer mentioned this: "Biden on live tape telling the Ukraine leader that he either fire the prosecutor investigating Burisma, where Hunter was on the board, or he would not give them billions of dollars of aid." A simple search will show that Biden and our administration pressured to get rid of this prosecutor because he was not doing anything about the rampant corruption in the country. The U.S. was tired of aid disappearing corruptly. When pressed the prosecutor said he did investigate Burisma, during a period when Hunter Biden was not even at Burisma. Even a Republican Senate report found nothing to indicate Biden had done anything wrong. These days it is safer to assume anything a MAGA person says is a lie rather than take it at face value.

Paul Fowler, Bonita Springs

Keeping guns away from children

For once I agree with the NRA (National Rifle Association).  A state legislature (Virginia) is considering a bill that would require parents of young children to keep their guns in a locked container. In opposing the bill, a lobbyist for the NRA noted that children can use YouTube to figure out how to access “secured” firearms.  D.J. Spiker stated: “There is no such thing as ‘inaccessible’ to a minor.”  I agree completely!  I guess the only way to keep guns away from children is to keep guns out of the home in the first place. 

Gail Hermosilla, Estero

Help Habitat provide affordable housing

For 45 years, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County has been working to improve access to affordable homeownership by building and selling homes with no-interest mortgages while also advocating for effective policy to improve affordability beyond the scope of our own work. During this time, we’ve built nearly 2,500 homes with highly qualified low-wage earning buyers. Today, Habitat Collier is the largest producing affiliate of nearly 1,000 Habitat affiliates in the nation and remains the ONLY provider of affordable homeownership in Collier County. There is much to celebrate. And yet, there is MUCH MORE to be done. The crisis that was predicted by the Urban Land Institute’s 2017 study is upon us. The conversation has been elevated and much of our community is personally impacted by the serious deficit of housing for our workforce. Lots of people are talking. But Habitat is working! Today, we invite you to be part of that work. Feb. 1 marks the launch of a historic $2 million matching challenge. Over the next five days, all gifts and pledges made to Habitat Collier will be matched by a remarkable pool of donors who believe deeply in our mission. Take a moment to find the insert in your paper or go online to HabitatCollier.org to make your donation today. It will take all of us working together to ensure that affordable, stable, healthy housing is a part of the bedrock of this community.

Rev. Lisa B. Lefkow, CEO, Habitat for Humanity of Collier County, Naples

MORELetters to the Editor, Feb. 3

ANDYour Turn: Collier County’s housing crisis affects us all

ALSOLetters to the Editor, Jan. 27