To the editor:
I take pen in hand to express my concerns about allowing increased Jet Ski activities in our very sensitive ecosystem. As a businessman, I am concerned that we will be destroying the very thing my clients are coming here for - quiet fishing in the back waters, birdwatching, undisturbed manatee and dolphin interaction, and one of the "World Most Diversified Ecosystems." Our estuaries support the world largest population of bottle nosed dolphin. Clearly you don't need to see the studies to know that increased motorized traffic in these backwaters can and will have a negative affect on this fragile environment. We/you have an obligation to preserve our main tourist attraction, the ecosystem.
As for the marinas that want Jet Skis, I suggest they look at the statistics and they will see that paddle craft sales alone over the next year in Lee County are projected into the tens of thousands. Do you see that kind of projection for Jet Skis? Clearly more businesses and local industry will be hurt by this increased motorized traffic than will benefit from it.
As a taxpayer, I am appalled to think that all the tax dollars spent to preserve this environment and the Everglades could be ignored and cause more damage that we will pay for in the future.
As environmentalist and naturalist, last year we lost hundreds of manatees and hundreds of sea turtles and many were due to motorized boat traffic. While paddling, I came across a large female loggerhead sea turtle in what looked like perfect condition, until I flipped her over and found the top of her shell chopped off. Or the young manatee I saw dead with it's back ripped open. Please consider this before allowing more motorized traffic in these sensitive areas.
Last, as a voting American citizen, I encourage all those who have an opinion on this to write to their legislators and express that opinion so when they vote they know where we all stand.