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The water crisis that won’t go away!
August 10, 2018

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To the editor:

For years the South Florida Clean Water Movement eco activism group has been trying to send out warning signs, (more like S.O.S flares) to the SWFL community at large about the very real possibility of a very real ecological disaster via the toxic Lake O discharges, that could very well happen here.

Well, that fear of our "hometown" becoming a disaster area, and to have the Lake O discharges ecological disaster become synonymous with the name Fort Myers Beach, Florida, has rolled in with each tide now. As the tide rolls in and back out each day it brings with it dead sea life, loss of our thriving tourism and real estate industries, a major threat to all human health, and an eco system so brutalized that it will take years to heal and recuperate. If ever.

This harsh reality is now known as our brand new reality.

It is no longer just a fear of it possibility happening, because it has happened here!

It's not longer a worry that the whole world may now see us as a "dirty water destination," because the rest of the whole world knows what really is happening here as a dirty water destination.

Early check out rates are skyrocketing on the island the last week alone.

Real estate is bottoming out to the point of seeing closures being backed out of since this ecological disaster begun.

Long-time residents desperately trying to sell their homes, apartments, and condos now due to the fear of property value losses immediately associated with this very real water crisis at hand.

Local establishments have closed their doors to operational biz as usual due to the mixture of the Lake O discharges and a high concentrated version of red tide bloom hovering the island.

We as the South Florida Clean Water Movement have also been warning of the ramifications from the Lake O discharges ecological disaster upon our own SWFL geographical areas. An ecological disaster always turns into an economic collapse, especially within these communities that sadly had it happen to them in the past. Use the Love Canal environmental disaster as a reference of what our brand new reality very quickly is now becoming that very harsh reality we had trying to warn Forth Myers Beach about.

This is an example of how ecological disasters end up destroying our economy while devastating local coastal communities which rely 100 percent on water quality. You don't have to be a water quality expert to fully understand that without clean water locally, we will not have tourism driving the economic engine that fuels our local economy as a whole.

We are at the tipping point of losing it all.

We are at a major crossroad to the future of our "hometown" and the need to protect it and persevere to the fullest from such ecological disasters. We plan a commitment within local collaborations to include South Florida Clean Water Movement activists, local mayors, local biz folks, community leaders, chamber of commerce members and lead personal, and all of our hometown residents to work together to save our community from this very real ecological disaster happening now to us all!

We will unite all efforts to combat the perception war now under way; we will work side by side with the Fort Myers Beach mayor as well as the Sanibel Island mayor; we will reach out to the Fort Myers Beach Chamber of Commerce to help get local biz folks to fill out the forms to show financial losses formally; we as the South Florida Clean Water Movement will stand side by side with Fort Myers Beach, Florida through this ongoing environmental disaster that is very real and very much happening now to us all in one negative fashion or another. This is affecting us all in all possible ways.

We must stick together now as a community which is truly the "victim" of the Lake O discharges' ecological disaster, not the people who are to be blamed for this nightmare.

Instead of acting like we as a community have throughout history when it comes to being complacent to the never-ending Lake O discharges, why not this time be proactive about it - a community and clean water movement activists showing that working together is a much better path to real solutions, together.

We sadly live in a society where it has to happen to you personally for it to be considered real. Well folks, it is now happening to all of you!

I can assure you it is now very real.

Now that the writing which has been on the wall for years has finally been read, we can now react without fear.

Now that we've chosen to let the hidden elephant out of the closet to freely run down the beach to fully be exposed as the truth, we can finally face our ugly truth.

Now that we as a community have hit the tipping point when it comes to this very real disaster, we have a golden opportunity to turn a negative into a positive by showing this is completely All About Us and working together no matter political party affiliation or any other so-called difference or differences that are really only meant to divide us in the end.

Now more so then ever WE must unite for clean water as a community before it's too late for us all and all of our own personal, business, or political worth of an island known as home. Stand up to save Fort myers Beach from the toxic Lake O discharges ecological disaster happening now as a collaboration of an effort.

If we choose not to unite fully, then the brand new reality will be that we all lose everything that is Fort Myers Beach.

John G Heim

South Florida Clean Water Movement

co founder

34 year island local

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