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Support the cause, support your neighbors
September 13, 2018

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The devastation wrought by the double punch of a 125-mile swatch of red tide off Gulf Coast beaches from Marco Island to Tampa Bay and the plague of blue-green algae sliming the Caloosahatchee and Cape canals has been well publicized, causing outrage nationwide.

As well it should.

Sea life by the millions - everything from the smallest of fishes to endangered species - manatees, sea turtles and porpoises - have died in what is easily the worst man-made environmental catastrophe our state has seen in recent memory.

People are no longer asking for answers, they are demanding action - and getting some.

Finally and, unfortunately, at great cost to not only our environment, but to our economy where many of our neighbors have become collateral damage.

Fort Myers Beach businesses have suffered a collective estimated revenue loss of more than $24 million since July 27 with another near million in estimated lost wages.

On Sanibel, the total economic impact for July and August totals an estimated $19.1 million in lost revenue, a year-over-year decrease of 41.2 percent in August alone.

Anyone who says environmental protection is "too costly" has likely never paid the direct price of its lack.

Our neighbors are not among them.

"Closed" signs and workers wondering how to put food on the table may go unnoticed on the national level, but here at home, such things are not to be ignored.

What can we do?

Well, the appearance of the beaches on Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva have returned to normal.

They are, in fact, "gorgeous" as of today, according to officials in our beach-front communities.

They, and the businesses on Sanibel, Captiva and Fort Myers Beach, invite all of us down to enjoy a post-summer, pre-season dinner or lunch or maybe some beverages at sunset.

(And yes, local providers assure, the seafood served is safe to eat.)

We may not be able to immediately heal our water woes but we can help mitigate the collateral damage incurred by our neighbors.

And we can do it without a whole lot of effort, without a whole lot of cost.

#OneLee.

Support the cause. Help a neighbor in need.

- Breeze editorial

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