Ecological disaster awaits if Manatee County approves Long Bar Pointe project

June 26, 2013 

I have lived in Manatee County for 40 years and enjoyed the ecological and environmental wonders of our area. I chose to come here to be surrounded by the natural beauty of Manatee County.

My education is in science and I believe that gives me an ability to understand and appreciate the delicate balance of our aquatic and ornithological magnificence present in the estuary system of Sarasota Bay and allows you, the reader, to evaluate my statements.

I have a deep appreciation and understanding of the area around Long Bar Pointe and have spend many enjoyable hours there. The mangrove shorelines are beautiful and nutritive to the estuarine environment of the small fish and crustaceans which flourish and grow in this area. There are numerous oyster bars which took many years to form and are feeding stations for the inhabitants of this aquatic milieu.

This is pristine area with environmental charm and character and, in my opinion, should not be disturbed by developers who want to put a marina in this area.

Marinas bring oil and gas spills and debris from boats along with Clorox and soapy phosphates which are used to wash down boats and spill overboard during the process. Unlawful pump-outs can occur.

A marina brings massive disruption with dredging and destruction of the existing topography.

I have personally seen families of manatees cruising these shorelines feeding on the seagrasses in this area. Because of the heavy boat traffic in the intercoastal waterway, manatees have tended to focus on this shoreline for feeding. A marina would intensify the boat traffic there.

The mangroves in this area offer protection to nesting birds. Ornithological activity along this shoreline is fabulous and should not be compromised.

I know from personal experience that snook migrate down this shoreline on the path to their annual spawn at Longboat Pass. This would be greatly disruptive to this natural phenomenon.

We have had a recent freeze that decimated the snook population and recurring red tide outbreaks that make it hard for these fish to survive as well other marine life. Natural disasters can't be avoided.

Manmade disasters should be avoided. Has any marine biologist been consulted? Has the EPA been asked for their guidance?

The possible good intentions to stir the economic pot is being made by our county commissioners who are unqualified and uninformed on the environmental consequences of their actions. These types of decisions should not be made by politicians who have accepted financial gain to help sway their opinion.

Thomas C. Troxler, DDS


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