Ignore Long Bar 'poetry,' listen to prose, science

August 4, 2013 

After seeing the Long Bar Pointe project from the sea, my views completely changed -- how shallow was Sarasota Bay, especially along the shores of Long Bar Pointe (2-4 feet at medium tide).

Recently, Carlos Beruff, one of the developers of the Long Bar Pointe venture, spoke to a 5-year-old child about his vision of a glittering five-star hotel in the midst of a romantic, halcyon seaside village, surrounded by a tranquil 80-250 boat marina.

Mr. Beruff speaks in poetry. However, life is lived in prose governed by immutable nature.

Mr. Beruff and his developers eschew the scientific facts. The science lesson begins with the proposed destruction of 40 acres of mangroves, the home and nest to many of our beloved sea birds (often requiring 6 feet in height to protect their young), and a buffer to surging seas in a hurricane. Once gone, these sea birds will never return.

Dredging of seagrass (2,100 feet) for the (80-250 boats, depending on the source) marina -- many experienced sailors tell us the dredging of the channel is dubious at best for its location in Sarasota Bay and depth of dig.

Do you think a marina would not pollute a pristine and beautiful bay?

The depth of the dredging would destroy seagrass beds, which are the nursery and spawning ground for many local fish, shellfish, and feeding grounds for the manatees. It could spell destruction of the commercial fishing industry and loss to generations of sports fishing.

Gone will be the vision of the tranquil, peaceful seaside village in a moment should a hurricane surge strike this flat, unprotected land without the mangrove barrier. If the mangroves are destroyed, the village could become a memory.

Reject the poetry of Mr. Beruff -- embrace the prose and the science.

Frank M. Howard, M.D.

Tidy Island

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