Cape Coral Chiquita Lock Update
Lock Removal Stands to Impact Cape Coral Boaters and Wildlife
The City of Cape Coral’s attempt to remove the Chiquita Lock meanders on. Most recently the City filed for an extension of their request with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This gives the City’s consultant more time to strengthen the case before the department rules on the permit. So far they have not made a very good case on how removing the lock would improve boater safety.
It is unclear how the project would properly mitigate the possible environmental effects. Some Cape Coral residents are worried about how the lock’s removal could impact the retention of canal water.
Historically, the water stored in the spreader canal system has been used for the City’s irrigation system. Editor’s note: Cape Coral officials seem excited to pay neighboring communities for their spare water instead!
Originally set for a determination on Jan 15, the new deadline for the Chiquita Lock decision by the FDEP is March 5, 2018. Concerned citizens are encouraged to contact the mayor and city council members with their feedback and ask the city to withdraw their application.
The other part of this project (with a more imminent timeline), is the City’s permit for a dredge with the Army Corps of Engineers. The public period to comment on that closes Feb 2. The ACOE has determined that the project may adversely affect manatees and smalltooth sawfish critical habitat. The notice is available here https://goo.gl/bYV5az and comments should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer:
1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard
Fort Myers, Florida 33919