Letters to the Editor

Eastern Shores flotilla is ridiculous

Jenny Staletovich’s Aug. 24 article, Floating homes may be answer to rising seas, seems to be nothing more than a biased piece for the developers. Most troubling is that the article says there is no opposition to this concept.

That is inaccurate.

There is a growing, dedicated group of Eastern Shores residents (myself included) who have voiced their concerns to the city and who are closely monitoring this situation so that formal objections and legal proceedings can be implemented at the appropriate times. One positive thing about the article is that it helps to increase awareness of this ill-advised plan.

To suggest that this concept is a way to deal with rising seas is ridiculous. If the seas rise and consume Eastern Shores and other parts of the city, how will the stranded people on these floating barges get fuel, power, and waste disposal? More important, what happens when a strong hurricane comes through and rips all of these large, heavy platforms from their moorings and they wreak havoc on the surrounding, docks, boats and homes, not to mention each other.

Wilma, a mild hurricane by historical standards, destroyed my entire dock, which was well affixed to the lake bottom with pilings and heavy bolts. Based on available information, there is nothing to indicate that these floating platforms have ever been tested in marine/weather conditions anything like those present here.

The glossing over the impact on marine life, including manatees, sea grass, tarpon, rays, porpoises and many other species was disappointing.

For years, boaters traveling through the lake at speed have been receiving hefty tickets based on the manatee zone designation. Now, all of a sudden, that is no longer a concern and it is O.K. to bring in 30 floating platforms and all the transport vehicles, fuel service and waste disposal? Why no mention of any of that? Where are the cars that belong to all these floating residents going to be parked? What about destroying the character and navigability of this unique body of water?

I have lived on this lake for many years and I know first-hand that it is enjoyed by a wide variety of people, and that the diversity and condition of the marine life in these waters is truly amazing.

The subtle threat of filling in the lake and building condos as an alternative to this plan is equally unappealing. In short, this is a bad idea and it is far from clear that applicable laws and regulations would permit this extraordinary use, even if there were widespread support from the surrounding residents — which there is not.

Eric D. Isicoff, Miami