FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla — In a new initiative, the Fort Myers Beach city council is asking locals, visitors and all who enjoy our beautiful gulf waters to write handwritten letters to leaders in Washington, from all 50 states, asking them to keep up the fight for our clean water.
“When they receive a handwritten letter from their constituents, these are the people that actually vote for them, and put them in office or keep them in office. They tend to give that a little more credence than they do these anonymous emails or big groups and corporations,” said Mayor Ray Murphy of Fort Myers Beach
Mayor Ray Murphy of Fort Myers Beach says, back in 2018 red tide and blue-green algae brought our community to a standstill, and where it happened once it can happen again. Murphy says the fight will be costly, but worth it with construction projects across the state that will get clean water flowing back into our backyard.
“This project is going to cost billions of dollars to complete, and they’ve already allocated millions and millions if not billions of dollars already. We want to make sure the funding remains in place and that’s the real purpose of this campaign, is to keep the funding in place,” said Mayor Murphy.
As spring break kicks off here in Southwest Florida, clean water is a must. However, the health department reported signs of a red tide bloom near Fort Myers beach recently.
Jason Unger co-owner of The Doghouse on Fort Myers beach says, poor water quality has been an issue in our area for years, but it’s time for serious change.
“You get people from out of town especially from out of the country, who’ve come to me with pamphlets before, that they see the blue-green water and they ask” where is this water at it's not out here.?” So it's somewhat of a misrepresentation sometimes”, said Jason Unger.
As the owner of a business that thrives on tourism, Unger says he wants people to keep coming back to the beach, not only for the sake of his business but the entire Southwest Florida economy.
“It won't be that first time, last time scenario, it'll be the first time, and then they will come back because there are things being done and there is progress being made. The more we see that happening, the more we have guests keep come back and stay on the island with us, said, Unger.
Mayor Murphy says feel free to contact the city council for more information on the clean water initiative.