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No Jet Ski zones need to be heeded

March 5, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Honorable legislator: In the recent past, I wrote a letter to the press and legislative leaders about not allowing jet ski tours in the back waters of Estero Bay. Our leaders wisely chose not to allow commercial jet ski tours in these delicate waters. Since that time I have encountered several groups of jet skis led by a guide right through these sensitive waters. The eastern back flats of Estero Bay and the Auger Hole of the Imperial River have seen a great increase in Jet Ski activity. The Auger Hole is a popular paddling area and up-on-plane jet skis are presenting a safety risk. In the back flats the water is barely a foot deep on low tide, and they still blast through there.

In the past claims were that people wanted to do Jet Ski eco tours in these waters. I cannot figure out how they can do an "eco tour" sitting on one gas powered motor per person and up on plane doing 30-plus mph making more noise than anyone else on the water. Their speed and noise scare everything within a mile of them. Fishing boats and tour boats understand and they don't go into these areas or, if they do, they go slow or pole in.

Our eco-system is one of the most diverse in the world. It supports a greater variety of life than anywhere in the world. We have the largest population of bottlenosed dolphin in the world. Over the past years, this eco-system has been assaulted by increase frequency of red tide and killing off record numbers of manatee. We have seen huge releases of fresh water and much of the sea grass in the bay has been killed and needs to recover. The recent death of pilot whales also demonstrate how delicate this ecosystem is.

This ecosystem is the foundation of our economy and needs to be protected and invested in just as any other business infrastructure. This not only affects the environment it also effects the majorities of the businesses in this area.

This is why I again urge our legislators to designate and enforce these areas as no motor zones (pole in and pole out) and "No Jet Ski" zones.

John Paeno

CGT Kayaks Inc

Bonita Springs



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