Matlacha Civic Association fights to keep the Chiquita Lock

Published: Updated:
Chiquita lock. (Credit WINK News)
Chiquita lock. (Credit: WINK News)

A big discussion is underway regarding the Chiquita Lock in Cape Coral. While the city received approval to remove it to improve boating safety and wait times, the Matlacha Civic Association is fighting back.

The wait to get through the Chiquita Lock and the debate over whether it should stay or go has mixed opinions.

“You know boat traffic is definitely an issue but during the red tide,” said John Depree of Carefree Boat Club. “I did hear and see that there was no red tide back near the lock.”

While the Department of Environmental Protection gave Cape Coral approval to remove the lock in November. Other groups, like the Matlacha Civic Association, are fighting back.

The Civic Association will hold an educational meeting to promote its viewpoint at the Pavilion in Cape Harbour Marina Monday evening.

“If you remove the lock the velocity of the water is going to increase,” said Michael Hannon of the Matlacha Civic Association. “The level of water is going to go down in the mangroves across from those million dollar homes on the south spreader are going to die.”

Michael Hannon said removing the lock would have more negative impacts on the environment, which is why the Civic Association filed lawsuits against the DEP and the City of Cape Coral. Hearings are scheduled for next month.

“Biggest issue is all of the nitrogen and pollutants that are held back by the lock to allow them to precipitate and not flow out of the Caloosahatchee,” Hannon said. “Certainly when the lock comes down, all of that’s going to turn into a gigantic drain.”

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