There’s a battle brewing over mangroves and the future of the land on San Carlos Island.
A developer wants to get rid of them to build homes while others want to see them stay to protect wildlife and our water quality. The proposed project by the owner of the mangrove lots if approved will destroy the mangroves on at least one lot on San Carlos Island.
Proposed plan for mangroves. (CREDIT: WINK News)
Homeowner Julie Campbell says it’s a threat to water-filtering mangroves, wildlife, and water quality.
“Somebody’s got to stop the destruction of this. There’s not a manatee that’s gonna talk to you on camera and say ‘hi that’s where I birth my children, that is where I eat,'” Campbell said.
This impacts Estero, Pelican, Hurricane, and San Carlos Bays.
Lauren Swaim, a Marine biologist said, “The leaves that fall off the mangroves act as food for animals. Something as little as that”
Swaim said the mangrove root systems filter nitrates, phosphates, and other pollutants from stormwater that flows into the estuaries and the Gulf.
“Mangroves are super vital to an ecosystem, especially an estuary like this. It provides a home to about 80% of wildlife out here without them, we could lose all of that,” Swaim said.
Humans are impacted, too. Swaim said they help protect homes, other buildings, and people during catastrophic events.
“Aside from animals, they protect from storm surges, heavy winds and rains. They act as a buffer,” Swaim said.
The push to save the mangroves weighs heavy on a lot of hearts.
“It’s a miracle when you see the dolphin and manatee out here its a miracle,” Campbell said.
People who want to have their voices heard have until Wednesday, Aug. 10, to email in and give reasons why they support or oppose this project, the email address is John.N.Policarpo@usace.army.mil.