November 12, 2003

Honorable David Struhs, Secretary
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Tallahassee, FL

Dear Secretary Struhs,

The Responsible Growth Management Coalition was founded in 1988 to promote responsible growth management in Southwest Florida within the parameters of the Florida Statutes and Administrative Code through informed citizen participation.

Since its inception, members of the RGMC have monitored proposed amendments and ordinances to the Lee County Comprehensive Plan, applications for development permits and requests for zoning variances. In addition, members of the RGMC have carefully examined matters at regional, state and even national levels when they have had significant potential for influence on local growth management issues. Through the years, the RGMC has been a vocal proponent of sound growth management strategies and plans. When proposals have been made that make good sense for the long term sustainability of our environment and for the enhancement of all citizens’ quality if life, the RGMC has been an advocate for their adoption. When proposals have been made that are inconsistent with sound growth management practices, the RGMC has been diligent in its opposition to them.

We recently learned that one of this region’s most treasured public resources, the Estero Bay Aquatic Preserve/Estero Bay State Buffer Preserve, has been placed under a new management regime which will separate it into two distinct entities – an aquatic preserve and a state park. We are very curious as to why this action has been taken, and how it will impact management of the land and water resources of the former preserve. We are particularly interested in how the park will be managed. As a preserve, the land was protected from many types of human impacts -- parks typically allow greater human influence and activity, and we would like to know how the Department of Environmental Protection intends for the park to be used. We would greatly appreciate an explanation of the answers to our questions, and we look forward to your response.


Michael Andoscia

Copies: Dr.? Gary Lytton, Ms. Heather Stafford