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Island groups weigh in with goals and vision for 2020

January 1, 2020
By PAULETTE LeBLANC ( , Pine Island Eagle

Representatives from several island groups and organizations have responded to an Eagle request for their goals and visions for 2020. Here are those responses:

"Matlacha Civic Association ends 2019 on solid ground in working to preserve our community character in warding off annexation by neighboring Cape Coral and to preserve our water quality of the Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve by successfully petitioning against the issuance of a Florida DEP permit allowing Cape Coral to remove the Chiquita Lock that would devastate the mangroves and associated ecosystems. Moving into 2020 with a strong Board of Directors, we will follow and continue to pursue these preservation efforts.

"Goals for 2020 are addressing the construction of the Matlacha Park Fishing Pier, building out our memberships and participation with the creation of a new Membership Director position and to bring to all members the in-depth information needed to affirm or deny incorporation efforts currently under way for the islands.

"We have several big events in the planning phases and hope to bring an annual, 'Matlacha Days' event in April that will incorporate the participation of all island businesses and residents. We ask all to attend our monthly meetings every third Wednesday at 6 p.m. in the Park.

"2020 is an important election year and we want to invite all the local candidates and incumbents to speak to our membership about their platforms and goals in order to bring the best representatives to lead us in Lee County."

- Karl R. Deigert

"The Beacon of Hope was created to discover and support the needs of the Greater Pine Island Community. We will continue with this vision into the next decade and hope to do an even better job of fulfilling needs, giving people a step up, and enhancing our volunteer experiences. Working together we can make this wonderful community even better."

- Nancy Buthman

"The goals of the Greater Pine Island Civic Association, founded in 1957, are to 'promote environmentally responsible planning or smart growth . . . promote preservation of natural areas and . . . recognize and promote the unique character of our rural agricultural island community and uphold those sections of the Lee County plan that deal with Pine Island and support those objectives.'

"In order to accomplish these goals, the GPICA is working to inform the community about the benefits of incorporation, and to prepare the way for a formal vote on the question by all registered voters in the Greater Pine Island Community. Incorporation would protect both the Pine Island Land Use Plan and our fragile ecological environment by putting control of our community in the hands of people who live there.

"In addition we continue to push for the county to regularly test the water at Tropical Point Beach for public health and safety and to remove the now defunct treated wastewater spray field on the Flatwoods Preserve conservation land. Read more about us at"

- Scott Wilkinson

"The Calusa Land Trust is Pine Island's all volunteer land conservancy. Its mission is to protect the natural diversity and beauty of this fragile island. CLT acquires, preserves, protects, and stewards its multiple preserves totaling over 2400 acres. As an all-volunteer force, donations meet maximum efficiency to service the mission. Its inventory includes five uplands preserves with several boasting trail markers and interpretative signage. Hikers and their children can derive a pleasing and informative experience, which heightens an appreciation of land conservancy. This becomes a learning event without opening a textbook.

"The land trust has several forthcoming events: The Annual Meeting on Jan. 19 at the Fishers of Men Lutheran Church, the Ackerman Rummage Sale on Jan. 25 at Fritts Park and the infamous Great Calusa Rubber Duck Race on March 7 at the Low Key Tiki. More information is available at is website,"

- John Kendall, publicity chair and past president of CLT



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