The Fight Over the Chiquita Lock Removal is Heading to Trial

Nov 10, 2023 | Cape Coral Spreader Canals, Press

Originally published by FOX4 News on November 10, 2023

The fight over the removal of Chiquita Lock is heading to trial, with Administrative Law Judge Suzanne Van Wyk ruling that the lawsuit can proceed. This comes after multiple nonprofit environmental organizations, including Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation and Calusa Waterkeepers, were forced to withdraw as petitioners from the legal challenge.

  • The case is scheduled to happen Nov. 29 through Dec. 7.
  • Cape Coral is arguing the boat lock has outlived its usefulness, causes unnecessary boat safety concerns, and the city’s new environmental plan will address all the environmental concerns
  • Opponents argue the removal could push polluted canal water into the Caloosahatchee River, instead sending through he mangrove wetlands to capitalize on natural filtration.
  • The city also cites manatee safety. It says manatees die in the lock. But opponents argue an improved lock would reduce danger to manatees and protect the Caloosahatchee’s already depleted seagrass beds.

To remove or not? The fate of Chiquita Lock maybe be decided soon. As the city of Cape Coral says it has outlived its purpose, while opponents say it could push polluted water into the Caloosahatchee.
“Chiquita Lock has been broken, broken open since the storm, since Ian came through,” said Matt DePaolis, Environmental Policy Director for Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation.

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