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Audubon Florida Challenges Proposed Fort Myers Beach Boardwalk in Court

7:15 PM, Sep 20, 2018

Contributors

Gabriela Milian, Terrace Myles

A private boardwalk proposal was given to Fort Myers Beach for just two houses. But, Audubon Florida Environmental Group wants to keep that from happening.

Proposed Fort Myers Boardwalk in Court

The group, which advocates for the protection of wildlife, land and water, said the boardwalk is a bad idea because it is in the middle of a nesting habitat for a rare species of birds that are declining in population. The area is filled with declining species like the Snowy Plover, Least Tern, Black Skimmer and Wilson’s Plover.

Also it's a foraging habitat for North America’s rarest heron, the state Threatened Reddish Egret, and winter habitat for the federally Threatened Red Knot and Piping Plover. It has also filed a complaint with the Town of Fort Myers Beach.

“We’re taking it to the mat, Audubon is not a Litigious organization we very rarely intervene legally,” Julie Wraithmell said, Audubon Florida’s Executive Director, “but this was just too dangerous of a precedent to let it pass.”

HelloSWFL reached out to the companies proposing this boardwalk, Texas Hold Em’ LLC and Squeeze Me In Inc., for a comment on the plan. We did not hear back from them.

There are also safety concerns during a hurricane that Audubon is worried about if the boardwalk were to be put in place.

“These boardwalks are built to be disposable," Wraithmell said, "and that means that when they’re knocked over and disassembled and blown heaven knows where in a storm, the neighboring property owners are left with the burden of cleaning up the mess.”

The case for this proposed private boardwalk should go on for the next few days in court.

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