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April 25, 2002



Colonel Greg May
Jacksonville District
US Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019


Re:       Southern Golden Gate Estates (SGGE) Hydrologic Restoration

Dear Colonel May:

The Southwest Florida Watershed Council was organized just over a year ago as a stakeholder's group to examine water resource issues and to create and implement effective long-term strategies to address the needs of this region's growing population and the natural systems upon which our economy and quality of life depend.   The Council is a grass-roots, multi-county coalition of individuals, elected officials, organizations, agencies and businesses that have come together to address the issues affecting the Caloosahatchee and Big Cypress watersheds.  


We recently learned that the Corps has decided not to recommend the inclusion of the Southern Golden Gate Estates Hydrologic Restoration Project in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2002.  This is a great disappointment to us, particularly since we were looking forward to pointing out this Project as an early success for Everglades restoration in our region. 


You may not realize that support for restoration in this area is somewhat lacking.  Many people feel that we are being excluded from restoration efforts, yet we still have to pay for them. When the people of Southwest Florida learn of a further delay in a project that was going to specifically benefit us, it will create a negative response, something the whole restoration effort does not need.  Everyone knows costs are past the $8 billion mark and that millions have already been spent in planning.  We need to “turn dirt” and have something to point to as an accomplishment, or at least a work in progress. 

Please reconsider your decision and include the Southern Golden Gate Estates Hydrologic Restoration Project in WRDA 2002.  If we can be of helping furthering this goal, please let us know. 






Noel Andress, Chair

Southwest Florida Watershed Council




The mission of the Southwest Florida Watershed Council is to protect, conserve, manage and/or

 restore the land and water resources of the Caloosahatchee and Big Cypress Watersheds through participation and cooperation of all stakeholders in consensus building, planning, and decision making to meet the

economic, natural and cultural needs for this and succeeding generations.


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