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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Everglades National Park Superintendent Dan Kimball announced today the scheduling of a second public meeting to present and seek comments on the park's preferred alternative for resolution of the Chokoloskee Area of Inadequate Protection (AIP) within Everglades National Park waters surrounding Chokoloskee Island in Collier County. This alternative was developed after incorporating input from the public following the first public meeting that was held January 16, 2008.
Park staff has worked diligently to address comments provided during the 30-day public comment period that followed the January public meeting held at the Everglades City School. A focused working group, with vast local knowledge from a wide variety of backgrounds, has worked with park staff to design an alternative management option that uses the best available scientific data and local input to create an alternative that offers enhanced protection for manatees while providing safe public access through the waters within the AIP in Everglades National Park. The revised alternative establishes Slow Speed Zones within areas of high manatee density and 30 Mile Per Hour zones that allow for safe navigation of the area’s shallow waters while preventing prop dredging in Chokoloskee Bay. The preferred alternative should reduce impacts on water quality, seagrass, and other submerged resources while improving protection for manatees and their habitat.
March 26 Everglades City School, 6:30 -8:30 PM
415 School Drive,
Everglades City, FL 34139
Input on these alternatives will be accepted through April 28, 2008. Maps detailing the preferred alternative and those presented in January will be available on the Everglades National Park website at www.nps/gov.ever after March 20th under management documents. Comments on alternatives can be provided in writing and either mailed to Bonnie Foist at ENP, 40001 State Road 9336, and Homestead, FL 33034-6733 or emailed to Bonnie_Foist@nps.gov.
For more information, please contact Everglades National Park Gulf Coast District Ranger Kevin Donnell by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (239) 695-4217.