provided to Santiva Chronicle
The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors adopted a list of state legislative priorities for 2020, as part of its continued advocacy of crucial issues facing the whole community. Two of the three points relate to water quality and one is in support of Visit Florida, an organization the Chamber relies on to stretch its marketing reach.
“We feel it’s important for us and our business members to speak on such serious topics with a single voice,” said Chamber President John Lai. “Our Board prudently reviewed the issues before our state leaders when adopting these priorities.”
The sun will set in June on Visit Florida, if no action is taken. This year, the organization’s funding was cut by 34 percent and state leaders are asking how much of the visitor influx can be contributed to Visit Florida. It’s President and CEO Dana Young will be a guest speaker at the Chamber’s first Legislative Priorities Power Hour on Aug. 29 at Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, 17260 Harbour Pointe Dr., Fort Myers.
“Visit Florida tells our stories better and lets guests know we are open for business after a disaster,” said Lai. “They played a vital role in helping our tourism economy bounce back with a strong first quarter following last year’s water quality disaster. We would have lost a lot of the market share without them.”
Young will be joined by Rae Ann Wessel, Natural Resource Policy Director at Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation, who will give an update on water quality. It will be a time to learn how to become a part of the conversation for the upcoming legislative session and an opportunity to talk one-on-one with the guest speakers. Cost for Chamber members is $25 and $30 for non-members.
Water quality remains a priority with the support of developing policy to effectively deal with stormwater and wastewater pollution sources; sustaining funding levels to accomplish the EAA projects; objectives of sending clean water south as quickly as possible; and the implementation of critical infrastructures projects north and south of Lake Okeechobee.
To learn more about the first power hour and register for the event, visit sanibel-captiva.org or call the Chamber at 239-472-1080 with any questions.