U.S. Rep Donalds Expresses Water Quality Support

provided to The SantivaChronicle.com

An island delegation showed Donalds island waters on a morning boat tour. Front row: Chamber CEO John Lai, Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith, “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society President Sarah Ashton, SFWMD Governing Board Member Chauncey Goss, SCCF’s James Evan. Back row: Captains for Clean Water’s Jessica Pinsky and Capt. Chris Whitman, Donalds’ support team members Jesse Purdon and Larry Wilcoxson, Congressman Byron Donalds, and J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge Manager Kevin Godsea.

The Sanibel & Captiva Islands Chamber of Commerce hosted Byron Donalds, the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 19th District, on April 5 to meet with community organization and business leaders on the topic of water-quality legislation. Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation provided a boat tour of Tarpon Bay for a small delegation. Following that, Thistle Lodge hosted a round-table luncheon for a larger group.

Donalds expressed a commitment to listening to questions and issues about water quality and to represent those concerns in Washington. “It’s the number one thing to make sure I’m doing,” he said. “The government does need to fix our waterways, because they created the problem.

Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith expressed confidence in the congressman to stick with the issue for the long-term. “You are going to be that leader,” she said.

Donalds’ team reiterated the importance of water quality on the economy and its willingness to understand the issue and make it a priority.

“The tourism industry got hit the hardest in the last 12 months,” said John Lai, chamber president and chief executive officer, referring to economic effects of the pandemic. “We feel like we’re just turning the corner now. The biggest thing that can derail us right now would be a repeat of 2018’s red tide and blue-green algae event.”

“I’m proud of this organization,” said Chauncy Goss, governing board member of the South Florida Water Management District and an island resident, of the chamber. “A meeting like this wouldn’t have taken place 15 years ago.”

Leave a Comment

We are interested in articulate, well-informed remarks that are relevant to the article. We welcome your advice, your criticism and your unique insights into the issues of the day. To be approved for publication, your comments should be civil and avoid name-calling. It may take up to 24 hours for your comment to appear, if it is approved.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.