LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A sad sight to find on the beach this season

May 23, 2021
By Marcy Shortuse

To the Editor:

On return north from our annual time in Florida, I have a shell in my beach shoe. 

Spending many days each year at Gasparilla Island State Park with family and friends, this beautiful area is the usual highlight of our stay. Now looking northeast from Port Boca Grande Lighthouse we see a new catwalk that leads to a couple of the old ship moorings – complete with surveillance cameras, private beach signs and orange traffic cones, as well as a plastic tape-marked boundary. 

In the many hours spent on the beach at the point, we saw nothing other than security guards daily wandering around the walkway. It went unused. 

What a tragic loss for the public, that these four historic structures were not constructed into a one-of-a-kind pier, which many forever could have enjoyed. It is now a potential jewel that has been lost to everyone. 

The lack of leadership and vision for the public interest is truly shameful. The nice buzzwords – preservation, repurpose, reclaim, utilization … didn’t apply in this case. Surely an endless stream of excuses for difficulties encountered with many groups, agendas will undoubtedly be shrugged off and justified (if even need be ) by those involved.

In the end it would have been a prize worth fighting for, a unique enjoyment for generations of yours and mine to come. Perhaps with deals made, the damage done, dreaming now, the structures are still there …maybe world movers that love Boca could still make a pier for everyone to treasure.  

Thank You. 

D.F.Rugg  

Battle Creek, Mich.