Tensions are high over the Chiquita lock debate

A lock is once again at the center of a big debate.

Lots of boats in western Cape Coral have to go through the Chiquita Lock to get out to the river. Now, one group is speaking out against a plan to get rid of it.

The city originally installed the lock back in the 1980s to treat stormwater runoff. But since the Dept. of Environmental Protection gave the green light for its removal last year, the lock is once again a center of controversy.

Cape Coral cites boating safety and wait times as the main reason for the removal. A statement some boaters said they agree with.

But those against the removal said water levels would decrease significantly, which would force a third of the boats at the Cape Harbour Marina to find a new home.

The Matlacha Civic Association is one group that filed a lawsuit against the City of Cape Coral and the DEP to prevent the removal of the lock.

At an upcoming information session with experts and various organizations, the groups are likely to say it protected the Cape Harbour Marina from the blue-green algae last summer.

Those against the removal said the city gathered permits for the second lock more than a decade ago, which would cut down boater wait times and continue to protect Cape Harbour Marina.

“It would increase it would increase the Boulder traffic by 500 percent because the way the new lock that they design is longer, he can carry more than one or two boats,” said Mike Hannon of the Matlacha Civic Association. “It would be one way or all three could be one way late in the afternoon.”

On Monday at 5 p.m., it will present their arguments during an informal session at Cape Harbour Marina.

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