After vociferous complaints from Pinellas County citizens the FLDEP announced they have thrown in the towel, packed up their blueprints, and headed back to Tallahassee.
After the public meeting on July 5, 2011, it was painfully clear the DEP was not prepared for the citizen uprising that resulted from the DEP’s proposed Honeymoon Island development plans. Many citizens had a negative view of the DEP project based upon past projects at Honeymoon Island. I spoke with one local resident, Mr. Jack Treskovich, who spoke in detail about past problems at Honeymoon Island such as dredge and fill operations, and beach restorations. After hearing the history of the island it’s not surprising that the assembled crowd had a dim view of the DEP’s newest development project, a 17 acre expansion of the RV camping grounds.
Florida Senator Mike Fasano championed the issue for his constituents, and the letter the FLDEP wrote canceling this project is shown as Figure 1. This news can only bolster Senator Fasano’s popularity.
As for the environmental risks to Honeymoon Island, the FLDEP could not provide me with an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement for this project, either of which would document the environmental risks associated with the development project. How can the public have confidence in our environmental agency when they haven’t even performed an environmental assessment as part of their due diligence for this project? If the field work for this project was going to be managed by the same people that managed this project to date, then with today’s announcement the DEP and Honeymoon Island both have something to be thankful for.