Letter: Protect Wellington’s Environment

I am writing as a concerned resident of Wellington. I am a single mom who is active in the community and with my son’s school, Elbridge Gale Elementary School. I understand the importance of business and money and attracting more revenue to this area, but not at the expense of our land, and not at the expense of our preserves.

How do you justify considering developing our preserves when there are so many vacant buildings in the village in the very same mall vicinity as the preserves? Surely it is bad to have the former Circuit City and Nordstrom buildings sit vacant, causing people to question why such “big” businesses could not survive here. Why would you prefer to knock down the preserves, a necessary commodity when there is a major rain event to take on excess rain water? The very idea that you are putting the preserves on the table rather than redeveloping vacant buildings boggles my mind.

This project is awaiting approval from the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Are we to trust the Army Corps after all that we see in the news from Rep. Brian Mast’s office? “For the first time ever, the Army Corps admitted to willfully and knowingly releasing toxic water containing cyanobacteria and harmful algal blooms from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers,” Mast’s office insisted. This has decimated the Treasure and Gulf coasts.

Currently, the largest algae bloom in world history now sits off the coast of Florida. This is because of the actions of the Army Corps — the people you want us to trust to destroy our preserves.

As far as the South Florida Water Management District, I am sure you are aware that they have routinely voted to deregulate the levels of toxins allowed into the Everglades and Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. In other words, they are allowing the poisoning of the Everglades and our preserves. Again, these are the people you want us to trust and you are entrusting Wellington’s future.

I urge the village to stop this process now and to save our preserves. Redevelop the vacant buildings and honor the wishes of your residents. Do what is right for Wellington and for the environment.

Nicole DeFlorio, Wellington