A considerable amount of discussion and taxpayer dollars have been expended over the last 3 years regarding the issues surrounding water quality. One of those issues centers around the testing of waters on and around the island. One of those areas of specific interest has centered around Smokehouse Bay and whether any illegal discharges have been being made there over the years.
Since at least December of last year, a boat has been moored in Smokehouse Bay, approximately 100 feet away from Jane Hitler Park on North Collier Boulevard on the north side of Heb Savage Bridge.
The boat is being lived on by a Mr. Donald Eugene Liston—age 60. Mr. Liston was arrested on March 28th, 2020, for battery against a female subject on that same boat. He has a long arrest record with the Marco Island Police Department going back a minimum of 9 years. Police, Fire/Rescue and Collier County Deputies were dispatched to the boat and Mr. Liston was brought to the CCSO Jail in Naples and released on March 29th on bond.
Mr. Liston was due in court on Thursday, April 23rd, the case however was dismissed on April 14th due to insufficient evidence by the States Attorney.
The craft has been occupied since December of 2019 and has not left that anchorage site. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the sanitary tanks have ever been legally pumped off during the last four and a half months calling into question what is being done with human waste and greywater.
Photographs also show the boat’s skiff tied up to the city seawall at Hitler Park each day illegally. No record of any violations has been issued by the city’s Code Enforcement Division.
Numerous complaints have been lodged by residents within the abutting area regarding sound–related issues concerning music, loud noise and the running of a portable generator that supplies electricity to the boat which is housed on the aft swim platform of the boat and is not enclosed.
There also is no evidence of a required at anchor light in the evenings being illuminated as required by Coast Guard Regulations.
The City of Marco Island became embroiled in a heated debate regarding the mooring of vessels in the waterways and bays within their jurisdiction approximately 6 years ago, this after concerns regarding vessels not following appropriate regulations regarding sanitary pump-off and quality of life issues. That discussion was eventually shelved.
The vessel is not illegally moored within the Marco waters at this time; however, it should not be utilizing city property as a private dock facility and must meet all State of Florida and U.S. Coast Guard Regulations.