Tuesday, December 1, 2020

CANOE/KAYAK LAUNCH PARK

Donna Fiala

Donna Fiala

By Donna Fiala 

In a previous column I wrote about the upcoming Canoe/Kayak Launch Park at the entrance to Isles of Capri, which is being funded and built by Rookery Bay, a division of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. This long awaited park is now about to happen and the people in the area are excitedly anticipating the joy and peacefulness that comes with canoeing and kayaking, and located so close to Marco Island, Isles of Capri, Fiddler’s Creek, Eagle Creek, and all of East Naples! Another benefit will be bathroom facilities across the street from the 951Boat Launch, (something the fishermen and boaters have been requesting since the Boat Launch was built,) plus there will be picnic tables and overflow parking.

The complexity of acquiring all the permits and meeting the requirements of both the State and the County have been daunting, with a little hiccup along the way, but with some team work among Nick Casalanguida, Collier County’s Director of Growth Management Department; Randy McCormick, Environmental Specialist with the FDEP, who is also the project manager for this Canoe/Kayak Park; Ian Mitchell, Manager from the Commission office; and myself, Donna Fiala, we have been able to resolve these issues and can now expect a completion date in early December of this year, just in time for our winter residents’ return.

The new taxiway project at the Marco Island Airport is moving along nicely, and one of the biggest benefits (beyond the obvious safety issues being solved with the taxiway) will be that many larger planes, which were not able to use the airport because of insurance issues related to the lack of a taxiway, will now be able to fly right into the Marco Airport! I understand the Airport Director is also considering a public/private partnership where investors can build approved hangers on property leased from the airport authority. Of course this idea is still in the talking stages, but it is certainly something to consider! The wait list for a hanger at the Marco Airport is very long and this might just solve the problem, once improvements to the airport are accomplished.

A pat on the back to the Marco Island Chamber of Commerce for doing such an outstanding job attracting tourism to the Island! The small but mighty Chamber is responsible for bringing in many dollars to help our economy on Marco.

Have you eaten one of those marvelous hamburgers at Tony Smith’s concession stand at Tigertail Beach recently? If not, treat yourself! You’ll be so glad you did!

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