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Cruising Community Reaction to Bizarre Proposal to Partially Fill North Lake Worth, North Palm Beach, AICW Statute Mile 1014

Our earlier posting about the bizarre proposal to partially file northern Lake Worth, plant sea grass beds there, and displace the anchorage and local mooring field (see /?p=83767), is already soooo lenghty, we are posting cruising community reaction here, in this separate article.

I would like to know who it is that proposed such a project. What is the real reason behind such a project?
When we have such a beautiful basin, why on earth now is someone trying to fill it in?
If the answer is to protect animals, then could someone tell me which animals that this is meant to be benefiting? If it is for manatees, then if we bring them we must be able to protect them. Which means that there must be a budget line item for funds for patrolling the area at least for quite some time, to make everyone know about the fact that there are /will be manatees attracted to this area. Also for signage, and patrolling for all the boats that are presently speeding through the channel under the bridge and through to, and around, Little Lake Worth, and are thereby damaging manatees in the process.
There will have to be many funds put aside to dredge all the areas north of this, where a lot of the sand will end up after a short amount of time. What guarantees do we have on this? The appropriate agency is not doing this now. Is that because the county doesn’t have enough money for that?
But one of the many big problems facing this project is simply that this is a waste of money, or at best, a use of money that would be much better used for other more important things, let alone all the follow up funds that would be needed.
The bottom line is that this is a dreadful idea.
If the county has sand that they need a home for I am sure that there are many seawall owners that would love to have some delivered, myself included.
Helen Scott

Claiborne,
As a cruiser, I appreciate your response to this issue. Since your email to me indicates that you were aware of the problem before I wrote you, I cannot and will not take credit for bringing the matter to your notice. Let it suffice to say that I am glad the news is ‘on the air’ so to speak. I hope your treatment of the issue may evoke further cruiser responses. I think, however, that a small rambling on my part may give you a sense of my disgust and anger about how things get done in (what I call) the Louisiana of the South East (not withstanding Rhode Island’s
or Youngstown, Ohio’s histories).
It appears that Palm Beach County is again engaged in its’ “business as usual policy”. Part their, “…as usual business,” is a seemingly sub-rosa directed-failure to involve those people who have interest(s) in many county based (and therefore tax based) issues, and public participation in them. Those issues are often clouded in secrecy, obfuscation, outright lying or patently illegal fraud. In a way, the old saw of ‘ Taxation Without Representation” comes to mind, not to mention the violation of Sunlight Laws and just plain questionable morality on a large scale.
Palm Beach county has a long history of this kind of activity. It is documented and punctuated by the convictions and resignations of numerous county officials. The county sustained “enforced” loss of membership in their “old boys club” due to action of the courts, exposure by the press and TV, and more rarely, by public outrage fueled by blatantly egregious behavior of their officials.
Now to my point, rambling, but a point none-the-less…
It seems that, given the county history and the fact that this is an election year, some kind of investigation (possibly forensic accounting) might well serve the needs of those of us who are or might be effected by this project. By this, I do not mean simply taking a look at the depth of the water as the product of the project and concluding that, yes, the water will get shallower and it may support sea grass. I mean an investigation that is detailed. It should include: those who let the contracts to whom, what common or associated interest(s) they have or have in the outcome(s), their interests and/or relationships (financial, political ((contributory)) or otherwise) to/with those fulfilling the contracts, what rewards or benefits they are to, will, or may receive, the role of the USACOE and its relationship to county officials and vendors, the effects of the project on the environment, county usage, boater usage, traffic (boat or otherwise), dredgeline placement and/or damage,past effects of similar project in the area, the relationship(s) of county officials to vendors and, neither last or least, the relationship of local property owners to the process. It should also take a good look at something county officials are always (would you say hippocritically) called accountabiity, something sorely lacking in PBC operations.
Thank you for your interest in my interest and your sustained activity on our behalf. As an active member of a large, international, Bahama-based yacht club, and one in south Florida, I will pass on what Information I can to you and my fellow cruisers.
Regards,
D Krakow,
M/V Pizzazz
Now laying Boat Harbour, Abacoa

A couple of comments on this. I don’t think much of that area has 15 feet of water right now. The maximum depth on the nautical chart is 14 feet, with more like 9-11 feet over the remainder. Also, there is a charted channel through the middle of it, along with several USCG daymarkers , an R10 and a G11, so I would imagine the USCG would have some say over this. The note for the charted channel says “8 feet reported 2000.” So, their hydrographic study seems rather incorrect. It seems like an absurd proposal, and it is hard to imagine that North Palm Beach shouldn’t have an equal say in what is allowed in that body of water.
John Kettlewell

I am strongly opposed to the filling of Lake Worth as outlined in Public Hearing by Army Corps of Engineers Permit Application No. SAJ- 2012- 00131 ( IP-EGR).
Bill Brubaker

Little Lake Worth is a favorite anchorage of mine in trips to the Bahamas. It is an easy anchorage for clearing in after returning, and shopping is conveinent. It would be a hardship on the boating community if the anchorage were eliminated or greatly reduced’
Joan Clark

I may be incorrect about this, but I was told a year or so ago that the wife of a very famous sports personality (not a current pro) objected to boats in the area.
If this is the scam it sounds like, it’s a very clever way to eliminate anchoring in this area, isn’t it?
Amazing the lengths to which these people will go if this is, indeed, the situation.
Wally Moran

Florida politicians and land developers just keep writing Carl Hiassen’s next book plots for him, don’t they?
Pretty easy to figure out that this is the backup plan for the new Maule Lake Marina owners, after trying to stop anchoring there earlier and failing.
R. Holiman

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