Old Pelican Bay Estates is a project that is permitted for development off of Old Pelican Bay Road near San Carlos Island by developer Siesta V Land Trust. In process for more than 50 years, in 2002 the 136 acre parcel's zoning was changed from agricultural to residential. Although the original scope of the project was 47 homes and 30 boat slips, it was later reduced to 28 units. The photo to the left shows mangroves before the project began that are now gone, even though the plan clearly says they must remain.
According to the Fort Myers News-Press, "...in recent weeks...heavy machinery has scraped the once-thriving forest down to bare sand. The work extends well beyond the orange-flagged stakes that appear to mark the edge of the area to be cleared."
Runoff from the project is of great concern. John Cassani of Calusa Waterkeeper, an organization that fights to protect water quality, says it is "probably the most blatant and extensive construction turbidity violation I have ever seen in such an environmentally sensitive area." The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is investigating.