Photo credit: Calusa Waterkeeper

Aug. 25, 2023

SCCF Remains Committed to Keeping Chiquita Lock

The Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation (SCCF) has withdrawn as a petitioner from the legal challenge to stop the removal of the Chiquita Lock in Cape Coral.  

SCCF was forced to step away from the legal challenge due to issues of whether or not the parties had received adequate notice prior to filing our petition. Although it is unclear whether SCCF would have been able to remain in the challenge, the City of Cape Coral used the threat of running up massive attorneys’ fees — paid for by Cape Coral taxpayers — to make continuing the challenge too dangerous to our non-profit organization.

“We are disappointed that we are not able to continue as a petitioner. However, we remain committed to our position that the lock should remain in place and to our mission to protect and care for Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems,” said SCCF CEO James Evans. 

While unable to remain in the legal case, SCCF believes that the merits of the case are strong and will continue to monitor the ecology and water quality in the areas impacted by the project.

The Chiquita Lock remains the last backstop in preventing polluted water from entering the estuary from the south spreader system. If the lock is removed, it will likely result in a further decline of water quality and impacts to the surrounding mangrove ecosystems. 


“We believe that the City of Cape Coral should honor the agreement formed in the original consent decree and repair the lock to ensure that its pollution is remediated, manatees are protected, and the spreader system continues to function,” said Evans.  

SCCF’s Marine Lab will continue to monitor water quality in the area to ensure that all pollution is accounted for, the appropriate parties are held responsible, and fish and wildlife habitat, including oysters, seagrasses, and mangroves, are protected into the future.

If you would like to receive updates on the Chiquita Lock, and other issues that impact Southwest Florida’s coastal ecosystems, please sign up for our Action Alerts.


SCCF is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) founded

in 1967 on Sanibel Island, Florida

EIN 59-1205087


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