Since 1970 I’ve been awestruck by the welcoming view of St. George Island when crossing the bridge. Why would thousands of visitors flock to the island every week if they weren’t struck by the same beauty? Now, the county commission is assessing this gem as a corridor to “an attractive, vibrant and economically prosperous community… necessary to protect the character of the island and the reasonable development expectations of property owners.” I applaud your honest and sincere efforts to do so.

Proposals have been made to dredge and fill protected island wetlands, build a fence to contain spoil, build a large boat basin, an RV park, lay down a 100-space parking lot, etc. in the same location at the terminus of the bridge! It seems, perennially, profit seekers come up with bold, audacious proposals that, in effect, diminish or even demolish the very nature of that which has made St. George Island such an attractive place and a boon to the entire county.

Can you imagine what the island will look like when the sandy beaches, glistening clear waters, large stands of mature pine trees and protected wetlands are gone? Not to mention the negative impact on the enormous revenue the island generates for Franklin County as the natural resources are degraded. Please pass the moratorium, Commissioners. Give developers, speculators and islanders time to think about and evaluate the consequences of their actions. The responsibility of good governance is to protect the common good, not guarantee a profit to a property developer.

Donna Butterfield

St. George Island