Monday, February 1, 2016

Whole Foods responds - Wetlands paving "within current regulations"

From the Citizens for Sarasota County Group on FB:

A response from Whole Foods Market to Tom Lyons' editorial:

Whole Foods was challenged to respond to a Herald Tribune editorial critical of Sarasota County's decision to allow a 4.5-acre wetland to be paved over for use as a parking lot for a new Whole Foods outlet on University Parkway:

Whole Foods Market
January 28 at 10:56am

If social media has any value to Whole Foods other than advertising its wares, perhaps someone from the local store will address this editorial:

Lyons: Wetland to become Whole Foods parking lot
Gary Comp recalls how right it seemed in 1999 when his environmental assessment of a wetland full of maple trees helped sway the Sarasota County Commission not to let it become a parking lot.


Here is the comment from Whole Foods Market:

Hi Tom, Thank you for your concern regarding this matter. we are very sensitive to environmental sustainability, and one of Whole Foods Market's core values as a business is to practice and advance environmental stewardship. While we are not the site developer, we understand, the city, county, and federal agencies have all agreed that the developer’s plans for the space we and other retailers plan to lease are within current regulations. The developer has also gone above and beyond what is required by purchasing a large tract of pristine wetlands within the watershed and donating it back to the public to ensure it is preserved for generations of Sarasotans.

Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

Linda K I appreciate the additional land was purchased and donated for preservation. HOWEVER...right here we have a prime example of just how "preserved and protected" these lands ACTUALLY are if a developer wants them! I also had to either laugh or cry at the "within current regulations" WF ACTUALLY so naive that they don't know that the City Commission is OWNED by the developers??? Need a regulation changed...just mention it and it's a done deal....
(Thank you, Commissioner Hines, for your "no" vote...It is appreciated and will be remembered...)

Like · Reply · 47 mins · Edited

Gini H - Whole Foods could have built a parking garage, like Publix at Bay St/41 did . I won't be shopping there anymore. BTW, Florida lost more than 260,000 acres of freshwater, emergent wetlands during 1985-1996, and the rate of loss of this wetland type more than doubled as compared to the rate during the 1970's-1980's period. Wetlands, particularly freshwater emergent wetlands, are essential for waterfowl and other wildlife, yet losses continue. Since Florida became a state, total wetland area has decreased by approximately 44%.
Wetland habitat in wintering areas such as Florida is important in the overall annual cycle of migratory waterfowl. Habitat conditions during this non-breeding period affect waterfowl survival and reproduction in subsequent years. Ducks must maintain or improve their body condition during winter to avoid mortality during spring migration and to meet the physiological demands of the nesting season (i.e., egg laying, incubation). The FWC's waterfowl staff devotes considerable resources to monitoring and managing these migrant birds and providing quality habitat for them in Florida.
Managing wetland habitat is critical to providing the greatest quantity and highest quality of habitat possible to support Florida's waterfowl and other wetland-dependent wildlife. Without a large habitat base that includes breeding, migration, and wintering areas, waterfowl populations will decline despite any attempt to restrict sport harvest. Wetland habitat management has importance beyond its value to waterfowl by benefiting many other Florida plant and wildlife species.

Like · Reply · 1 · 27 mins

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